The Basics of Tree Care

Tree care involves maximizing the health, vitality, and beauty of trees. A plant’s good health is its first line of defense against problems.

When planting new trees, make sure the soil is moist to the touch, but not soggy. Mulch also helps newly planted trees.

Be cautious of unlicensed workers soliciting tree work on your property. Legitimate professionals never ask for payment upfront.


Planting is one of the most important steps in tree care. When trees are planted correctly, they are more likely to grow up healthy and not die or become a hazard to people or property.

When planting, follow the type-specific instructions to dig a hole that is the right size for the root ball and set it at or just above ground level. Backfill the soil, removing rocks and tamping gently to prevent air pockets. Mulch the bare soil with 3 inches of organic material such as wood chips, shredded bark, or leaves, being careful not to pile mulch against the trunk.

Water regularly during the growing season, adjusting the frequency and amount of water as necessary for weather and soil conditions. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot or make the tree more susceptible to pests and diseases. Keep the area around the base of the tree free from weeds and grass, which compete with the roots for water.


Trees require pruning to produce a balanced and attractive canopy, as well as to remove diseased, dead, or storm-damaged branches. Pruning also reduces competing shoots and rubbing growth. When pruning, try to work with the natural habit of the tree unless you are trying to change its shape. Avoid removing more than one-third of the crown height in any season. Cuts bleeding sap should be bagged and disposed of immediately to prevent the spread of diseases such as coral spots or silver leaf.

Branches that grow too low can be a hazard to people and property. They may block street or traffic signs, block views, or create a fire hazard. They can also be damaged by wind or ice. Thinner branches have more flexibility in storms and are less likely to fall and damage nearby structures or plants. Suckers, or long shoots that grow out of the base of the tree, are an energy drain and should be pruned back to a point where they are no longer visible.


Trees receive most of the water they need from rain. However, your regular watering can supplement the amount they get each season. The frequency and duration depend on your region, soil type, and the species of tree.

Newly planted trees need to be watered regularly until they are established. This is usually a weekly task. During hot, dry weather it may be necessary to water them three times per week.

Soaker hoses are best for watering because they allow the soil to absorb the water instead of evaporating quickly. A bucket of water is also an option but be careful to make sure the roots are getting the water and not just the foliage.

It is important to walk your property and check the health of your newly planted trees on a daily basis for signs of insect activity, twigs or branches falling off, mushrooms growing at the base, or odd spots on leaves. This will help you identify problems early so they can be corrected.


Trees add beauty and value to a property, provide shade, attract wildlife, and can enhance curbside appeal. However, like any living thing, trees do not last forever and there may come a time when they need to be removed.

It is important to consider the benefits of hiring a professional company that specializes in pruning and tree removal. They have the expertise, equipment, and safety precautions to get the job done safely. Leaving it to them prevents injuries and saves homeowners the hassle of trying to remove a large tree themselves.

There are many reasons why a tree might need to be removed, including if it’s diseased or infested with pests. It also needs to be removed if it’s in danger of falling and damaging your home or property. Lastly, it’s a good idea to remove a tree that is too close or has roots encroaching on utility lines.