Once a tree is well-established, it is relatively low maintenance. You do need to take good care of the tree just after it has been planted to ensure that it gets the very best start in life. In this post, we will look at ways to do that.
This is not something that you should do as a matter of course. If you stake a tree, it does not have to form as extensive a root system to support itself. However, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Like when you are planting trees as a windbreak, and there is the risk that they might blow away.
To get staking right, start with using the right materials and techniques. You want material that is not going to bite into the bark of the tree. An old t-shirt or piece of inner tube is ideal. Tie this lightly around the stake and tree so that the tree is still able to move at least an inch or two.
The stake should be removed at the latest after the first year so that the roots also get a chance to dig in and do their job.
Test the Soil
You want to make sure that your new tree has enough of the right nutrients and that the soil is at the optimal pH level. Testing the soil will tell you if you need to make adjustments as needed. This is a much more accurate way of ensuring that the plant gets what it needs.
The effects of the tree having access to too many nutrients can be just as serious as the effects of them not having enough nutrients.
Whether to mulch or not depends on the natural growing conditions of the tree. Mulching helps the soil to retain moisture for longer, but too much moisture in the soil is also not optimal. Soil that is too wet is at risk of developing root rot and or a fungal infection.
Find out from the nursery that you got the tree from what the best course of action is. If mulching is recommended, it is best to stick to wood chips, needles or leaves. These are what you would naturally find in nature around the base of a tree.
Put a layer of no more than two or three inches of mulch around the tree. In many cases, it is not necessary to mulch.
New trees do need watering, but you need to make sure that you do it properly. Here testing the soil moisture levels can be of good use. You also need to go deeper than just thumb-level like you would normally do when planting a flower or vegetable seedling.
A piece of doweling rod around a foot long could be helpful here. Otherwise, some similarly sized object would do as well. Use this to check the moisture levels deeper down in the soil.
Water when the soil needs it. You want the roots to stay moist but not to drown them or dry them out too much. Rather do a deep watering once or twice a week. This will do a lot more good than several bouts of shallow watering.
Looking after your new tree requires a bit more work to start off with, but the rewards, later on, are well worth the effort. If you need help, call the pros here at Brunswick Tree Service.