Care guide for new trees

Once you see your tree has been planted, water it slowly and thoroughly, for about 20 minutes at a slow trickle.
Young trees will need adequate soil moisture through their first two to three winters.

Winter watering:

Do not use irrigation bags in winter.
Water in the fall and winter when the weather is above freezing, and anytime it has been dry for an extended period.
Use a hose on a slow trickle, for about 15 minutes once every 10 days or so. Don’t overwater, which will drown the tree.
If in doubt: find a long screwdriver and poke it into the root ball and surrounding soil. If it is moist down as far as you can poke it, wait on the watering.
Best is slow, regular, and deep. (Do not fertilize until summer, if at all).


The trees have been mulched. Mulch accomplishes two key things:
1) insulates soil and tree roots against temperature extremes; and
2) slows water loss from soil.

Next year, in late fall to early winter, place a 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of organic mulch that extends just beyond the tree’s dripline. Avoid placing mulch directly against the trunk. Never pile mulch up against the base of the tree trunk (for any age tree) as these “mulch volcanoes” will hold moisture against the bark, and cause serious damage.

Mulch also prevents grass and weeds from growing. These compete with the tree. Weed whackers/ string trimmers cause serious wounds that trees never recover from, cutting off all circulation to the upper parts of the tree above the wound. This stunts the tree and can cause an early death.

No salt:

Avoid using rock salt-based ice melt near new trees.


The trees are staked now: please remove these in a year.

Protecting from other damage:

Until young tree trunks develop hard, ridged bark, they’re prized by rabbits, voles and deer. They’ll eat the bark, along with the green, growing tissue beneath. If damage occurs more than halfway around the trunk, you may lose the tree. You can protect young tree trunks with paper tape, which should be applied late November, and removed around the end of March.

Enjoy your new trees!
--The Tree Committee of the Kensington Parkwood Residents Association

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