Trees need continuous and regular care to ensure their health, and proper growth. So, it is important to have proper care and maintenance for trees and this involves a number of basic steps and tips which will be described in this article.

Mulching

Mulch is a layer of an organic material which is spread over the soil surface around the tree and it has several benefits including controlling and holding soil moisture, keeping weeds down, and enhancing visual beauty of landscape. To have proper mulching consider the following tips:

  • Spread out mulch in a donut shape around the tree base, so more water is held and distributed in an effective way to the tree’s root.
  • Avoid piling up mulch around the tree’s trunk because it can result in a serious damage to tree as it will keep the trunk humid, causing the tree to be susceptible to diseases and insects.

Watering

Newly planted trees are highly vulnerable as they have lost most of their root system during the transplanting process and are not able to collect enough water on their own so supplemental irrigation is highly needed for such young trees. In order to maintain the health of the trees follow these tips for watering process:

  • Give a tree between 10-15 gallons of water each week during growing season for every 1 inch of trunk and continue this for 2-3 years
  • Use a hose in a way to slowly dribble water under the tree extending from its trunk to furthest branches. Instead you can use a soaker hose which does not need to be moved very often and can water bigger area around the tree trunk.
  • Water slowly and avoid short and frequent watering to ensure water diffuses deep and slowly down into the soil and to the location where roots need it most.
  • Consider environmental conditions of trees when watering. Trees planted in windy locations need more water as more evapotranspiration takes places through their leaves.
  • Dig down the soil few inches every day to check it’s humidity and determine the tree’s watering needs
  • Do not plant flowers and grass near the tree’s trunk as they compete with trees for nutrients and water.

Pruning

Pruning is the process in which certain parts of trees including roots, branches, and buds are selectively removed in order to remove deadwood, maintaining health, shaping to direct and control growth, and increasing the health as well quality of fruits and flowers. Certain pruning practices may be needed for different types of trees, so it is important to consult with an expert to have proper pruning and maintaining tree’s health.

Staking

It is recommended to not stake trees as much as possible. If trees adopt themselves to the forces imposed by wind they become stronger. However, staking is typically needed for newly planted large tress such as fruit trees. There are a number of staking methods depending on several factors including type of tree, size of tree, and planting method.

  • Stakes should be penetrated at least 60 cm into the ground. If the stakes are not secured into the ground they will not properly anchor the plant.
  • Check stakes every year to remove tight tree ties or replace broken ties.
  • After severe weather conditions check stakes.
  • Remove stakes whenever tree can stand unsupported without bending, this may take between 18 months to 3 years depending on tree conditions.
Basic Tree Care and Maintenance
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