Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to spend time outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.

To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you have to plant the correct species of tree and care for them correctly.

RI Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for the best shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.

Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best planted in your front or back yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

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

Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.

Here are popular choices:

  • 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 they can get very large. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.

Many of these back yard shade tree suggestions get very large, so you definitely want to do your research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough room, its root system can destroy your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too large for its yard will most likely have to be removed, which is an inconvenient 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 they 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 somewhat smaller so they don’t overshadow your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in color and size, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These species trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a row with others to provide privacy and shade.

With this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Rhode Island, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — and there are some that you likely don’t typically think about.

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

Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in more affordable energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel 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.

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

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

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is very simple as long as you’ve planted the type of trees for the climate in Rhode Island. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.

Consult a local arborist from RI Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your home.

Once you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

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

Trimming 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 foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call RI Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Rhode Island. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is very important. This will help them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree more stability over the course of its lifetime.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to support growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can help your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.

We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, RI Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Rhode Island will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the proper care 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 a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of issues.

Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way and the tree itself at risk, call an arborist who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much healthier trees and a safer environment around your house for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Pruned trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees create shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

RI Tree Trimming strongly suggests trimming trees that are near your home or those that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and are able to survive on their own across the world, in many different climates and locations, without being trimmed.

However, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s recommended for any trees that you value. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering 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 information to guarantee the job is done correctly. The majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are many arborists out there who know how to properly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Rhode Island we team up with!

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

Pruning Too Much

When done correctly, tree pruning is an ongoing process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by an expert if you care about them and want to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners make when pruning trees themselves is trimming too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they have 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 the final removal cut. It is easier to do this during a time of year that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Cutting at the Wrong Place

An experienced tree specialist knows exactly where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

Cutting 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 recovers. Most DIY tree trimming results in an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic problems.

Trimming Big Branches

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

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that the tree service company only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of damaging the tree or exposing it to decay and pests.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimming companies would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was not attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

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

The Solution? Call RI 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 expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s much safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Rhode Island from RI Tree Trimming.

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which can result in strange shapes that could require years to fix. The tree could end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one trimming mistake.

Improper trimming could also cause death of the tree. Removing too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get enough water or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

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

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call RI Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Rhode Island able to come up with a long-term 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 may take a while to show itself because of the overall size of the tree, and once you see a symptom, it could be too late to restore the tree.

A certified arborist from RI Tree Trimming can diagnose and treat common tree problems so that there is a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an experienced arborist help to keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

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

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

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most common issues encountered by experienced arborists in Rhode Island. The moment you think one of these things could be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

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

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

Witches’ Broom – This disease results in a large grouping of twigs, dead leaves and branches that form a a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually rainy weather or fungus. The formation of a clump of leaves and twigs is the tree’s reaction to infection or danger.

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. An arborist can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in moist conditions, but even after the wet conditions are gone, mildew can continue to thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery texture, typically white, and it often appears on the leaves of the tree first.

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains 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 branches, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when insects build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most galls are not dangerous for the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in a range of sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some color in between.

You do not have to treat the tree if there are 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, since this is where the insects survive during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Trimming – There’s an art to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you don’t know how to do it, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of an issue. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to trim trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely impacted by drought. If you plant new trees on your property, you will need to supplement the amount of water they get from rainfall. A tree that is not getting enough water can have its growth inhibited. The first symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some planning before planting trees in a full-sun area of your property. Most types 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 a lot of sun needs even more water to prevent wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Rhode Island

A certified arborist from RI Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s happening with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it.

Here are the things an arborist is trained to do:

  • Evaluate trees from below and from the branches of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is often necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or solutions applied to the leaves. This person will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to remove dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree can survive both the issue and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your yard if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and cutting it down is the only way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

They can also inform you about the other trees that you have om your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.

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

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in rhode island

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

Tree type often dictates when many species can be trimmed, along with pest population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees in the yard.

With the guidance of a certified arborist in Rhode Island, you can decide what time of year is ideal for pruning your trees to set them up for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other information, RI Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees during the winter. This would be sometime from November to March in most areas. This season is optimal because trees are mostly dormant, so trimming will lead to the least amount of harm, if any.

There are a lot of benefits to trimming trees during the winter:

Less risk of pest damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are mostly inactive during the winter in Rhode Island. During the remainder of the year, anything from insects to fungus can harm a newly trimmed tree because the tree will be the most susceptible and these issues thrive when there is warmer weather.

Easier to see the shape of the tree when there are no leaves – Leaves get in the way of 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 have time to heal before spring – By doing this major tree trimming in the winter, your trees have several months to rebuild callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By the spring season, you’ll barely be able to notice where the branches were removed, and the tree will be able to devote its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

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

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees benefit from pruning. Tree pruning every 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 branches are removed, as are branch stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Branches that can rub each other are also trimmed so that they don’t weaken each other or create an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees every year is a good way to get expert eyes on your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and pest infestations can be identified and dealt with 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 intended 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 issues. So regardless of why you decided to plant a new tree, pruning will maximize the results you want from it.

Trees are More Attractive After Trimming

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

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

Less Chance of Dropping Branches

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

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

Call RI Tree Trimming for Tree Trimming

Hiring a certified arborist in Rhode Island gives you access to their knowledge on tree pruning. We strongly recommend relying on their expertise if you have trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for awhile.

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

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

This type of ongoing maintenance will promote healthy tree growth, help your entire property resist plant diseases and increase flower or fruit production from your trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is not as much risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree pruning can save you a lot of money as well. Preventative care is much more cost-effective than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage restoration or restoring an ill 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 RI Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Rhode Island. Call now!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Rhode Island is an important landscaping service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they can withstand pests, diseases and severe weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning should be done if you want healthy trees, but it needs to be done properly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from RI Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are still small, but you also may be doing irreparable damage to the tree in the process.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree can be pruned at a time
  • Where to cut each branch so you do not damage the tree

Removing too much off of a tree might kill it or lead to structural damage, but precise pruning done annually benefits trees in a lot of ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, eliminates dying or diseased branches and assists in fruit or flower production.

Ideally, pruning needs to be done annually, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how routinely you have your trees trimmed, be sure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call RI Tree Trimming in Rhode Island!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

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

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is common for older, overgrown trees in Rhode Island. This technique removes weak branches within the crown to improve sunlight and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning technique also eliminates branches that are touching so they do not rub against one another and snap or cause weaker areas that can be an access point for insects and pests. Branches that grow at odd angles are almost always cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree trimming method removes branches at the lower part of the crown so new limbs start higher up on the trunk. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them very difficult to cut off, and they can draw nutrients away from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weak tree.

There are many reasons you may want to raise the crown of a tree. Often, it is done to clear the line of sight for automobiles and pedestrians, but it can also be done to free up space for landscaping underneath the tree.

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction lowers the total size of the crown from its outer edge. It shortens branches vertically and horizontally to keep the tree at a manageable size. By lowering the crown size, you can remove the need to chop the tree down because it will no longer interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t near structures like these, crown reduction can help the tree look much better because it eliminates irregular growth. This is a smart solution for trees that are different ages but are supposed to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Also known as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive tree pruning method that gets rid of dead, broken or diseased limbs so that the rest of the tree may continue to grow normally. These branches can only create problems in the future.

Crown cleaning helps to make the tree look a lot better, and it stops branches from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the chance of falling branches, since healthy branches do not usually fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an advanced trimming method for trees that have been severely damaged (either by weather or vandals). It must only be attempted by a professional who knows where the tree is likely to grow over time and how long it’s restoration is going to take.

Unlike most other tree trimming services, crown restoration happens during an extended period of time with conservative trimming that reshapes the tree. An arborist must have a plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree starts to grow and reshape on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth pattern.

Vista Pruning

If you are hoping for trees to help improve curb appeal, you are actually interested in vista pruning. The purpose of vista pruning is to make the tree more visually pleasing from a particular vantage point.

It consists of many pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – anything that helps the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that an arborist will never jeopardize 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 up against a wall or a trellis. It is a different style of pruning that is sure to attract a lot of attention to your yard. Espalier pruning needs to begin when the tree is very young and then done routinely during the tree’s life span.

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

Professional Tree Pruning in Rhode Island

Tree pruning can be dangerous for a tree, your lawn, and, of course, for you! RI Tree Trimming highly encourages professional tree pruning over DIY.

Besides the many dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of damage to a tree if you don’t trim it properly. Excessive pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners maintaining their own trees.

Trees in Rhode Island that get annual care from a professional are much better off, and hiring an experienced arborist from RI Tree Trimming to care for the trees on your property is a decision you won’t regret. Locate your town in our service area. We work with arborists throughout the entire state of Rhode Island!

How to Care for New Trees

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

Once completely grown, trees are very simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. But, if you want to help your trees achieve their full potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for young trees can lead to rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.

The good news is that caring for trees isn’t all that difficult, but you do need some tips to do it right. Educate yourself with the trees you plant in order to know exactly what they need. Then care for them and watch them bloom.

Here, we’ll list the five best practices on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and lay out how to complete each step correctly.

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, stand up to strong winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

The root ball of the tree and the soil surrounding it need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause some of the roots to rot.

The popular recommendation is 4-10 gallons of water every week. This includes rain water, and although it’s difficult to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the remaining gallons. Your new 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 also helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes lead to rotting and decay – so much so, that it’s possible that the tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it around to completely cover the ground underneath the longest horizontal limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will continue to grow as well.

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides several nutrients your soil may not have naturally. Most new trees benefit from fertilizing, but you need to be using the correct products and doing it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

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

If you aren’t certain about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually 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 tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree grows larger. As time goes on, there will be additional tree care tasks that become more important for your young trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very tricky – in the early years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows bigger, you will see several little branches take off, attempting to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually result in a very weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it is much larger. As little branches emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be removed so they don’t steal water and nutrients from the upper branches.

As long as you have trees somewhere on your property, they need to be trimmed periodically. When the trees get too big for you to prune them safely, you can trust RI Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

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

  • Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Early leaf falling, regardless of whether these leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Withering, even with proper watering
  • Individual branches or limbs dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health problem. It is likely going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can usually identify the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will perform testing whenever necessary.

If you catch the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect new trees.

The tips above are basic but effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that they will survive and will look beautiful!

Of course, you could already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to perform these additional lawn care projects. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their new trees the necessary care.

No matter the situation, it’s ok to seek the help of a professional for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in Rhode Island can consult with you about the course of care for each tree species you plant on your land. They love sharing their knowledge and skills with homeowners planting new trees on their land, and they can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call RI Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Rhode Island – including tree trimming – for new trees and old trees. An arborists can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.