6 Tree Care Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Blog Category: Tree Care
March 10, 2015 by Ryan Burlingame, Account Manager

Trees are a valuable asset on any property. That’s why it’s important to protect and care for your tree investments with expertise. We’ve compiled six tips, tricks and techniques that will keep your trees healthy and thriving!

  1. Selecting Trees:

If you are only just getting started and don’t have any trees in your yard yet, you’re in an ideal position to start proper tree care. Selecting the correct tree for your lawn and planting it in the right place are both extremely important factors because trees can live for decades.

Consider the purpose of the tree you wish to plant. You might want a tree for aesthetics, shade, fruit or privacy. Whichever the end goal, we can help you choose the most suitable tree to serve your desired purpose.

Next, location, location, location! It is important to understand how the tree will interact with its environment. The location, weather, height and spread of grown trees, drainage, sun exposure, and soil conditions are all important factors to consider. A proper landscape plan takes all of these elements into consideration.

  1. Mulch Your Trees:

Newly planted trees reach optimal health when mulched.  Mulch insulates the soil and keeps soil temperatures consistent, preventing it from fluctuating too drastically. Not to mention, it helps retain water and keep weeds out, so that the tree grows well!

  1. Water Your Trees:

A key component of tree care is tree watering. While every tree has different watering requirements, it’s often difficult to pin point the exact amount of water your tree will need, but a few rules of thumb can help guide you in the right direction.

Make sure to water newly planted trees immediately after planting. In the first two growing seasons, new trees are trying to get their roots established in the soil. With Iowa’s hot and humid summers with occasional stints of drought, your trees are put through stress. With the application of mulch and consistent deep watering, your tree can establish roots quicker.

While not enough water is harmful to your trees, too much can be negative as well. As a basic rule of thumb, your soil should be moist, not soggy.

  1. Consult with an ISA Certified Arborist:

Once your trees are growing and establishing roots, keep the experts at arm’s reach. Consult with an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist for a range of benefits. With several ISA Certified Arborists on staff, we will identify the species of trees on your property, which is especially important if you have problem-prone trees such as ash or bur oak. (We know that the ash has problems locally and nationally). An ISA Certified Arborist will determine if the trees on your property are structurally sound and can withstand spring storms. An arborist will also alert you if your trees are too close to your house or your neighbor’s house and assess if your trees are elevated in accordance with the city’s street requirements. Finally, they will check for any signs of insects or disease. All of these checkpoints are crucial!

  1. Prune Your Trees:

The best time to prune trees is in the winter because it’s easier to see the branching structure of the tree and less of a chance of transmitting diseases due to fresh pruning wounds. In fact, some trees, such as oaks and elms, can only be pruned in the winter. Don’t fret – pruning can still be completed in early spring before the trees start to grow and bud. Pruning unwanted branches ensures the tree doesn’t waste energy supporting branches that are no longer needed. Corrective pruning involves removing limbs that don’t need to be in the tree, such as dead limbs or ones that are hindering the tree’s overall health and growth potential, especially beneficial dense shade trees like pin oaks, lindens, and sugar or silver maples more than others.

  1. Fertilize Your Trees:

In addition to correcting for nutrient deficiencies in the soil, fertilization has numerous benefits for trees. When the volume of soil is restricted, trees need additional nutrients since they cannot find it in their small area of soil, and this occurs often as trees outgrow the space where they were planted. In warmer weather especially, the amount of water required to keep your turf green exceeds the amount of water that trees require, which can lead to leaching of soluble minerals from the soil, which hinders the health of the trees.


Learn more about how Wright Outdoor Solutions can assist you in the complete care for your trees.