Caring for New Trees
How to Plant your tree(s)
- Dig the hole twice as wide as the container.
- If the tree is root bound, gently loosen the roots. Trim any damaged roots
- Plant the tree so that the top of the root ball is flush with the top of the hole.
- Fill the hole in and around the root ball with good quality soil.
- Tamp the soil around the root ball until the hole is 2/3 full.
- Fill the remaining space with water to settle the soil.
- Once water has drained you may need to add more soil, make a ridge of soil around the root ball to help direct water to the roots.
Caring for your tree(s)
The type of soil you have will dictate how much watering is required. A sandy soil will have to be watered 2 – 4 hours twice a week for the first 2 – 3 months and weekly thereafter for the first year. The roots must be kept moist. In the second year you should only need to water twice a month in spring and summer. If your soil contains a lot of clay and water tends to puddle around the tree, lighter watering is recommended to prevent flooding. The roots need oxygen to grow.
Fertilizer helps trees thrive and resist drought, disease, and insects. High phosphorus fertilizers are recommended at planting time to promote root growth. Do not apply fertilizer directly to roots. Later on, higher nitrogen fertilizers can be applied for greening and top growth.
Staking trees taller than one meter is recommended as it prevents dislodging by wind, people. and animals. Make sure the stake ties do not cause damage to the bark, a piece of old garden hose works well. The stakes should be removed after two or three growing seasons.
Prune at planting simply to improve branch spacing and promote a strong structure in the tree. Annual pruning is recommended. Remove dead, damaged, diseased, weak and thin, or rubbing branches. Remove water sprouts from the trunk and main branches and suckers from the trunk base or roots. First make cuts as shown by arrows 1 and 2. Make final cut at 3, as close as possible to the outside of the branch collar (A). A circle of callus will form around correct cuts (B).
For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department.,