Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Having shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard BBQ or for kids to play outside. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the correct species of tree and care for them properly.

WV 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

Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.

In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best planted in your back or front yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.

Here are popular options:

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

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

A lot of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty large, so you need to do some research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough room, the tree’s root system can destroy your fencing or home foundation. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that grows too big for its yard will probably have to be cut down, which is an inconvenient and sometimes costly 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 impactful for adding curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.

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

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These species trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color during the fall.
Another excellent choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a row to create privacy and shade.

With options in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In all honesty, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in West Virginia, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The benefits of having shade for your home are numerous — and there are a few that you likely don’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.

Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder below their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lowering your energy costs!

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

Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can provide them all they will need to build a home, find food and raise babies.

Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in West Virginia. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.

Consult a certified arborist from WV Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you determine the perfect tree for your yard.

As soon as you have decided on the best shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The south, west and east of your yard 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 most amount of sun for healthy growth.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call WV Tree Trimming for tree trimming in West Virginia. 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 and strong root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to support growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can help 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 comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, WV Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in West Virginia will visit your home, examine the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to the pros. It’s dangerous work, climbing high up 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 experience a lifetime of damage.

Rather than putting yourself and the tree at risk, enlist a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to stronger trees and a safer environment surrounding your house for many reasons:

  • Healthier trees are sturdier and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees won’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

WV Tree Trimming highly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your house or any that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is important. Trees are very hardy and grow on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

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

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Pruning a tree is a complicated task. You are going to need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the project is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are several professionals out there who know how to correctly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all arborists throughout West Virginia we team up with!

Below are the 5 most common mistakes people make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from WV Tree Trimming will know, and that’s exactly why their services are worth paying for!

Trimming 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 trimmed by a professional if you value them and desire to keep them healthy.

A huge mistake that homeowners make when pruning trees by themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a once. It is easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

After you cut a tree branch and gravity starts to pull it down, it can tear off bark from the tree trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, leaving the tree in danger of attracting diseases and making it easier for pests and rodents to find their way in.

To guarantee this doesn’t happen, an arborist makes special cuts underneath big branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these initial cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and reduces the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the limb doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A certified arborist knows exactly where to cut each limb to prevent damage. This cut should be made just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the trunk.

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

Trimming Big Branches

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

Conservative pruning every year guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which results in a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of harming the tree or exposing it to decay and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! During this process, arborists would just cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is an easy way to reduce the height of your tree with just one cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call WV Tree Trimming

Let’s face it. Your tree may never recover from bad pruning.

Doing this job yourself might seem like a way to save a little money, but you might end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s a lot safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in West Virginia from WV Tree Trimming.

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which leads to strange shapes that could take years to correct. The tree might look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

Incorrect trimming could also result in death of the tree. Cutting off too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can affect the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get enough water or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

Cutting too many branches might also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t necessarily permanent, but it takes a great deal of care and patience. Even with proper care, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call WV Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in West Virginia able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living organisms, so it stands to reason that they can get “sick” just like humans and animals. A disease or other tree issue may take a little while to show appear because of the sheer size of the tree, and once you see a symptom, it could be too late to restore the tree.

A certified arborist from WV Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat common tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist stop a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get healthier growth and more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed healthy but all of the sudden seems like something is wrong? In the next paragraphs, we’ll explain some of the most common tree issues and what these symptoms mean.

If you spot any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast for the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most common issues encountered by certified arborists in West Virginia. The moment you think one of these things could be wrong with your tree, call someone with the training and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

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

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

Witches’ Broom – This tree disease results in a large clump of twigs, dead leaves and branches that form a a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually wet 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 deadly for the tree, while others are simply considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the problem.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on almost anything in wet conditions, but even after the wet conditions are over with, mildew can remain and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery texture, usually white, and it often shows up on the leaves of a tree first.

The trick to treating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the existing mildew and help to prevent future mildew on the tree. You may also need to trim the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when pests or rodents 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 varying sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some color in between.

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

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Pruning – There’s an art to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) can be just as big of an issue. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to prune trees to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be significantly impacted by drought. If you plant new trees, you will need to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that is not getting enough water will have its growth inhibited. The first sign you are likely to noticed is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your 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 become a problem for any tree if the sun is too hot for a long period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs even more water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in West Virginia

A trained arborist from WV Tree Trimming will be able to quickly diagnose what’s going on with your sick tree and lay out a plan to save it if at all possible.

Here are the things an arborist is trained to do:

  • Review trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is typically necessary to see exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with fertilizers and additives in the soil or solutions sprayed on the leaves. This person will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to eliminate dead or damaged branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy pruning is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree can survive both the disease and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is dying, and removing it is the only way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the trees that you have om your property and how to best care for them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation in the future.

Some tree problems look similar to one another, requiring a professional eye to accurately diagnose and correct the issue. If your trees appear to be dry, disfigured or dying, call a professional arborist from WV Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in west virginia

When it comes to the question, “What time of year is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer can be vague.

The type of tree usually dictates when many species are able to be trimmed, along with pest population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees in the landscape.

With the help of a professional arborist in West Virginia, you will be able to figure out what time of year is the best for pruning your trees to set them up for success next season and every year after that.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other information, WV Tree Trimming recommends pruning trees in the winter. This ranges from November to March in West Virginia. Winter is ideal because trees are usually dormant, so pruning will lead to the least amount of damage, if any.

There are a lot of benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Lower risk of pest damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are largely inactive in the winter in West Virginia. During the rest of the year, anything from insects to fungus can affect a newly pruned tree because the tree will be the most susceptible and these issues thrive when there is warmer weather.

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

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

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

Do All Trees Need Trimming?

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

Pruning Makes the Tree Healthier

Dying and diseased branches are cut off, as are branch stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub against one another are also trimmed so that they don’t weaken one another or create an open wound on the tree.

Pruning trees each winter is a great way to get expert eyes on the health of your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and pest problems can be identified and responded to as soon as possible.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it’s hard for water and nutrients to get to every branch. 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 provide better shade. They are fuller and healthier and less likely to cause landscaping issues. So regardless of why you decided to plant a new tree, routine trimming each winter will improve the results you want from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Trimming

If the view of your yard or landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is a necessity! Pruning trees creates an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is especially important if you have several identical trees on your property.

Trimming lower branches and upper branches that grow at awkward angles enhances the overall beauty of the tree while also strengthening tree health.

Less Risk of Falling Branches

Tree trimming – from an arborist – encourages the remaining tree branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and high winds won’t damage your trees the same way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be safer living under and around trimmed trees.

Another safety issue for overgrown trees is that they block 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 WV Tree Trimming for Tree Trimming

Hiring a certified arborist in West Virginia gives you access to their expert knowledge on tree trimming. We recommend relying on their years of experience if there are trees on that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist won’t just consider the current situation. Instead, an arborist will take the time to research your trees and study their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that could put them at risk of disease or infestation). After gathering all the information, an arborist will create a long-term plan based on your trees’ unique needs and stick to that course of action until the goals for your trees are met.

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

This kind of annual care will aid in healthy tree growth, help your landscaping resist plant diseases and increase fruit or flower production from 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 care is far more cost-effective than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or restoring a sick tree of a disease that has gotten 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 trimming and maintenance from WV Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of West Virginia. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in West Virginia is a professional service that beautifies and reinforces trees so they are able to fight off insects, diseases and inclement weather – and look breathtaking doing it!

Pruning must be completed if you want healthy trees, but it has to be done properly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from WV Tree Trimming. Homeowners may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are still small and growing, but you also may do permanent damage to the tree in the process.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree can be trimmed at a time
  • 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 minimal trimming done annually benefits trees in several ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, eliminates dying or diseased branches and increases fruit or flower production.

Ideally, pruning must be performed annually, but as trees mature, you may be able to wait two years between pruning services. Regardless of how regularly you have your trees trimmed, ensure your arborist is qualified to do the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call WV Tree Trimming in West Virginia!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 different ways to properly trim a tree so that it grows healthier and stronger each year.

Depending on the size, type and health status of your trees, one pruning method could be more beneficial than another, but each technique has various benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for older, overgrown trees in West Virginia. This process removes weak branches within the crown of the tree to allow more sunlight and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning technique also eliminates branches and limbs that are touching so they no longer rub against one another and break or cause weaker areas that can be an entry point for pests. Branches that grow at strange angles are typically cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree pruning method removes branches at the lowest part of the crown so new limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them very difficult to remove, and they can pull nutrients away from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weaker tree.

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

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction lowers the overall size of the crown from its exterior edge. It shortens branches vertically and horizontally to maintain the tree at a certain size. By reducing the size of the crown, you can remove the need to chop down the tree because it won’t come into contact with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t near structures like those listed above, crown reduction can make the tree look neater because it also eliminates irregular growth. This is a great solution for trees that are various ages but are supposed to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Also referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive type of trimming method that gets rid of dying, snapped or diseased branches so that the remaining parts of the tree will continue to grow normally. These branches can only create issues later.

Crown cleaning helps to make the tree look a lot better, and it stops branches from rubbing together. And it is a safety practice that reduces the chance of branches falling, because healthy branches do not fall very often.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an intense trimming process used on trees that were significantly damaged (either by weather or vandals). It must be attempted by an experienced arborist who knows how the tree is likely to grow in the future and roughly just how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens during an extended period of time with conservative trimming that reshapes the tree. The arborist must have a definitive plan to restore the tree, but also be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, working with the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you are striving for trees that add to the overall beauty of your landscaping, you are probably interested in vista pruning. The intent of vista pruning is to help to make the tree more aesthetically pleasing from a particular viewing point.

It consists of many tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – any technique that helps the trees look more attractive. Remember, though, that an arborist will never compromise the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to maintain strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are heavily pruned to grow flat against walls or a trellis. It is a different style of tree trimming that is sure to draw a lot of attention to your yard. Espalier pruning has to begin when the tree is young and then done routinely throughout 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 West Virginia

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

Besides the possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t trim it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most typical mistakes made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

Trees in West Virginia that get routine care from a professional are usually much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from WV Tree Trimming to care for trees on your property is a choice you won’t regret. Locate your city in our service area. We work with arborists across the entire state of West Virginia!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting trees on your property has many benefits. Trees give much-needed summer shade, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal and property value. Everyone should plant trees.

Once completely grown, trees are easy to maintain: another benefit! They are strong and tend to grow with minimal care. However, if you want to help your trees achieve their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees can result in rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

The good news is that tree care isn’t all that difficult, but you will want a little information to do it correctly. Familiarize yourself with the new trees you plant to know exactly what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll describe the five best tips for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You probably are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and detail how to perform each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow faster, resist damaging winds, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need more water than older 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 soaked, as this can cause the roots to rot.

The rule of thumb is 4-10 gallons of water each week. This includes rain water, and although it’s challenging to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the rest. Your trees will need this much water for the first 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping material. It actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can sometimes 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 trunk of the tree and spread it out to completely cover the ground under the longest limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will continue to grow substantially.

Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be vigilant in keeping it spread out consistently and far enough away from the tree trunk so it does not stop air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides several nutrients that your land’s soil may not have naturally. Most new trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

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

If you are unsure about which type of fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care specialist for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed your trees over a period of time rather than all right away.

Follow through with these things in the first growing seasons after planting a tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree gets older. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care projects that are more important for your new trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very tricky – in the initial years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows, you will see a lot of small branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, it can actually result in a weak tree over time.

Early pruning shapes the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As little branches emerge from the lower trunk, they have to be removed so they don’t steal water and nutrients from the branches at the top of the tree.

So long as there are trees growing on your property, they need to be pruned periodically. When the trees get too big for you to prune them safely, you can rely on WV Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never truly safe from these issues. As your tree gets older, watch it carefully for evidence of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or sick
  • Wilting, despite adequate watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signals indicate a health problem. The tree is probably going to require professional care if your goal is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can usually identify the problem by just looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you determine the problem quick enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect new trees.

The tips above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When new trees have proper care, combined with some sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the chances are probable that the tree will survive and will look wonderful!

Of course, you might already have a lot on your plate and don’t want to take on these additional tasks. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their new trees the appropriate care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to contact a tree service for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in West Virginia can advise you about the best course of maintenance for each tree species you plant on your property. They love sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting new trees, and can be the difference between trees struggling and trees thriving.

Call WV Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in West Virginia – including tree trimming – for new trees and old trees. A local tree service will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.