How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has several benefits. Trees create summer shade, filter polluted air and increase property value. Everyone should plant trees.

Once full-grown, trees are very easy to care for: another benefit! Trees are durable and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. However, if you want to see your trees reach their full potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for young trees could result in rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t too complicated, but you do need some tips to do it correctly. Familiarize yourself with the new trees you plant in order to know what they need. Then care for them and watch them bloom.

Below, we’ll describe the five best tips for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You probably are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive deeper and lay out how to perform each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only keep trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, resist extreme gusts of wind, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

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

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

Mulch Around Your Trees

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

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it around to cover the ground underneath the longest limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow as well.

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides the nutrients that your land’s soil may not naturally have. Most new trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the right time in order for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

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

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

Follow through with these tasks in the initial growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree becomes more established. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care tasks that become more important for new trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – yet very tricky – in the first years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you may see many small branches take off, competing to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually lead to a weak tree in the future.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it is going to look like when it becomes much larger. As small branches emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the upper branches.

As long as you have trees on your land, they need to be trimmed periodically. When the trees get too large for you to trim them safely, you can trust UT Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Growing trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never 100% safe from these issues. As your tree grows larger, monitor it closely for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Wilting, regardless of adequate watering
  • Single limbs or branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signals indicate a health problem. The tree is probably going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can typically diagnose the problem by just looking at your tree, although they will perform testing if necessary.

If you identify the problem quick enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect your growing trees.

The steps above are simple but effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the chances are in your favor that the tree will survive and will look wonderful!

Of course, you might already have a full schedule and don’t really want to take on these additional tasks. In some cases, property owners don’t have the physical ability to give their growing trees the appropriate care.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to contact a tree service for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Utah can consult with you about the course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant on your land. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills with homeowners planting brand new trees, and they can make the difference between trees struggling and trees thriving.

Call UT Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Utah – including tree trimming – for newer trees and old trees. A local tree service can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.