Whether you’re replacing an old, damaged tree that had to be removed or you’re planting a new tree, it takes time, care and consideration. You want your new tree to flourish, especially in the critical period — its first growing season on your land.
You must do the following four tasks to encourage healthy growth after planting a new tree.
1. Stick to a Strict Watering Schedule
The amount of water your new tree needs depends on the condition of the soil and the type of tree. At a minimum, it should be watered daily in the first two weeks after planting. This period is when it is expending the most energy to establish roots in its new home. It needs water to fuel this effort.
The soil surrounding the base should always be kept moist. But don’t confuse “moist” with “soggy.” Just as a lack of water will hurt the young tree, too much water inhibits healthy growth as well.
From weeks three to 12, you can begin moving toward watering it every two to three days. From 12 weeks on, water your young tree once a week until roots are fully established. Depending on the type of tree, this can take one and a half to nine years.
2. Spread the Right Amount of Mulch
Don’t underestimate the role of mulch. Mulch helps your tree grow in a myriad of ways, but primarily it keeps water from evaporating from the soil. This is key in dry climates like Utah’s. Mulch also helps to quell weed growth and acts as a protective layer that insulates the tree’s roots against extreme summer and winter temperatures.
It guards the tree from damage by lawn care equipment and it enhances the health of the underlying soil.
After planting a new tree, remove turf and weeds from the base of the tree and spread a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the trunk that extends a few feet out in all directions.
3. Don’t Overdo the Pruning
Newly planted trees should not be pruned excessively, or their growth over the next year will be limited. Remove any severely damaged or diseased limbs, but consult with your arborist to ensure this trimming is minimal and completed correctly.
4. Follow Your Arborist’s Instructions
Above all else, make sure you follow your arborist’s guidelines when it comes to caring for your new tree.
Some trees may benefit from fertilization, while it’s better to hold off on fertilizing for the first year for others. Some trees may need to be staked to develop properly, while some will grow stronger without this assistance. You need a professional’s opinion to make sure you’re executing the right kind of care.
Rivendell Tree Experts is here for you. When you’re planting a new tree at your Utah home or business, call our team for guidance and hands-on help. We are the local tree experts you can count on.