Newly-planted trees and shrubs require special care. To properly establish newly-planted trees and shrubs, regular watering is key for the first year. Do not water in small amounts every day, but instead water to the saturation point and then allow the soil to dry out before the next watering. When checking the soil, make sure to feel for the moisture level in the root ball, not the surrounding soil. Continue regular irrigation into the fall until the plant loses its leaves or, for evergreens, until the ground freezes.
It typically takes one to two years for a newly-planted tree’s roots to grow into the surrounding soil and stabilize it. Proper watering will encourage root growth and shorten the amount of time it takes for a tree to stabilize itself. If your trees were staked at the time of installation, check the straps frequently to make sure they are secure and not cutting into the tree bark. Be sure to remove the stakes before the straps begin to harm the tree.
Established trees and shrubs don’t require a lot of maintenance. Take a few minutes each month to look for damage from insects, animals or disease. If damage is found, talk to a local nursery or garden center for remedies. Bring a picture or sample from the plant to assist in the diagnosis of the issue.
Annual or semi-annual pruning may be necessary depending on the species of the plant. It is a good practice to regularly remove:
– Dead branches
– Broken branches
– Branches that rub against other branches