Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Growing shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you need to plant the right species and care for them correctly.

WA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on caring for your shade trees so they continue to grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.

Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your back or front yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for your enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some extra privacy.

Here are popular options:

  • Magnolia
  • Sugar maple or silver maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Weeping cherry
  • Red oak

If you have a large enough space, a live oak is a beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Most of these back yard tree recommendations get extremely big, so you need to do your research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.

If there is not enough room, its root system can destroy your fencing or even your home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its location will probably have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.

Front Yard Shade Trees

In the front yard of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be a lot more beneficial for adding value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.

Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home and landscaping. These trees should pair with your landscaping in color and size, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color during the fall.
Another good choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a long row with others to provide privacy as well as shade.

With this advice in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In reality, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Washington, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — there are a few that you probably wouldn’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.

Climate Control – Trees can help regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their canopies. This leads to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which could result in lowering your energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, so there is healthier air around your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.

Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.

Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have small children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and countless memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is very easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in Washington. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.

Consult an arborist from WA Tree Trimming if you have questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your property.

Once you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your property always get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun to grow healthy.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call WA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Washington. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is crucial. This helps them form a deep root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, WA Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Washington will visit your property, examine the tree and determine the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to the pros. It’s dangerous work, climbing trees, wielding chainsaws and dropping heavy branches to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of problems.

Instead of putting yourself and putting the tree at risk, enlist someone who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to healthier trees and a safer environment surrounding your landscaping for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and less likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees won’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees offer shade and allow air to flow through their canopies and your property

WA Tree Trimming highly encourages pruning trees that are very close to your home or all that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are hardy and can survive on their own all over the world, in a variety of different climates and regions, without being pruned.

That said, there are several benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s highly recommended for any trees that you care about. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that perform an important job for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a complex project. You need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to ensure the job is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s alright, because there are a lot of services available who know how to correctly trim trees for an affordable cost to you including all arborists in Washington we team up with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes homeowners make when attempting DIY tree trimming that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a certified arborist from WA Tree Trimming will know, and that’s exactly why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done properly, pruning is a never-ending process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by a professional if you care about them and want to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake homeowners make when trimming trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree all at once. This happens because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to correct it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist is able to safely trim trees any time of year.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained tree specialist knows where to cut each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to pests and decay. Cutting too far away from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural damage.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be pruned unless it is necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can lead to imbalance in the tree and expose it to insects and rot as the tree recovers from such a large loss.

Conservative pruning every year ensures that the company only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of hurting the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, arborists would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is a good way to reduce the height of your tree with only a single cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s virtually no chance it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call WA Tree Trimming

Here’s the truth. Your tree may never recover from bad trimming.

Performing this project yourself might seem like a good way to save a little money, but you could end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s really safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Washington from WA Tree Trimming.

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which results in odd shapes that might require years to fix. The tree could look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

Improper pruning could also result in death of the tree. Removing too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue healthy growth.

Cutting too many branches can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it does take a lot of patience and care. Even with proper care, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call WA Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Washington able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues blossoming and looking beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so that means that they can become “sick” like people and animals can. A disease or other tree issue might take a while to show itself due to the overall size of the tree, and once symptoms become clear, it could be too late to save the tree.

A professional arborist from WA Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat tree problems so that you have a much better chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your property that has always seemed OK but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next blog post, we’ll explain some of the most typical tree problems and diseases and what these symptoms mean for a tree.

If you spot any of these things, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent problems addressed by experienced arborists in Washington. As soon as you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, call someone with the knowledge and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is actually a fungus that is common in both trees and plants. The name originates from the yellow and brown spots this disease causes on the leaves.

Leaf rust is dangerous because it prevents the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be treated with fungicides and selective trimming of the affected leaves. It might be recommended to cut off entire limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This tree disease results in a large mass of twigs, dead leaves and branches that look like a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually rainy weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, while others are only considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the issue.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even when the wet conditions are gone, mildew can persist and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery substance, usually white, and it usually appears on the leaves of a tree first.

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and help to stop future mildew growth on the tree. You might also need to trim the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a tree condition that happens when insects build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most types of galls are not harmful to the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in various sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

It is not necessary to treat the tree for galls, but they can affect the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, because this is where the pests survive during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Trimming – There’s an art to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could damage the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to trim trees to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be severely impacted by drought. If you decide to plant new trees, you will need to supplement the amount of water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water can have its growth stunted. The first symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some initial planning before planting trees in a full-sun area of your property. Most species of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is too hot for an extended period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Washington

A trained arborist from WA Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s happening with your sick tree and lay out a plan to save it.

Here is what an arborist is trained to do:

  • Evaluate trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is usually necessary to understand exactly what is causing the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through fertilizers and additives in the dirt or solutions applied to the leaves. The arborist will have expert knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the best treatments.
  • Prune trees to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy pruning is necessary, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the issue and the pruning.
  • Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is too far gone, and cutting it down is the only choice to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also inform you about the trees that you have and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation again.

Some tree issues look similar to each other, requiring a professional opinion to correctly identify and treat the issue. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a certified arborist from WA Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in washington

When it comes to the question, “What season is best for tree trimming?” The answer can be indirect.

Tree type usually dictates when many species can be trimmed, along with pest population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other types of plants and trees nearby.

With the help of a certified arborist in Washington, you will be able to decide which time of year is ideal for trimming your trees to set them up for success next season and every year after that.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other information, WA Tree Trimming recommends tree trimming in the winter. This would be sometime within November to March in Washington. This season is optimal because the trees are usually dormant, so trimming will lead to a minimal amount of damage, if any.

There are several benefits to trimming trees during the winter:

Lower risk of pest damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are usually inactive during the winter. During the remainder of the year, anything from insects to fungus can affect a freshly trimmed tree because the tree is most susceptible and these issues thrive in warmer weather.

Easier to determine the shape of the tree when there are no leaves – Leaves prevent your arborist from seeing the overall shape of the tree. When tree branches are bare, it is much easier to see diseased or dead limbs and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees can heal before spring – By performing major pruning during the winter, your trees have many months to build up callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By the spring, you’ll hardly be able to identify where the branches were cut off, and the tree will be able to use its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers rather than healing new cuts.

Less chance of harming nearby landscaping – Most of the surrounding trees and plants will also be dormant during this time, so there is a lower risk of damaging them. Many times, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the warmer seasons, but there are no plants to be disturbed in the winter since these annuals have already died out.

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees benefit from annual pruning. Tree pruning each winter is good for the trees, but it is also a precaution for the safety of your landscaping and your family. Let us explain:

Trimming Makes the Tree Stronger

Dying and diseased limbs are removed, as are branch stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Branches that can rub one another are also trimmed so that they don’t weaken each other or create an open wound on the tree.

Pruning trees every winter is also a good way to get an expert’s opinion on the health of your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and insect problems can be identified and handled immediately.

A Well-Maintained Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it starts to be hard for water and nutrients to get to every limb. This can leave the tree looking weak and sick and definitely not doing what it’s meant to do.

Trimmed trees, on the other hand, produce more fruit, healthier leaves and better shade. They are much fuller and healthier and less likely to create landscaping problems. So regardless of why you planted a new tree, pruning will maximize the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Trimming

If the view of your landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is important! Pruning trees results in an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is important if you have a lot of identical trees on your property.

Cutting off lower branches and upper branches that grow at awkward angles enhances the overall look of the tree while also strengthening tree health.

Less Risk of Falling Branches

Tree pruning – from a professional – helps the remaining branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and other inclement weather in Washington won’t affect your trees the same way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be much safer living under and around trimmed trees.

Another safety concern for overgrown trees is that they impede the view of traffic lights, road signs and driveways. Tree pruning, crown raising and other specialized tree care services will keep the tree at a manageable size and stop it from blocking various views.

Call WA Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Hiring a certified arborist in Washington gives you access to their knowledge on the subject of tree trimming. We highly recommend relying on their expertise if there are trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for awhile.

An arborist won’t only look at the immediate situation. Instead, he or she will take the time to inspect your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that could put them at risk). After collecting all the information, an arborist will suggest a long-term plan based on your trees’ unique needs and stick to that course of action until your goals for your trees are achieved.

This plan might take years to implement, but rest assured, it will lead to healthy trees that you and your family can enjoy for generations.

This kind of annual maintenance will aid in healthy tree growth, help your entire property resist plant diseases and increase flower or fruit production from your trees. It will also strengthen your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree care will save you a lot of money over time too. Preventative maintenance is much more affordable than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or curing a sick tree of a disease that has spread out of control (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the beauty of your landscaping, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from WA Tree Trimming. Discover our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Washington. Call now!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Washington is a landscaping service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they can fight off insects, diseases and severe weather – and look breathtaking while doing it!

Pruning needs to be performed if you want healthy trees, but it has to be done correctly by someone who has experience in what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from WA Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune trees safely while they are small, but you also may do irreparable harm to the tree.

To properly prune trees, you should know all of the following:

  • When to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree can be trimmed at at once
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not damage the tree

Cutting too much from a tree could kill it or cause structural damage, but precise pruning done each year benefits trees in many ways. Pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, eliminates dead or diseased branches and assists in fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning should be performed each year, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how often you have your trees trimmed, be sure your arborist is qualified to do the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call WA Tree Trimming in Washington!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 different ways to correctly prune a tree so that it grows stronger and healthier year after year.

Depending on the shape, type and health concerns of your trees, one pruning method could be more effective than another, but each technique has distinct benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is common for older, overgrown trees in Washington. This technique eliminates weak branches within the crown to improve light and air flow throughout the crown. Air flow is especially important to help prevent disease.

This tree pruning technique also gets rid of branches and limbs that are touching so they do not rub against each other and snap or create weakened areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at odd angles are typically cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This trimming method removes branches at the lower part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them very hard to remove, and they can pull nutrients from the top of the tree, resulting in less fruit and a weaker tree.

There are a variety of reasons you might want to raise the crown of a tree. Many times, it is done in order to clear the line of sight for cars and pedestrians, but it can be done to create space for landscaping underneath the tree.

It is a common technique for large trees that are too close to homes and buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction lowers the total size of the tree’s crown from its outer edges. It shortens limbs horizontally and vertically to maintain the tree at a certain size. By lowering the size of the crown, you can eliminate the need to cut the tree down because it won’t interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t close to structures like these, crown reduction will make the tree look neater because it also removes irregular growth. This is a good idea for trees that are various ages but you want to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Also referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive trimming technique that gets rid of dead, snapped or diseased branches so that the remaining sections of the tree will continue to grow normally. These limbs can only create problems over time.

Crown cleaning helps to make the tree look much better, and it stops limbs from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the likelihood of falling branches, because healthy branches do not fall very often.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an advanced pruning technique used on trees that have been severely damaged (either by weather or vandals). It should be performed by an experienced arborist who knows how the tree is likely to grow over time and roughly how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens over an extended time period with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. Your arborist must have a definitive plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree begins to grow and reshape on its own, working with the tree’s new growth pattern.

Vista Pruning

If you want trees to add to the overall beauty of your landscaping, you are probably interested in vista pruning. The goal of vista pruning is to help to make the tree more visually pleasing from a particular vantage point.

It entails several pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – any technique that helps the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that a professional is not going to jeopardize the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to maintain strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are pruned heavily to grow flat against walls or a trellis. It is a unique style of trimming that is going to draw a lot of attention to your lawn. Espalier pruning has to begin when the tree is young and then done consistently during the tree’s life span.

Some of the benefits of espalier pruning include facilitating maximum sunlight to get to the trees, as well as making it much easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in Washington

Tree trimming can be dangerous for a tree, your lawn, and, of course, for you! WA Tree Trimming highly recommends professional tree pruning over attempting DIY.

Aside from the many possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t know how to trim it properly. Excessive pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

Trees in Washington that get annual care from a professional are usually much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from WA Tree Trimming to trim the trees on your property is a decision you won’t regret. Locate your town in our service area. We work with arborists across the entire state of Washington!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your land has many benefits. Trees provide much-needed summer shade, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

Once full-grown, trees are very easy to care for: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to grow even with minimal care. However, if you want to see your trees reach their potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for young trees could cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t very difficult, but you do need a little information to do it correctly. Familiarize yourself with the trees you plant to know what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll outline the five best practices for planting a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive deeper and detail how to do each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow much faster, withstand extreme winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need a lot more water than grown ones. The trees you plant on your property are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil around it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get too wet, because this might cause the roots to rot.

The general rule is 4-10 gallons of water per week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the remaining gallons. Your new trees need this much water every week for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping product. It actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch exactly 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground under the longest branch. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will continue to grow as well.

Keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas around the tree. Be attentive in spreading it out consistently and far enough away from the trunk of the tree so it does not impede air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides the nutrients your soil might not have naturally. Most new trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you need to be using the right products and do it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The best time of year to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer provides the right conditions (comfortable temperatures and moist soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t certain about which type of fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are typically a good idea because they feed your trees over a period of time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the first growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree becomes more established. As time goes on, there will be additional tree care projects that are more important for new trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very challenging – in the first years after you plant a new tree. As the tree grows, you will see several little branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this shows that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it is going to look like when it gets much larger. As tiny limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they have to be removed so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the branches at the top.

As long as there are trees somewhere on your property, they need to be pruned routinely. When the trees get too big for you to trim them safely, you can rely on WA Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never 100% safe from these issues. As your tree grows older, monitor it carefully for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, especially leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether these leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Wilting, even with adequate watering
  • Single limbs dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs indicate a health problem. The tree is probably going to need professional maintenance if your goal is to save the tree. An arborist can typically diagnose the issue by just looking at the tree, although they will do testing if necessary.

If you identify the issue quick enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect new trees.

The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with some sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the chances are good that the tree will survive and will look wonderful!

Of course, you may already have a very busy schedule and don’t want to perform these additional tasks. In some cases, homeowners don’t have the ability or the tools to give their new trees the necessary maintenance.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to contact a tree service for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Washington can advise you about the course of care for each type of tree you plant on your property. Arborists enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting brand new trees, and they can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call WA Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Washington – including tree trimming – for new trees and older trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.