Many people are planting new trees this spring, and there are several tips that can be taken into consideration to ensure that they are correctly placed and can thrive for years to come. Richard Jauron, horticulture program specialist with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, is now providing insight into how not only to plant new trees but also how to care for them over time.
Watering newly planted trees is essential. Ideally, they should be watered every day as soon as they are in the ground, then every four to five days, until the frequency of watering is gradually reduced. When watering, Jauron recommends slowly applying water to the root-ball and surrounding soil. Watering every seven to 10 days in dry weather should be sufficient four to six weeks after planting.
Pruning is essential as well, as this encourages growth. However, newly planted trees should be limited to corrective pruning. Structural defects, such as dead, broken or crossing branches, can be removed. It is also essential that the lower branches be maintained, according to Jauron, to help stabilize the tree.
Staking is generally not required for most newly planted trees, according to Jauron. However, top-heavy trees or those that are in windy locations can benefit from staking.
Finally, Jauron notes that it is not necessary to immediately wrap the trunks of newly planted trees. If planters are looking to prevent sunscald in the winter, however, protective materials can be placed around the trunks for peace of mind.
For more information and insight into planting new trees and caring for them over time, visit the ISU Extension and Outreach website.