Start ‘Em Young!
Hopefully you were able to plant a new tree this Spring. But if not, Autumn is still an excellent time to plant, so keep this post in mind!
By taking good care of your trees while they are young you may avoid expensive structural pruning later and will more likely have a healthy tree for many years to come.
These are our top 4 tips for maintaining a healthy tree longer:
- Be smart about watering. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) recommends watering trees at least once a week in the first year, barring rain, and more frequently in windy weather. When you do water, avoid light waterings which encourages shallow rooting and water dependency. A good soak for your trees is about 5-10 gallons of water each. If you have planted a native tree, you will likely not need to water the tree in later years UNLESS of severe drought begins to stress your tree.
- Time to prune? We cannot stress enough how important it is to prune young trees, BUT wait until at least the second or third year to make the cuts. This prevents over stressing your tree after the shock of planting. Pruning while trees are young prevents co-dominant stems and can establish good structure for tree which will prevent the need for large cuts later in life. (Removing dead or broken branches is A-OK after planting!)
- Use mulch. We talked extensively on the benefits of using mulch and how to do it in this post. Again, it will greatly benefit your new planting, reduce your labor, and make your landscape look great.
- Stake only if necessary. According to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) research has shown that trees establish themselves more quickly and have a stronger root/trunk structure when not staked after planting. However, there are some circumstances when staking is preferred: windy sites, protecting against lawn mower damage, and when planting bare root stock. If you do choose to stake your newly planted tree, remember to remove the ties and stakes after the first year.
We highly recommend these steps to keep your home landscape looking great. Give us a call, or fill out our easy online request today if you worry about your tree’s structure or need a pruning by a local certified arborist.