That nice little tree you planted last year is going to need special care now that summer is here. There’s an 18 percent mortality rate for newly planted trees, which points out the need to keep paying attention to your investment.
Here are some dos and don’ts for summer care:
- Avoid under-watering. Supply extra water to a tree for the first three years after transplanting. Soak the soil with a slow trickle of water to the depth of the roots – from 1 to 3 feet – at least once a week; more often in hot, dry weather. This equals a minimum of about 5 gallons per inch of tree trunk diameter.
- Don’t over-water. Tree roots need oxygen. If they are standing in water, they can actually “drown” for lack of oxygen.
- Watch weed whips and lawn mowers: The thin bark of young trees can be easily damaged. This damage hurts the tree’s ability to get the nutrients it needs to grow.
- Prune carefully: Over-pruning reduces a tree’s ability to get energy, and can encourage insect or disease problems.
- Don’t pile mulch against the trunk — it causes rot. Keep mulch at least 6” away from the trunk.
- Don’t stake too tightly — it can strangle your tree.
- Be careful with herbicides. Avoid ’weed & feed’ formulations around trees because they can slow growth.
Take a look at our video “Top Tree Killers to Avoid,” for tips on nurturing and protecting the trees on your property.
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