Archive for May, 2012

Aftercare Of Newly Planted Trees

Friday, May 11th, 2012

OK. So you got your tree(s) planted during the planting month (April). What do you need to do now? Just sit back and watch it grow? No, no, no says the old forester. It’s critical to keep a close eye on the newbies in order to assure they get off to a good start during their first growing season. Maybe you won’t really have to do much to assure their success; it all depends on the circumstances for the rest of this spring and summer. A good growing season usually lessens the need to take major actions to assure success, but vigilance is still necessary in order to prevent something from sneaking up on you and your tree.

1. Keep the soil around the roots moist but not too wet with routine watering. Saturated soil smothers roots. Buy a cheap rain gauge, if you don’t have one, so you can monitor rainfall at your place, instead of relying on the official weather station which may be located miles away. An average of one-half inch of moisture per week is usually sufficient for maintaining adequate soil moisture, although sandy soils may require a little more and clay soils a little less. Whatever you do, DON’T OVERWATER!

2. Spread mulch around the tree, if you haven’t done so. A 3-4 feet wide pile, about three inches deep, helps preserve moisture and protects the tree from lawnmower damage. MULCH IS A TREE’S BEST FRIEND!

3. REMOVE GUY WIRES OR SUPPORT STAKES FROM THE TREE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; and certainly by the end of the growing season. If the tree can stand on its own, it is usually anchored OK.

4. REMOVE DEAD OR BROKEN BRANCHES IMMEDIATELY; but don’t start any pruning regimen until age three. The new guy/gal in the yard needs as much foliage as possible to start regenerating roots.

5. CHECK REGULARLY FOR INSECT AND DISEASE ATTACKS. If you think corrective action is needed ask your local certified arborist or nurseryman for the proper treatment.

6. FERTILIZER IS SELDOM NEEDED; and is not a remedy for poor growing conditions. Later on, established trees’ growth may be increased by the judicious use of fertilizer, but this should only be done if recommended by a professional tree care adviser.