How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your land has several benefits. Trees give summer shade, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

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

Lack of care for growing trees might cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

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

Here, we’ll list the five best practices for planting a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably know the basics, so let’s dive a little deeper and detail how to complete each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep trees alive, they’ll help them to grow faster, stand up to extreme winds, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and create more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need a lot more water than older ones. The trees you plant on your property are no exception.

The root of the tree and the soil all around it should be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might 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 challenging to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the rest. 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 actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots. But laying mulch the wrong way can result in 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 completely cover the ground underneath the longest limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will grow substantially.

Keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in keeping it spread out consistently and far enough away from the trunk of the tree so it does not impede air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients your soil might not naturally have. Most new trees benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The best time of year to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides the right conditions (comfortable temperatures and wet 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 often a good idea because they feed trees over time rather than all right away.

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

Trim Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – yet very tricky – in the first years after planting a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you may see a lot of little branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this means that the tree is healthy and 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 ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As tiny branches emerge from the lower trunk, they have to be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the branches at the top of the tree.

As long as there are trees growing on your land, they need to be pruned periodically. When the trees get too big for you to prune them safely, you can rely on NM Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never completely safe from these issues. As your tree grows older, monitor it carefully for signs of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Withering, despite adequate watering
  • Single limbs or branches dying
  • Bark peeling

These signals likely mean a health problem. It is likely going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can usually identify the problem by simply looking at your tree, although they will perform testing if necessary.

If you identify the issue early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect younger trees.

The tips above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the chances are in your favor that the tree will survive and look beautiful!

Of course, you may already have a very busy schedule and don’t really want to perform these additional lawn care projects. In most cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability to give their growing trees the necessary care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to hire a professional for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in New Mexico can advise you about the best course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant on your property. Arborists love sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting new trees on their land, and they can make the difference between trees struggling and trees that thrive.

Call NM Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in New Mexico – including tree pruning – for newer trees and old trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.