Caring for trees

person watering tree with hose

Urban environments can be stressful places for trees to grow. So newly planted trees need special care to help them be healthy and grow to maturity. Mulching and watering trees is an easy way to care for your trees.

Water your trees

Newly planted trees

Newly planted trees need 15-25 gallons of water once a week for the first 3 to 5 years when the ground is thawed. You can skip watering if it has rained more than 1 inch in a week. Weekly watering sounds expensive but costs less than a cup of coffee.

How to Water a Tree video with audio narration


Mature trees

During drought, water mature trees once a week preferably in the early morning or in the late evening to conserve water. Use a soaker hose to slowly drip water onto the ground under the entire canopy of the tree (from the trunk to the edge). Water long enough so water soaks 6 inches into the soil – this could take a few hours.

black soaker hose under pine tree with water dripping from them.

Mulch your tree

Mulch that covers a tree's roots provides numerous benefits. It keeps the roots cool and moist in the summer. It protects tree roots from freezing in the winter. Mulch adds nutrients and organic matter to the soil, and reduces competition with weeds. Mulch also keeps weed whips and lawnmowers away from a tree's trunk.

How to Mulch a Tree video with audio narration.


Prune your tree

Trees should be pruned when they are young, so they grow strong branch attachments and good structure, which reduces the damage a tree experiences during storms. Proper pruning techniques speed up the time a pruning wound heals and decreases the formation of rot in a tree. Consider hiring a trained tree care professional to prune your trees.

Pruning small branch

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