The curb appeal and beauty that your trees bring to your property makes them an investment worth caring for. This is one of the many reasons why it is so essential to maintain the health of the trees on your property.
Below are steps you can take to care for a new planting or an older, established tree.
Caring for a New Tree
Newly planted trees always require work and plenty of water to get established. Your local arborist, garden supply store, or nursery will often give you watering recommendations and information on how to properly plant your tree. Trees can cost a lot of money upfront but, once established, need much less maintenance.
Here is a handy key you can use when watering new trees. Please use our watering key along with the below tree care tips as you help your new planting grow:
Fall is often the best time to plant a new tree, so this is usually when one does the hard work for establishing a new tree through deep watering, keeping track of soil moisture, and mulching. However, if you planted your tree last fall, it’s still essential to weed around the tree, mulch, and keep it hydrated. You will want to keep a close eye on your tree’s health for the first 3-5 years after planing.
During winter months
Even though we are in the Pacific Northwest, the ground doesn’t always freeze on the first day of winter. That means you may still need to water your new planting at least once a week until the ground freezes. Ask your arborist as each situation is different.
Additional steps to take are:
- Adding another inch or so to your fall mulch.
- Wrapping the trunk with crepe paper wrap just before the freezing weather hits.
- Use a tree guard to protect new trunks from questing rabbits or other rodents.
- Clear any snow accumulation from branches to prevent breakage.
- Prune trees when it is most appropriate this may have many variables, consult with your arborist.
In the spring/summer
When the threat of a freeze is over, you can remove the tree wrappings and generally worry a little less about your newly planted tree. Though you should still try to keep weeds away from your new planting.
The main thing to do in spring and summer is to water the tree when the weather is consistently dry and keep an eye out for signs of distress. These include:
- Wilting, yellowing, curling or browning leaves.
- Sunburned or brown spotted leaves.
- Unseasonable or early leaf drop.
- Leaning tree.
- Splits or cracks in the tree.
- Injured or broken limbs.
- No leaves growing on your tree after winter.
Our team at Cascade Tree Works can work with you to discover the cause of these issues. Contact us today if you are concerned about the health of a newly planted tree.
Caring for an Established Tree
Homeowners often feel that trees can care for themselves after they have become established. While established trees require less active maintenance than new trees, they still need common care like pruning and watering. Here is a quick overview of the tree care you can practice to keep your landscape looking gorgeous.
Many of us heave a big sigh of relief over the springtime. Nature is doing our watering for us; we can remove any frost protection from our trees, and allow them to enjoy nature’s bounty. However, if you have spring flowering trees, the right time to prune is after they blossom. This means that you need to keep an eye on your lovely dogwoods or flowering crabapple trees and get them pruned once those flowers have dropped.
In the summer
Even if your tree has been planted for a long time and has an established root system, it still needs plenty of water. It’s important to water your tree in the dry summer months. We recommend watering at least once a week by setting up a soaker hose around the drip line (or outer reaches of your tree’s canopy). Then, allow the correct amount of water to soak into the soil over a few hours to support deep penetration into the roots. Ask your arborist to write you an irrigation plan.
Additionally, some fruit trees like cherry trees and dwarf trees need pruning in late summer. If you aren’t sure when to prune the trees on your property, call our arborists for a consultation.
We have had several Indian summers the last few years here in the Vancouver area. This means you should keep watering your trees and shrubs throughout the fall months until we start getting our usual rainy weather.
Additionally, fall is a great time to do a final weeding and mulch around the base of your tree. Just be sure to keep the mulch away from the trunk – creating more of a donut shape than a volcano.
During winter months
Late winter (meaning right now!) is a great time to get your trees and shrubs pruned. Contact Cascade Tree Works for tree pruning, professional tree care, tree maintenance, stump removal, or to connect with a certified arborist for a consultation. We are happy to provide you with a tailored health care plan for your trees.