Planting a new tree in your yard is exciting, and naturally, you want the tree to grow into a well-loved component of your outdoor living space. However, trees often languish and fail to thrive when not properly cared for, and even the most well-intentioned homeowners make tree care mistakes—the following are four of the most common and how you can avoid them.
Too Much Water
Failure to provide trees with the proper amount of water is one of the biggest tree care mistakes that people make. Many homeowners who are unfamiliar with tree care have the attitude that more is better when it comes to water, but overwatering can also cause damage. Tree roots need oxygen as well as water, and overly saturated soils don't allow enough oxygen to permeate. Additionally, too much water on a regular basis may result in the soil becoming so compacted that even water can't get through.
Watering With a Sprinkler System
Avoid relying on your overhead lawn sprinkler to water your trees—trees benefit more from deep, infrequent watering. This practice promotes deep, strong root growth instead of weak, wide growth that remains close to the surface. Overhead watering may also damage the foliage and make conditions ripe for the development of fungal disorders.
Failure to Mulch
Many homeowners who do everything else right nonetheless completely neglect to provide the area around the trunk of their trees with a proper layer of mulch. Mulch serves multiple purposes—it keeps tree roots cool in summer and warm in winter, it prevents weeds from sprouting in the ground around the tree, it keeps moisture from evaporating, and, if it's made from organic materials, it adds nutrients to the soil. It also provides the landscape with a finished, well-cared-for appearance.
Planting in the Wrong Place
Homeowners sometimes choose a spot to plant a new tree without taking into consideration the tree's cultural requirements. For instance, they may decide that a spot outside their dining room window is ideal because they want to enjoy the tree's beauty during mealtimes, but if that spot is too shady or too sunny for the tree, it may fail to produce the desired appearance. Always explore the cultural requirements of tree species you are thinking about planting before making a decision about where to place it in your yard.
Please contact your local tree care service for more information on how you can help your new trees thrive.