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Tree Care Tips – How to Care For Your Trees

Trees are important to the environment and add beauty to our homes. However, they also need proper care to ensure their growth and longevity. Ignoring their needs can lead to abnormal growth, diseases, pest infestations, and even death. By following these tree care tips, you can help your trees flourish through the worst Mother Nature can throw at them.


The most critical step in any tree care routine is planting the right tree for the climate and site conditions. A poorly-sited or planted tree can be a serious liability to your property and family, as it will be less likely to survive.

Make sure the root ball is large enough for the tree’s size and that the roots are moist. Then, gently place the soil and mulch ring around the base of the tree. This raised ring acts as a “dish” to collect water and provide a steady supply to the roots as it percolates through the soil.


Mulch can be a tree’s best friend by keeping weeds away, insulating the soil, and discouraging power tools from hitting the bark (such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, and edging tools). It can also release organic matter into the soil as it decays. When applying mulch, be sure that it does not touch the trunk of the tree as this can lead to fungus and disease problems. Instead, mulch a wide circle three to four inches deep around the tree and keep it away from the bark.


Regular and deep watering is essential for any newly planted tree to get established and grow strong. When watering, soak the ground to a depth of nine to twelve inches rather than just watering the surface. This allows the water to penetrate deeply into the soil, and it will encourage root growth that is away from the trunk.

Avoid overwatering, as this can cause a variety of issues. It can promote shallow, slender roots that are more susceptible to rot, and it can create a wet root zone where pathogens can thrive. In addition, overwatering can cause the salts in fertilizers to leach out into the soil and damage trees.


While it may seem counterintuitive to prune a newly planted tree, proper formative pruning can be beneficial to its health and longevity. During the first few years after planting, remove competing leading shoots and concentrate on building a strong leader. This can prevent a weak or dying tree in the future and reduce the risk of major branch failure in later life.

Lastly, always prune to the recommended height for your species and follow proper pruning techniques. Proper pruning can improve the health of a tree, increase its stability in the ground, and reduce the likelihood of insect damage and disease. For additional information about pruning, check out the ISA website or contact your local arborist.

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