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Nov 07

Care for Young Trees

Posted on November 7, 2018 at 1:07 PM by Adam Rosen

Often we think nature will just take care of newly-planted trees for us, when in fact trees planted in a residential setting need attention, especially during the first few years. Check out these tips on how to care for your young trees.

First Year

• Leave as many limbs on the tree as possible. Keeping these extra limbs provides the maximum leaf surface to manufacture food, which enables the trunks of young trees to grow stronger more rapidly.
• Only prune if absolutely necessary; cut only dead/broken branches or sprouts growing directly out of the base of the trunk or touching the ground.

Second and Third Year
• Perform minimal pruning that will encourage good structure: remove rubbing branches and any branches below knee height. You can also thin the tree’s canopy by removing a few branches here and there to help the tree withstand monsoon storms better.
• Remember, it is important to prune cautiously. It takes years for a tree to develop strong trunk and branch structure.

Watering
• Over-watering your young tree can have an adverse effect to the point of causing root rot.
• Desert adapted trees need less water than non-native trees; nonetheless, all young trees need to be closely monitored.
• Check the soil moisture around the base of your young tree with a screwdriver. If it goes into the soil easily, there is enough moisture. If it is difficult to push the screwdriver into the soil, you may need to increase the duration or frequency of watering.
• When adding drip irrigation, do not place the emitters directly on the root ball or base of the trunk.