May 24, 2021 /
Jona Elwell

Essential Tree Care Items

You may think you need all kinds of fancy things to ensure your young trees establish, your trees thrive and your mature trees stay strong. But trees are a bit like children, what they really need is love, attention, and a few key things to thrive.


For newly planted and/or young trees, the single most important factor for survival is water. Continued, consistent, and steady watering through the first two to three years is crucial. During the spring, summer, early fall and times of drought, water twenty-five gallons a week. Our favorite trick is to place a hose a foot or so from the base of the tree and turn it on to a trickle. Let it run for an hour or two (or more), occasionally moving the hose nozzle to provide water to the entire root zone of the tree. If you have a small sprinkler head you can use that to cover a wider area – but again turn it on low. This technique is great for during a drought or dry spell, when all trees can use some water, especially street trees and trees that have been in the ground for 5-10 years. Follow our Weekly Watering Alerts so you know whether it has rained enough to skip the watering session. 


Another key aspect of tree care that doesn’t require specialized equipment? Mulch! Proper mulching is one of the best things you can do for your tree. Mulch fertilizes the soil, insulates the roots, holds moisture, and cuts down on competition from turfgrass or weeds. The thing to remember with mulch is its placement. It should be applied in a wide and shallow ring around the tree and should not touch the trunk. We utilize the 3-3-3 guideline when applying mulch: mulch in a 3 foot radius (six feet wide total) around the trunk of the tree, at a depth no greater than 3 inches and keep 3 inches around the trunk clear. Most important thing to remember? Avoid volcano mulching. You can also re-apply mulch annually in spring or fall.

Trunk Guard

Humans are often the source of quite a bit of tree damage, especially weed whackers, lawn mowers and cars. Animals can also cause damage. Thankfully, you can install a trunk guard at the base of the tree to keep its nutrient and water systems from being cut. Trunk guards also protect trees from rodents and other small animals. If deer are an issue, you can also install deer fencing to keep them from munching and crunching on trees.


Sometimes you just need some extra help. Work with our certified arborists on a custom planting, pruning, canopy mapping, or landscape design project. Our competitively priced and comprehensive services range from the planning and planting of new trees, diagnosis, care, and maintenance of current trees, and diagnosis and removal of ailing trees. We bring an objective, inclusive viewpoint to our clients—ensuring the safety, health, and preservation of trees.