How To Care for Your Tree After Planting

How to water your tree

Water your new tree for 5 minutes with a garden hose on ½ household pressure 2-3 times a week (more often in hot weather).

Signs that a tree needs water: wilting, followed by browning off or crispy leaves and fall colouring or in severe cases, leaf drop. 

Yellowing leaves can be a sign that a tree has been watered too much.

Since roots grow where oxygen and water are most available, short and frequent watering will result in the development of a shallow root system. Watering deeply, thoroughly and only as needed will encourage a deep and healthy root system that will be able to withstand environmental stresses.


How to fertilize your tree

Fertilization at time of planting isn’t recommended. Research has shown that fertilization is ineffective until the tree has partially established its own root system.

A good rule of thumb is to wait six months after planting before adding any fertilization to the soil. 

Fertilize in Spring - the time of year when plants have their greatest flush of growth and therefore their greatest need for nutrients.


How to get quick establishment

The most important thing for quick establishment is knowing how to plant the tree right. Check out our tutorial on how to plant a tree here: 

You can also use Root Rescue to encourage quick establishment and root growth. We use this product on all our trees and we sell retail sized packages at the nursery.


Should you use mulch on your tree?

A circle of mulch placed around the newly planted tree will help retain soil moisture and help to prevent wide fluctuations in soil temperatures throughout the year.

Mulch should cover at least four times the diameter of the root ball at the time of transplanting and should be 2-4 inches deep outside the rootball. 

Studies have shown that wood-chip mulch can double the growth of the tree in the first couple of years after planting.

How to prune your tree?

New trees should only be pruned to remove damaged or broken branches. Maintenance pruning is needed to help maintain the health of growing trees.

Generally pruning should be done in late winter or very early spring when the tree is dormant.


Winter Care

Do not water heavily or fertilize with nitrogen in early fall or the plant’s dormancy will be delayed. 

Increase watering in late fall to provide trees with the water they need to withstand winter winds. 

Water evergreens very thoroughly throughout the growing season, lightly in early fall and then thoroughly before the soil freezes.


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