How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your property has many benefits. Trees create summer shade, create privacy, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

Once grown, most trees are easy to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to grow despite minimal care. But, if you want to ensure your trees reach their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for new trees could cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

The good news is that tree care isn’t very difficult, but you do need a little information to do it right. Familiarize yourself with the new trees you plant to know exactly what they need. Then properly care for them and watch them bloom.

Here, we’ll list the five best practices for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely are aware of the basics, so let’s dive deeper and explain how to perform each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow faster, stand up to damaging gusts of wind, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need more water than well-established ones. The trees you plant on your property are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil around it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, because this can cause the roots to rot.

The rule of thumb is 4-10 gallons of water each week. Rain water also counts, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the rest. Your new trees will need this much water for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping product. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that it’s possible that the tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground under the longest branch. For brand new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will also grow as well.

Keep the mulch at least 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas around the tree. Be vigilant in spreading it out consistently and far enough away from the trunk of the tree so it does not limit air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients that your land’s soil might not naturally have. Most new trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you need to be using the correct products and do it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

The perfect time to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer provides the right conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t sure about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care specialist for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed trees over time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree gets older. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care projects that are more important for your new trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – yet very challenging – in the early years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you will start to see many small branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, but it can actually lead to a very weak tree in the future.

Early trimming shapes the tree into what it will ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As small branches emerge on the lower trunk, they have to be removed so they don’t suck water and nutrients away from the branches at the top.

As long as there are trees growing somewhere on your land, they need to be pruned regularly. When the tree gets too big for you to prune them safely, you can rely on AZ Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and insect issues. But you’re never 100% safe from these issues. As your tree grows larger, monitor it carefully for evidence of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether these leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Wilting, even with adequate watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health issue. The tree is probably going to need professional maintenance if your plan is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can typically diagnose the issue by simply looking at the tree, although they will perform testing if deemed necessary.

If you determine the issue quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect new trees.

The tips above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the chances are in your favor that they will survive and look beautiful too!

Of course, you might already have a full schedule and don’t really want to be responsible for these additional lawn care projects. In many cases, property owners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their new trees the necessary care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to hire a tree company for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in Arizona can consult with you about the course of maintenance for each tree species you plant on your land. Arborists enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with people planting new trees, and can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call AZ Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Arizona – including tree trimming – for newer trees and old trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.