Aftercare for Newly Planted Trees

Learn new tips and techniques for tree care to ensure longevity for your new trees.

| March 2018

The Tree Doctor: A Guide to Tree Care and Maintenance(Firefly, 2017), by Daniel and Erin Prendergast, teaches readers the basics of caring for trees. Learn how to select, plant and care for new trees, diagnose diseases, as well as how to select an arborist for tree removal for the end of a trees’ life. Find this excerpt from Chapter 3, “Planting and Care.”

Care after Planting

Since trees are such a visible part of the landscape, care must be taken to ensure that proper growth conditions are maintained. Trees lose 70 to 95 percent of their root mass when transplanted. It usually takes trans­planted trees one year for every inch of trunk diameter to regenerate their root mass.

Pruning at the time of planting is not recommended and should be limited to deadwood, broken branches and damaged limbs. Corrective pruning activity — such as pruning interfering limbs, poorly spaced limbs and weak crotches — should wait until the tree is established, after one or two growing seasons.

Live Long and Prosper

Help ensure that your trees enjoy a long life by completing the following maintenance tasks:

Stake only when necessary: Most newly planted trees do not need to be staked. However, if you’re planting in an open, windy area, staking a young tree provides it with support until its root system is established in the new location.

Mulch: Use only organic mulch, such as wood chips or bark chips.

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