So you’ve just planted a new tree in your yard. What's next?
Caring for a newly planted tree should be comprehensive, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! With the five quick tips below, you can get your new tree off to a great start.
Below, find practical advice for watering, mulching, fertilizing, pruning, and inspecting young trees.
These tried and true tips are just what you need to set your new tree up for success.
Learning how to mulch a tree the right way is a numbers game. Here’s what you need to know: first, keep mulch at least 3 inches away from the trunk. What you don’t want is for mulch to be piled up against the tree as this can cause moisture to be trapped at the root crown where the tree’s trunk and root ball meet. . This can lead to wood decay, rot and eventual failure of the tree.
And lastly, spread mulch all the way out to the tree’s dripline, which is the point on the ground directly below the farthest-reaching branch. This increases the roots’ ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
Second, create a mulch layer that’s about 2-to-4 inches thick.
It’s no surprise that young trees need hydration. What’s not always clear is how often to water new trees.
While there’s no set amount of water that works across the board, one thing that’s true for all trees is the importance of keeping the root ball, and the soil around it, moist without being soggy. New trees should be watered right after planting, then, they'll need somewhere between 4 to 10 gallons of water per week for their first few growing seasons.
The soil in our yards doesn’t always have the nutrients trees need to stay healthy. That’s where fertilizer comes in. It provides trees with the necessary minerals and nutrients that are missing from yard soil.
So, when should you fertilize new trees, and how often? When you work with Davey, you don’t have to stress over the “best time to fertilize trees.” Our Arbor Green PRO® and Arbor Green Xtra fertilizers are designed to slowly release nutrients uniformly over time no matter when they’re applied. Your local Davey arborist can help you select a tree fertilizer that meets your plant’s needs.
In a tree’s early years, it’s not uncommon for multiple branches to compete for the “leader” position, i.e, the tree’s main trunk. In the long run, this tendency can actually make trees weaker. But, by using correct pruning techniques from the start, trees will get the foundation they need to thrive for years to come.
Keeping a close eye on your tree while it’s young can help you dodge issues later on. You should make a habit of inspecting your new tree for red flags. Here’s what to look out for:
If your tree is showing any of these signs, ask a certified arborist to inspect the tree and discuss proper plant health care to get your tree back to tip-top shape.