How to Care for New Trees

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

Once full-grown, most trees are very easy to care for: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to grow even with minimal care. But, if you want to help your trees reach their potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for new trees might lead to rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

The good news is that caring for trees isn’t all that difficult, but you do need a little information to do it right. Educate yourself with the trees you plant in order to know what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them bloom.

Below, we’ll outline the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely are aware of the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and lay out how to perform each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, resist strong 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 older ones. The trees you plant on your property are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil all around it should 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 per week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the remaining gallons. Your new trees will need this much water every week for the first 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive lawn care material. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes 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 horizontal limb. For brand new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow substantially.

Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in spreading it out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not stop air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

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

The best season to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides good conditions (comfortable temperatures and moist soil), but don’t count on it.

If you are unsure about which fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all right away.

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

Trim Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – but very tricky – in the initial years after you plant a new tree. As the tree grows, you may see several small branches take off, attempting to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this means that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually result in a weak tree over time.

Early trimming shapes the tree into what it is going to look like when it is much larger. As small limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t steal water and nutrients from the upper branches.

As long as there are trees on your land, they need to be pruned routinely. When the trees get too large for you to trim them safely, you can trust NH Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Growing trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never completely safe from these issues. As your tree gets larger, watch it closely for evidence of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, especially leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Wilting, despite adequate watering
  • Individual branches or limbs dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signs likely mean a health problem. The tree is probably going to require professional care if your goal is to save the tree. An experienced arborist can typically diagnose the problem by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing if deemed necessary.

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

The steps above are basic but effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the chances are good that they will survive and will look wonderful too!

Of course, you could already have a full schedule and don’t want to take on these additional lawn care projects. In some cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their growing trees the appropriate care.

No matter the situation, it’s ok to contact a tree service for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in New Hampshire can consult with you about the best course of care for each tree species you plant. They enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting new trees on their land, and can be the difference between trees struggling and trees that thrive.

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