At Joshua Tree, as you might have guessed, we really love trees. It’s in our name, after all—and though we’ve expanded into some other service areas, it’s where we got our start and remains at the heart of our business.
Tree care is a huge part of what we offer through services like tree pruning and our Plant Health Care program. While we don’t install new trees, we do have plenty of knowledge on how to care for newly planted trees.
We know how important trees are in a landscape and we want to ensure that you’re set up for success.
For that reason, we’re talking about caring for new trees. Here are some important things to know as you get started with new trees on your property.
Tips for Newly Planted Tree Care
Newly planted trees require quite a bit more TLC than trees that are already established. You want to be sure to properly care for your trees during this time as their roots become established.
Here are some tips on caring for new trees.
1. Water Properly
When trees are first installed, they will require more frequent watering than trees that are established. Watering is essential when it comes to getting your trees off to a good start so you want to be sure to do it properly.
For the first six weeks, your new tree needs to be watered every day. Watering can be done manually or using a designated line on your drop system.
How you water is also important. When caring for new trees, avoid shallow watering as it will encourage the growth of shallow surface roots. These will be more likely to dry out.
You also want to avoid overwatering as too much saturation can smother the roots.
As your tree matures, you can transition into different watering habits. We have guidelines in this article on how to water mature trees. Having the proper watering tools is a key consideration. As we mention in the above article, soak hoses and drip systems have revolutionized irrigation. They make irrigating trees easy and effective every single time.
2. Fertilize Lightly at Planting (Then, Wait)
According to the Penn State Extension, some light fertilization at the time of installation could be beneficial for your new tree. If you’ve hired a landscaping company, this is something they might include. If you happen to be installing the tree yourself, note that the quantity of fertilizer will vary depending upon the specifications provided with the tree.
Be sure to read through any material that the nursery included.
After the initial installation, there is no more fertilization until year two. But in the future, you would likely also want to consider a professional tree fertilization service that could ensure your trees continue to get what they need to perform their best.
At Joshua Tree, fertilization is part of our Plant Health Care program, which is a complete program designed to protect your trees and shrubs from pest problems (like insects and mites), diseases, and also environmental conditions. While we wouldn’t start fertilizing newly planted trees, other Plant Health Care services can begin right away. It’s important to get your new trees off to a healthy start.
Insect and disease management in the early stages of a tree’s life is important and Plant Health Care will cover this.
3. Think Ahead About Pruning
Finally, when talking about caring for new trees, we want to get pruning on your radar, even though it’s not something that you would have done until year two. The only pruning that might be performed right away is removing any limbs that might have broken during the transporting stage.
But in year two, once the tree is established, you do want to start thinking about pruning.
We realize that for a lot of homeowners this seems really early. But there are some major advantages to pruning young trees on an ongoing basis. That’s because doing so will give your trees a better chance to fix small problems before they become big ones.
A lot of people simply think about pruning as shaping a tree or making it “smaller.” But pruning is really important to the overall health of the tree.
A pruning cut is a purposeful injury, like a surgical incision. Removing a small branch or a limb that has decay in it gives the tree the ability to grow and compartmentalize where the cut was made—assuming it was made in the proper place and at the proper angle. The surgical cut reduces the chance of decay spreading to parts of the tree you can’t afford to lose.
If you prune trees while they are still young, you can prevent future problems. But if you wait to perform pruning when dead wood has become a large branch, that decay is much more likely to have spread and affect other areas of the tree. Now, you might be looking at a bigger problem.
Hand Over Your Worries in Newly Planted Tree Care
Even though we do not install new trees, there are some Plant Health Care services we can start performing right away to help get your trees off to the best possible start. We can also provide cultural recommendations that will set you up for success now and down the road. After all, trees are no small investment and you want to see them perform well after they’ve been installed.
Rather than feeling like you’re on your own in caring for new trees, we want you to know we’re here to help. If you have questions about anything we didn’t cover, let us know.
We’d also love for more homeowners to get into a proactive mindset and think about starting services like pruning early enough that you aren’t facing problems that could have been prevented. We know that people often don’t think about tree care until there’s something wrong, but we’re trying to change that.
Just like your health, you are in much better shape when you practice proactive care than when you wait until there are problems.
As we said from the start, we love trees and appreciate the value that they not only bring to your home but to the community at large. Trees are oxygen producers and we all benefit from having them on our planet.
If you’d like to have a tree on your Allentown or Lansdale, PA area property assessed, contact us for a free consultation. Then you can rest assured knowing that we’ve got it completely under control.
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