News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company
While the rest of the country is bogged down in winter weather, we here in the Conejo Valley are enjoying plenty of sunshine with spring on the horizon. That means we have the opportunity to get a head start on planting new landscaping. If you decide to plant some news trees in your yard, then it’s important to take some steps to get your trees off to a healthy start. The good news is that taking care of your new trees doesn’t have to be complicated. Try these five tips to get it right.
Keep An Eye On Them
There are early signs that will alert you to your new tree’s health, and paying attention to these signs can help you avoid trouble later on. After you plant a young tree, every few days keep an eye out for:
- Leaf color: Leaves should be a bright and healthy-looking green; if you spot yellow or brown leaves (before next autumn), it could be a problem. Also look for white or black spots on the leaves — not a good thing.
- Leaf drop: There should not be any leaves dropping during spring or summer.
- Leaf wilt: There are a lot of things that can cause leaf wilt — keep a look out for scorched, burned, curled or drooping leaves.
- Dieback: Twigs or branches should not be dying in a newly planted tree. Also look out for single branches whose leaves are falling off.
- Peeling bark: Bark that is hanging off the tree is not a good sign.
If you spot any of these trouble signs, it’s time to give us a call. It’s crucial to take steps quickly before the tree is in danger of dying.
Water The Proper Amount
This one is a little tricky because there’s no set formula for the amount of water a new tree needs. Newly planted trees definitely need their root ball to remain moist — but shouldn’t remain soggy. They should get a good watering right after planting, then anywhere from four to 10 gallons per week for a few years.
Fertilize Your New Tree
Fertilizer is actually not “plant food.” It’s a combination of minerals and nutrients that may be lacking in the soil. In the Conejo Valley, we often have low levels of nitrogen in the soil, so it’s a good idea to give your new tree a boost of minerals and nutrients it might not get without help. For more information on choosing the right fertilizer, see our blog post about The Secret To Healthy Trees.
Adding mulch not only adds a nice finishing touch to your newly planted tree, it also helps your tree remain healthy. It can encourage growth, reduce evaporation, add nutrients, help control weeds, moderate temperature variations and reduce erosion.
One basic decision you’ll need to make is whether to use organic or inorganic mulch, with each having their own pros and cons. Read more about the proper use of mulch in The Beauty of Mulch.
Whichever form you choose, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep mulch at least four inches from the trunk.
- Create a mulch layer about 2-4 inches thick.
- Spread mulch out to the tree’s dripline.
Prune When Necessary
Soon after planting a new tree, it’s time to trim away any broken, defected or damaged branches. This will help prevent future problems. Then keep an eye on your tree. Young trees often sprout multiple branches that fight for room and the dominant position — in other words, to become the tree’s main trunk. If there is not a dominant trunk, the tree can have several strong branches but actually be weaker over time. That’s why it important to use correct pruning from the start. That will help the tree develop a foundation to help it thrive over time.
It may take a couple of growing seasons to identify the branches that are competing to become dominant. If your tree has several branches without one clearly dominant, it’s time to prune. Select the branch you want to become the trunk by looking for a central branch that’s free of damage, wounds or defects. Then shorten or remove competing branches.
As always, if you’re unsure of any technique for encouraging the health of your trees, give us a call. Trees are an investment in your property that will pay dividends over time!