The first five years of your tree is critical for its long-term health. Here are 5 Steps to Take Care of Young Trees! These five years serve as a foundation of the overall health of your tee/s, so if you can do well during this stage, then it is likely that you will have a beautiful, healthy, and mature tree in the future.
Not to mention, it will reduce your maintenance costs as well.
5 Steps to Take Care of Young Trees
So, how are you going to take care of your young tree? Here are some guidelines:
1. Deep Watering
Watering is one of the keys to making your tree grow healthy. It also helps in disease prevention in the future. For the first five years, we will focus on deep watering as it will encourage the roots to grow underground and not on the surface.
These are some of the tips on how to water your tree within the 5 years:
After 3 days: Use a total of 15-20 gallons of water for the initial watering. This is very important because it is during this period that the roots are the most sensitive.
For the next 3 weeks: Water your tree once a week with 5-10 gallons of water.
For the next 6 months: During this period, you can water your plant every week or every other week, still, with 5-10 gallons of water.
For the remaining time of year 1: You can water your tree every other week with 10-15 gallons of water (this is if you don’t experience rain in your area). The trees’ roots will need oxygen, so make sure to mulch your tree as well to suppress weeds and prevent them from competing with your growing tree.
Watering becomes a little less frequent during this time. With 15-20 gallons of water, you can water every two to four weeks. Again, this is provided that rain is scarce in your area.
The roots start to grow out during this period so allow your seeds to seek moisture. Thus, deep watering is essential so it can penetrate further underground.
Maintain your water basin.
For this period, you can water your tree at least once a month with an increased volume of 20-30 gallons of water. Deep watering every month can further encourage growth while conserving water at the same time.
Over the next two summers, try experimenting by decreasing the frequency of watering but increasing duration and the coverage.
Take note of prolonged dry periods and make sure your tree still gets enough moisture. By this time, you are already more familiar with the needs of your tree/s so you will be able to identify how much water it needs.
Between this period, your tree should already gain ground.
2. Check Soil Moisture
You can get a pack in your local hardware store to check in the moisture of your soil. During the five-year duration, it is essential to keep the soil moist because this is a time when the roots are expanding for growth.
Being able to monitor the soil moisture is essential to make sure that your tree is getting what it needs. Also, be careful not to overwater your tree as this can have some negative consequences. Follow the suggested in-depth watering tips mentioned above to avoid over-watering.
Mulching is another technique that is important to use especially that it helps retain soil moisture, suppress the growth of weeds, and it repels pests. It is recommended that you cover the soil with a 3 to 5-inch layer of mulch and start a few inches from the base of the trunk. Extend your mulch to 1-2 feet from the tree and do this in all directions, thus creating a circle.
4. Check signs of drought stress
This is particularly true during the summer season when the temperature is too high. Check your tree from time to time. If you can observe signs like wilting leaves, yellowing, curling or browning of the edges, it’s a signal that you need to take action.
5. Protect Young Trees from Chemicals
Do not use pesticides or herbicides on your tree or trees located near it. It can damage the roots and leaves of your young tree and will be detrimental to its overall growth and health.
If you read this article on 5 Steps to Take Care of Young Trees because you’re concerned that you are not caring for your young tree as you should, and you want to find a local tree company that can help you care for your trees, here are some great local NYC tree companies by borough: