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Critical Care Tips for Young Trees

young tree care a man waters a young tree in his hard

Remember these critical care tips for your young trees this season!

If you planted trees last fall or early this spring, your young trees require attention and care to continue growing into full-size, healthy trees. The first few years are critical for establishing the long-term health of a tree. Proper watering, pruning, and other essential care will help your tree reach maturity while reducing future maintenance costs. If you want to ensure you provide your young trees with the very best care, Scientific Plant Service has a few tips to follow. If you are ever in doubt about tree care or interested in the very best services, you may contact the licensed arborists at Scientific Plant Service. We can help your young trees flourish and thrive. 

Preserve Young Trees and Conserve Water with Basic Watering Guidelines 

Your young trees need water to start on their path to healthy growth. However, there are ways you can smartly conserve water while providing your trees with the nourishment they need. Follow these guidelines: 

  • Deep Watering: Young trees need consistent watering for good health and disease prevention. Deep watering prevents weak surface roots and encourages the growth of strong deep roots, 
  • Check the Soil Moisture: Once a week, check the soil moisture at 4-6 inches below the surface. The soil should be moist but not wet. 
  • Look for Signs of Drought Stress: Are the leaves wilting, yellowing, browning, or curling? 
  • Plants and Weeds: Weeds and other plants compete with the tree for water and nutrients. Keep the tree base free of other plants like grass and weeds. 
  • Use Mulch: Cover the soil with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch, starting a few inches from the base and extending 1-2 feet from the tree in all directions. Mulch helps suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Make sure the mulch is not piled against the tree trunk.
  • Protect Trees from Chemicals: Herbicides can burn or damage the young tree’s leaves and roots. Exercise caution when using these treatments. 

Watering Young Trees in the First Year 

Your young trees have different watering needs as they age. For the first year, watering requirements are exact. After you plant your tree, through the first year, remember these tips: 

  • Three days after planting and if there has been no rain, fill the watering basin three times with a total of 15-20 gallons of water. This early watering is essential as the roots are most sensitive after planting. 
  • In the next three weeks and if there has been no rain, fill the basin once a week with 5-10 gallons of water. 
  • For the next six months and if there has been no rain, fill the basin every other week with 10-15 gallons of water. 
  • For the rest of the first year, water is used every other week, with 10-15 gallons of water in the absence of heavy rain. Roots need oxygen as much as they need water, so allowing the soil to drain and dry at this stage can help your trees grow. 

As always, remember to keep your new trees mulched to suppress weeds and protect the new roots from drying out. 

Can You Prune Young Trees? 

You may prune young trees to encourage healthy, full growth. When you do prune the trees, follow these steps: 

  • Remove the dead, dying, damaged, or diseased branches 
  • Select and establish the central leader (trunk)
  • Choose the lowest permanent branch (LPB) based on the location or purpose
  • Select and establish scaffold branches
  • Select the temporary branches below the LPB and remove or head back others 
  • Follow this link for pruning information provided by the University of Maryland:

Pruning young trees so a central leader, or trunk, is chosen means the tree grows more structurally sound. Without a central leader, the tree may need more pruning as it matures. Trees without a strong structure are also vulnerable to limb breakages during storms or heavy winds. If you want professional guidance when pruning, contact Scientific Plant Service today.

Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare

Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.

We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 26th, 2024 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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