Whether you personally planted a new tree or had a professional do it for you, it can be exciting to watch it grow and blossom as time passes. But, while it is exciting, not to mention also fulfilling, to see it develop, you need to make sure that you properly care for a newly-planted tree in order to ensure that it’s healthy and realizes its full growth potential. Here are the most important ways that you should care for a newly-planted tree:
Don’t Prune It Initially
Pruning your tree is an extremely important part of maintaining its health, both in the short-term and the long-term. However, if a tree is newly-planted, you do not want to prune it during its first year. In actuality, you should wait a bit more than a year before you begin pruning it. The reason is because, while it is growing, pruning it can have harmful long-term effects on its growth potential. This does not mean that you shouldn’t trim any small defects that you see, however.
Make Sure to Use Mulch…But Not Too Much
You should be using mulch on new trees. Mulch is essential for the health of a newly-planted tree, as it helps the tree to retain its moisture and to be resistant to harmful weeds. In addition, it also regulates the soil temperature. A mistake that many individuals make, though, is to use too much mulch. This can cause the area around the tree to become too moist and cool, leading to fungi and detrimental pests emerging.
Your best bet is to place around two to four inches of mulch around and on the drip zone of the tree. Make sure it’s at least one inch away from the tree trunk as well for circulation purposes.
Be Mindful of When to Fertilize
Knowing when to fertilize your tree depends on a variety of factors, including the particular soil and the type of tree. In order to avoid playing this guessing game, it’s best to use a fertilizer that is a slow-release kind, in addition to being a low-burn fertilizer. This means that you’ll be able to use it on your newly-planted tree at any time, which you will be able to continue to do in the future.
Water It Regularly
You need to make sure that you water your newly-planted tree regularly. It’s already experiencing added stress due to being in a new environment, so it will to be regularly hydrated. Within the first two to three weeks after it has been planted, make sure to water it every single day and to do so liberally. Afterwards, you should water it one day a week during its first year. If it’s raining a great deal, you don’t have to do it so often, but if your area is experiencing a drought, you will need to obviously make sure it gets watered. By following a set watering schedule, your newly-planted tree will have a far better chance at settling into its environment in a healthy manner.
Lewis Tree Service has close to 30 years of experience in caring for newly-planted trees that have been planted too deep in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas. Make sure to contact us today for a free quote and to have one of our ISA certified arborists sent to help you!