If you recently planted a new tree in your yard, you know this first year will be critical to its survival. Trees need special care and attention in their early years. Everything you do, or fail to do, for the tree will contribute to its long-term health.
Obviously this means that your young trees will need you to put in quite a bit of time into their care. Activities like mulching, pruning, and watering should be done properly for the best results. Taking the time to learn how to do things right and adding these activities to your schedule is important.
The process of transplant is hard on a young tree. Many trees do not survive the shock of a transplant and the top reason involves water. Too little irrigation will kill a newly planted tree, but so will excess water if the tree is allowed to sit in it. Why is watering a newly transplanted tree such an important issue? All trees uptake water from their roots. When you buy a young tree to plant in your backyard, its root system has been cut way back no matter how the tree is presented. Bare root trees, balled-and-burlapped trees and container trees all require regular and consistent watering until their root systems reestablish. Read more at Gardening Know How…
Other factors will come into play when determining how to properly water your young trees. They include the amount of rainfall, temperatures, and wind conditions in King William County, for instance. Young trees should receive about 25 gallons of water (or 1.5 inches of rainfall) every week.
Another activity that is vital for most young trees is mulching. This helps to control the growth of grass and weeds, as well as keeping the soil around the tree moist.
Good choices for mulch include shredded bark, wood chips and compost made from leaves.
Avoid techniques like the “volcano mulching” technique. In other words, do not pile mulch up around your tree trunk. If you do this, you can actually kill your tree. The roots can rot, you can mess up the pH of the soil, and you can also develop pest problems.
Instead, stick with the 3-3-3 rule. This means you should use around 3 inches of mulch and place it in a 3-foot ring around the trunk, leaving a 3-inch space. The resulting shape will resemble a donut. Read more at The Impatient Farmer…
Mulching also helps to protect the tree roots against extreme temperatures. So it’s especially important to get it done before winter.
It’s also important to note that young saplings may hang down and seem a little limp. This is no cause for worry, as new trees sometimes need some help. Some support stakes may be helpful in such a situation. But be careful not to overdo it:
Trees need to move and sway in the breeze to help them grow strong roots and trunks, and lashing the trunk to a stake or wire prevents that natural movement. “When the stakes are removed (if they ever are), the lack of trunk and root development makes these trees prime candidates for breakage or blow-down,” Chalker-Scott says. If you must stake in a high-wind area that's okay, but set a calendar reminder to remove stakes or guy wires six months after installing. Read more at Better Homes & Gardens…
In addition, be sure to leave some room for the trunk to move and sway when tying it to the stake. This will encourage strong trunk growth, without leaving it susceptible to breakage. In addition, ensure the tree can sway without rubbing on the stake or tie, and that the stem is not under pressure from the tie.
Pruning young trees is generally not recommended. However, it is sometimes necessary; like when a tree has two competing leading shoots. For this, it’s important to get expert help and advice. Are your young trees in need of pruning? Call the tree trimming experts at Steadfast Tree Care for the best tree care services in West Point.