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How Do You Take Care Of Young Trees?

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    Young trees in the yard, those that are less than three to five years old, require specific attention to ensure the establishment and rapid growth of the tree. An appropriate root system as well as a robust and supporting branch structure can be developed with early care. The amount of effort and money spent on training a young tree is far less than the amount of time and money spent addressing problems as the tree matures.

    It may be necessary to stake, wrap, and perform corrective pruning on young trees. Growth can be sped up with the help of appropriate mulching and effective management of competition. For optimal development, trees need a large supply of readily available water as well as specific components. Young trees have to be protected from things like lawnmowers and weed eaters, as well as vandals and construction work.

    It is extremely important for the long-term health of the tree that you tend to it diligently throughout the first three years after planting it. During this phase of its development, the tree is less able to take in the water and nutrients it requires, and it is also more susceptible to being damaged by external forces.

    This concise guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you require to maintain the health of your tree during its most formative years. If you give your tree the attention and care it needs, it will bring you pleasure and advantages for many years to come.

    Tree Care Tips For Young Trees

    If you planted whips, also known as young trees, during National Tree Week in November, your trees are still in a vulnerable period of their growth, and the winter season might be difficult for them. Without proper care and attention, a significant number of newly planted trees may not make it to adulthood. If you follow the advice in this article, you can ensure that your trees continue to enjoy outstanding health far into the spring and beyond.

    • If there are no leaves, search for green under the bark of twigs (scrape the surface with a fingernail or knife) and living buds to determine whether or not the item is still alive. Fill up any holes that may be present in the dirt around the roots, then pat the newly added soil down with your foot to compact it. Additionally, compact the dirt around any plants that may have been uprooted as a result of the frost. If the soil is soggy, the surplus liquid should be channelled or drained away from the tree. Examine the area for signs of disease and vermin. Be on the lookout for anything unconventional or novel, as shifting dangers might be a consequence of alterations to land usage.
    • Keep trees well-watered: During the first several years of their lives, trees frequently require some assistance in order to maintain adequate levels of hydration. If there is a frost, this may become an even more critical consideration. I really appreciate your help. The application of a layer of organic mulch around your trees that is between 5 and 7 centimetres thick (while avoiding direct contact with the trunk) has a dual purpose: it insulates the tree roots against severe temperatures and it prevents water from evaporating from the soil. Check this list of affordable Perth Arborist  to help you decide which services to choose. 
    • Be sure to stand your ground: Tree guards are designed to prevent animals, such as mice and rabbits, as well as deer and horses, from causing damage to young trees by eating the shoots and leaves of the tree or tearing the bark off of it. Check the guards in the spring and the fall to confirm that they are functional (there is no missing bark or twigs that have been bitten off or broken off) and that they are not rubbing or cutting into the tree.

    – If a guard is inadequate, add more protection, e.g. a taller tube to protect against deer or fencing to keep off cows and other farm animals.– Repair/replace damaged guards.


    – If a guard is damaging the tree, adjust, modify or replace it.– Remove the guard when the risk of damage no longer exists.

    • And the stakes you have: You can secure your tree with stakes during its first year of life to lessen the likelihood that it will be uprooted or broken by high winds. When you are tying the tree to the stake, make sure there is room for the trunk to move and swing. This will foster the growth of a robust trunk. Make sure you check on the stake as well as the tie. The tree should be able to sway without rubbing against the stake or the knot when this is in place. It is important that the tie not put any pressure on the stem of the tree. Does the tree still require a stake to be held down? Check this in the spring by removing the tie around the tree's trunk; if it continues to stand straight, the stake can be removed. If the tree begins to lean and the roots begin to shift, re-tie it to a stake that is shorter.
    • Getting rid of the weeds: At a distance of at least half a metre around the stem, gently pull up or hoe any grass and weeds (so as not to damage the roots) that may be present. Cover the newly cleared area with a mulch mat, bark or brushwood chippings, or an old piece of carpet that is water-permeable in the early part of the year when the soil is still damp. This helps to conserve moisture close to the roots, decreases competition from weeds, and lowers the chance of the tree being damaged by grass-cutting equipment. In addition to this, it eliminates the requirement that potentially harmful grass-cutting machinery be located anywhere near the tree.
    • Keep unwanted bugs at bay: It is a favourite activity of mice, rabbits, voles, and deer to gnaw through the bark of young trees in order to get at the softer material that lies underneath. This behaviour can be disastrous for a young tree. A tree's trunk will be better protected from pests if you leave some distance between the mulch and the tree's main trunk. Make routine inspections of your trees; if you discover signs of hungry insects, you can safeguard your trees with plastic tree guards or wire cages about a quarter of an inch in diameter. It is recommended that you wait until the tree has reached a height of three metres before removing the tree guards.
    • You should prune your trees: Careful formative pruning can prevent problems in later life, but it shouldn't be done until the tree has gone into hibernation for the winter. This is to prevent new growth from sprouting, which would be too susceptible to survive the colder winter months. If a tree has two competing leading shoots, eliminating one of them at an early stage so that there is only one primary shoot can rescue the tree from the possibility of significant branch collapse in the years to come. Cut away any branches that are dead or dying that are close to the trunk using a sharp saw, but be careful not to remove the bulge that is near the trunk (called the collar). Cut perpendicular to the branch to make a clean cut and minimise the amount of damage done to the tree's bark.

    You may increase the likelihood that your newly planted trees will survive the harsh winter months by providing them with some basic tree care. Soon it will be spring, which means it is time to start pulling weeds! After planting the tree, you should check on it in March or April of each year for the next few years to see how it is doing and to make any necessary adjustments.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    When planting a new tree, you may wonder if you need to take any special measures to protect it from the elements. One common practice is to cover young trees with burlap or other protective materials. However, there are a few things to consider before taking this step. For starters, only cover trees that are less than two years old. 

    Once a tree is older, it is better able to withstand wind, rain, and other weather conditions. In addition, make sure to remove the coverings during periods of warm weather. The tree needs sunlight to photosynthesise and produce food for itself.

    Too much heat can damage the tree, so it's important to provide ventilation. If you decide to cover your young tree, be sure to do so properly to give it the best chance of survival.

    When it comes to young trees, many people are unsure about whether or not to trim them. On the one hand, it can be tempting to let them grow unchecked, but on the other hand, trimmed trees tend to be more aesthetically pleasing.

    So, what is the right course of action? In general, it is best to trim young trees regularly. This helps to encourage growth and also prevents the formation of weak or damaged branches. 

    However, it is important to use a light hand when trimming, as too much pruning can damage the tree. As a rule of thumb, only remove about one-third of the total length of each branch. With this in mind, trimming young trees can help them grow strong and healthy.

    Fertiliser is essential for young trees as it helps them develop a strong root system and produces healthy foliage. However, not all fertilisers are created equal. The best fertiliser for young trees is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Nitrogen helps to promote leaf growth, phosphorus promotes root growth, and potassium aids in the tree's overall health. It is also important to choose a fertiliser specifically designed for young trees. 

    Young trees have different nutrient requirements than mature trees, so using a fertiliser that is too strong can do more harm than good. With so many different fertilisers on the market, it can be not easy to know which one to choose. However, by following these guidelines, you can be sure to find the best fertiliser for your young trees.

    Young trees need a lot of care and attention to grow into healthy adults. One of the most important things you can do for a young tree provides it with the right nutrients. While mature trees can get by on rainwater and the occasional dose of fertiliser, young trees need a more reliable source of nutrition. The best way to achieve this is through deep root feeding. 

    This involves injecting a nutrient-rich solution directly into the soil around the tree's roots. The solution then seeps down to the roots, providing them with a steady supply of nourishment. Deep root feeding effectively ensures that your young trees get the food they need to thrive.

    Tree pests can do a lot of damage, both to the tree itself and its property. Not only can they pose a health hazard to people and animals, but they can also destroy crops, contaminate food sources, and spread disease. Fortunately, a few simple steps can be taken to protect young trees from pests. One of the most important things to do is keep the area around the tree clean and free of debris. 

    This will remove potential hiding places for pests and make it easier to spot them if they do appear. In addition, regularly checking the tree for signs of damage or infestation can help identify problems early on. Finally, if pests are found, there are a number of effective treatments that can be used to get rid of them. By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure that your young tree stays healthy and pest-free.

    When To Prune A Young Tree

    When trimming a young tree, it is important to avoid being overly aggressive. It is recommended that a young tree be left alone for the first year after it has been planted, with the exception of the removal of any limbs that are diseased or broken. Consider dividing the young tree in your mind into thirds. This is a decent rule of thumb. The roots make up one third, the trunk makes up another third, and the remaining third is made up of the leaf portion.

    It is possible that the tree will never recover from having so much of its leaves removed that the area is reduced to less than a third of its previous size. When too much foliage is removed from a tree, it causes the tree stress since photosynthesis and the production of food require a specific amount of foliage. You should wait a few years before cutting the lowest limbs of the tree in order to make room for the sidewalk or road.

    Young trees planted along streets and in shade need to have their branches pruned. The benefits of early pruning include an improvement to the overall structure as well as the correction of branch faults. Problems that are eliminated through early pruning have a much lower potential to become serious in middle life and old age. By removing duplicate or co-dominant leaders through the process of pruning, a dominant central leader can be developed and maintained in street and shade trees (forks).

    Determine early on who will be the main leader, and be sure to keep the side branches robust. Later on in its life, these side branches will eventually develop into the principal branches that sustain the weight of the tree. Remove any branches that are broken, diseased, or dead. Remove any branches that are crossing or are distorted. Planning for a  tree lopping, pruning, wood chipping, mulching, palm removing & stump grinding? At Tree Amigos, you can find high quality and affordable arborist services for your needs.

    On both the street trees and the shade trees, the main side branches should develop singly and alternately. On the other hand, trees like ash and maple commonly have primary branches that occur in pairs all along the main stem of the tree. Alternately, they can be pruned up to a height of 12 to 18 feet. Pick off and prune the larger side branches, leaving between 24 and 36 inches of space between them on alternate sides of the stem. Choose branches that have attachment angles that are wide, often between 60 and 90 degrees between the trunk and the branch. Remove all basal sprouts and waterspouts from the plant.

    When done correctly, the removal of branches via pruning results in the smallest possible wound. It takes longer for larger wounds to heal than they do for smaller ones. It is not necessary to use wound paints, and using them does not help prevent wood degradation or hasten the process of wound closure. It is important not to prune too much or remove too much leaves. Always ensure that the tree retains at least two-thirds of its height in its living crown. The development, health, and vitality of a tree are all improved when additional leaves are allowed to remain on the tree while also ensuring that the tree receives the necessary amount of moisture and other nutrients.


    We strongly suggest that you plant your tree either in the beginning of the spring or the beginning of the fall. These are the best times of the year for the soil conditions and the natural cycle of a tree.

    To properly plant your tree, you will need to dig a hole that is two to three times wider than the container it came in, but the depth should remain the same. You can even use the container as a measuring device for your hole, and you should stop digging when the top of the container is even with the surrounding ground.

    After that, combine any starting fertiliser, compost, or other soil additions with the native soil that you dug out of its previous location. You'll want to be sure that the soil mixture you use can hold on to the appropriate quantity of water and nutrients while also allowing for sufficient drainage.

    Remove your tree carefully from its container, and then carefully remove the burlap from around the root ball. To prevent the roots of the tree from becoming overly compacted, massage the sides and bottom of the roots gently.

    Backfill the hole underneath the tree's roots with the mixture of soil and compost you previously removed, and then position the tree so that the soil it arrived in is at the same level as the surrounding ground. While you are working on the backfill, it is helpful to have a friend or family member help you keep the tree in place. They can also assist you in planting your tree in a proper direction. As you move through the process, pat the dirt lightly.

    After the tree has been secured in place, any tree stands or other support systems can be attached to the tree. After the first growing season, most trees do not require tree stakes since their natural movement in the wind helps to promote the growth of robust root support.

    Protect the bark of the young trunk by encasing any cables that extend from the tree stand in a barrier of some kind, such as a piece of old garden hose that has been broken up into smaller pieces, for instance.

    The space should then be covered with mulch. Maintain a level layer of mulch that is approximately 2 to 3 inches thick. Also, make sure that the mulch does not contact the trunk of the tree. For your new tree to have a good growth, the mulch needs to be at least three or four inches away from the trunk. Wood chips and other forms of organic debris are effective at preventing water loss and feeding the soil with nutrients.


    The majority of newly formed young trees are able to withstand the wind on their own. Young trees that have unusually long new branches or those that are located in areas that are frequently subjected to wind may require anchoring in order to remain upright.

    Anchorage staking involves using stakes to keep the roots or root ball in place until the roots become firmly established. Anchorage can be achieved using two or three shorter stakes.

    Extend the stakes so that they are between 12 and 18 inches above the ground, and then loop one tie strap securely over each stake as well as the tree trunk. A low attachment prevents the root ball from becoming dislodged while still allowing for movement at the top. The use of stakes is only intended to be temporary. Make frequent inspections of the ties.

    Support stocking is used to assist trees whose trunks are either not strong enough to stand erect or do not recover to their upright position after being bent over. To allow for the greatest amount of flexibility while yet providing support, prop the top up about a foot and a half above the lowest position at which it is possible to hold the trunk and keep it standing. It is necessary to provide the trunk with support in order for it to be able to flex without rubbing against the stakes or ties. Ties shouldn't irritate the sensitive bark or girdle the growing trunk in any way. The tree is held upright by support staking until it is strong enough to stand on its own.

    If the young trees can already support themselves, there is no need to stake them. In the event that you are required to stake a tree, shield the bark from the guidewire by constructing a rubber collar out of scraps of old hose. In order to prevent the wire from falling, it should be positioned above the crotch. When staking a tree, make sure to give enough space for the tree to sway in the wind; over time, the tree's roots will take up the role of anchoring the plant. Remove all staking materials once the first year has passed.


    Wrapping might be beneficial for newly planted trees with thin bark, such red maples or cherry, especially if the trees are young. Thin Trees with bark that are placed in hot locations are more likely to suffer from sunscald, whereas trees that are planted in the spring are more likely to suffer from sunburn. Sunscald is caused when the cambium of thin-barked trees gets too hot, which can happen on sunny days in the fall or winter.

    The cambium may be destroyed due of the high temperatures caused by the summer sun. Cambium cells in the trunk can also be killed when cold temperatures follow periods of warm temperatures. Long scars that extend vertically down the trunk can be seen all the way from the lowest branches to the ground. The damage typically manifests itself on the side of the trunk that faces south-west.

    It is common practise to plant trees on the north-west side of a property in order to shield it from the wind; yet, the wind itself may cause the trees to dry up. In addition, trees were planted on the south-east side of the property in order to offer shade for the house. However, the bark of these trees is susceptible to sun-scald if it is not treated properly. One strategy to protect oneself from potential harm is to ensure that the landscape has trees of the appropriate species. Oaks, on the other hand, are not typically prone to sunscald or desiccation caused by the wind like other trees like maple and poplar are.

    When protecting young trees against sunscald, protect the trunks of the trees with tree wrap. The tree wrap has holes punched in it, and the side with the rough texture should be placed against the tree's bark. Wrap it securely enough to keep it in place, but not so securely that it prevents air from reaching the bark. Wrapping young trees in tree wrap can also help prevent them from becoming frozen. Burlap should never be used to wrap tree trunks because it tends to retain moisture, which can lead to problems with fungi and bacteria. After a few years, you should take off the trunk wrap.

    Young tree trunks can be shielded from damage and their cambiums insulated using commercial tree wraps or plastic tree guards. Wrapping young trees in tree wraps also protects them from being girdled by rats. Beginning at the bottom of the trunk, wrap your way up to the lowest limbs in the tree.

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    You should overlap each layer by a half an inch. The tree should be wrapped in the fall, and the wrapping should remain in place through the winter and into the early spring. Wrapping trees is only a temporary measure that is no longer necessary after the trees develop corky bark.


    It is not necessary to provide additional fertilisation for young trees that are growing in lawns that are fertilised on a regular basis. A soil test is required to establish whether or not critical elements are lacking in the environment where trees are growing poorly. When nitrogen is needed, fertilise trees by applying 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of land every year. This will keep the trees healthy and strong.

    Apply one pound of nitrogen per one thousand square feet in two or three separate treatments, spaced out as follows: in April, June, and October. After applying fertiliser to each location, water it. When fertilising trees that have a turfgrass or groundcover understory, it is necessary to apply the fertiliser in several applications at low rates in order to avoid causing damage to these plants.


    Mulches help young trees establish themselves and thrive by retaining soil moisture and limiting the amount of water that evaporates from the top layer of soil. Mulches lessen the effects of compaction, competitiveness, competition with water, and erosion.

    Mulches have the ability to efficiently lower summer soil temperatures, which helps to produce an environment that is more beneficial to root growth. The decomposition of organic mulches results in the addition of nutrients to the soil.

    They also remove the requirement for ground coverings and turfgrasses to be planted beneath young trees, which reduces the amount of competition for vital elements and moisture. Because there is no longer a need to mow or use string trimmers beneath the trees, major injury to the tree trunks of young trees can be avoided by using mulch. This article will help you make a decision about tree stumping and removal.  Here at Tree Amigo, we’re passionate about trees!

    Young trees beyond the edge of the canopy will benefit from having organic mulch applied at a depth of between three and four inches. The bark of pine trees, pine straw, and wood chips are all good choices for mulch.

    The soil is insulated from the cold more effectively by organic mulches than by inorganic mulches or rock mulches. To prevent diseases from penetrating the trunk, move all mulches a distance of four to six inches away from the base of the tree. It's possible that rodents will make their homes and burrows in the loose mulch. Be on the lookout for these unwanted guests. It is not a good idea to use mulch on already damp areas because it will make the soil even more moist.

    Improving Growth

    By adhering to a handful of standard cultural practises, you can encourage the growth of trees.

    • Under young trees, turfgrasses and ground coverings should be removed so that there is less competition.
    • In order to provide a more favourable environment for the root zone, mulch should be applied both beneath the canopy and beyond the edge of the foliage.
    • The mulched area should have direct fertiliser application performed on its surface.
    • During times of drought, it is imperative that adequate water be provided for the trees.
    • A safe distance should be maintained between lawn mowers and the trunks of trees.

    A layer of mulch with a thickness of three inches will assist in preventing the growth of weeds at the base of young trees, which would deprive the trees of the moisture and nutrients they so desperately require. In addition, mulch creates a barrier around trees that prevents string trimmers from entering the area and causing harm to the bark.

    When given the appropriate attention, the trees that surround our homes, towns, and urban landscapes have the potential to become precious commodities. In order to provide proper care, one must have an understanding of tree biology, or how and why trees perform their functions.

    Trees are continually interacting with their surroundings, which might include shifts in the soil, light, temperature, and moisture as well as other organisms, such as competitors and pests. Trees may endure and even grow in your landscape if they are given the right care and management, despite the fact that humans can cause additional stress by altering their habitats.

    It is crucial to be able to recognise problems and understand how trees react to changes in their environment in order to provide the best possible care for shade and street trees.

    It is possible to avoid the development of many serious flaws in mature trees by providing proper care for young trees. This will also promote healthy growth and ensure the trees' long-term structural integrity. There is a risk of injury to people and damage to property posed by trees that have structural vulnerabilities. These trees are considered "hazardous" and need to be found and destroyed without delay.

    The correct care can also address life-threatening disorders, maintain the continuous health of trees, and protect them from environmental extremes and harm caused by development. It is essential to get an accurate diagnosis of the underlying issue(s) rather than merely addressing the symptoms of a problem.

    For instance, if you try to cure a symptom, such as yellow leaves, by applying fertiliser without first finding the real cause of the yellowing, you can end up putting an unnecessary amount of stress on the tree. Trees may be kept in the greatest possible health by receiving treatments at the appropriate times and applying them correctly.

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