After Care for Newly Planted Trees
If you have a beautiful newly planted tree, you’ll want to learn about keeping it healthy as it grows. For the first two years, your tree will take extra time and attention on your part, but, if you care for it well, after those two years of work your tree should be happy and healthy and won’t require much more them some pruning and fertilization by your arborist every three to five years.
Young trees need adequate water to become established. If planted in the appropriate season, rainfall may be adequate, but additional water is often needed, particularly after planting when root systems are limited. After the initial watering at planting, deciduous trees do not need additional water until a few full size leaves have grown. Then your tree will need water four to five times per week and everyday during the 90-100 plus degree days of summer. After two years, most trees can survive with only one or no irrigations, although they would probably do better with monthly applications during the dry season.
You’ll need to maintain an area free of turf and weeds around the trunk of your tree, because turf and weeds compete for water and nutrients, and some weeds are toxic. The clear area around your tree should be about one foot in radius. After four or five years, your tree’s roots will have grown extensive enough that it will no longer compete with surrounding plants for water.
A three to four-inch-thick mulch will help to control most weeds. Mulch protects the soil from compaction and erosion, conserves moisture, and moderates soil temperatures. Add the mulch one month after the tree has been planted so that it won’t interfere with the root system obtaining oxygen. Keep mulch at least two inches away from the trunk of your tree. This will minimize disease and rodent damage.
Pruning & Training
The key to pruning for newly planted trees is to encourage the growth of several large permanent branches. Early pruning will form the basic structure of the mature tree.
When you purchase a tree from a nursery, it most likely has already been trained appropriately. A few years after planting, the young tree will need a follow up pruning to encourage its structural branches.
Most trees mature easily on their own, but serious problems can be avoided if the trees are periodically inspected. Regularly inspect your trees for the signs of insect and disease damage. At the same time, take care of any staking problems, check to see if your tree is getting enough moisture, and identify any other problems.
A proper inspection should take only a few minutes per tree, but it’s important as it allows you to take action on any problems you find. If you regularly check on them, you’ll be able to maintain healthy, strong trees for many years to come.
If your young Utah tree is having issues after planting, reach out to the Arbor+ team. We’re always happy to take a look and consult with you and help your trees get off to a healthy start. Click the link below to start a conversation.