Caring for your trees properly is important to make sure you get the most out of them. Using our experience as long time arborists in Newcastle, we have put together this guide to caring for your tree.
- Finding the Right Tree
Proper tree care begins with selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place. You should consider:
- Your location and weather – these will have a tremendous impact on what trees will grow.
- Limitations on growth, such as overhead wires that will limit the growth of tall species.
- What are the soil conditions on your property? These will impact which types of tree can grow there.
- Planting Correctly
To make sure your tree has the right start in life you need to plant it correctly. Each tree has different needs, but some general guidelines apply:
- Don’t make the hole you’re planting in too deep or too narrow as this can deprive the roots of oxygen and constrict their growth.
- The width of the hole should be at least three times the diameter of the root ball or the spread of the roots if they’re loose.
- Make sure you break up the sides of the hole a bit before planting, as a smooth wall can prevent water passing through easily.
- Plant your trees quickly – bare root trees in particular need to be planted as soon as possible.
- Mulching Is Vital
Mulch is a newly planted tree’s best friend. Mulch insulates the soil, helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold temperatures. Mulch also retains water to keep the roots moist and keeps weeds out to help prevent root competition and prevents soil compaction.
When putting mulch down around your tree, make sure it doesn’t touch the trunk itself.
- Water Your Tree Properly
It is vital to water your tree as soon as it is planted and to maintain a watering schedule for the first two years of its life. During that time, your tree will be expending a lot of energy trying to get its roots established in the soil. You can make this easier by providing water and covering the soil with wood-chip mulch. Deep watering can help speed up the root establishment. The frequency of watering and how much water you use will depend on the exact tree you’re looking after.
- Pruning for Health, Safety, and Aesthetics
Pruning is important not just for your tree’s health, but also for making sure it is safe and looks attractive. It’s important to prune at the right time and in the right way.
While very light pruning for style or the removal of dead or diseased branches can be carried out anytime, you need to be careful with more extensive pruning. Exactly when you should prune your trees will depend on what species they are, but generally either dormant pruning in winter or summer pruning makes the most sense.
Winter pruning leads to vigorous rebirth in spring, whereas summer pruning is best for directing or slowing a tree or branches growth. Always make sure your tools are very sharp and never remove more than a quarter of the tree’s crown.
If you are unsure about pruning or the tree is very large, it’s best to hire a professional tree maintenance service.