With all the new construction in Collin County, I see many young trees either planted wrong or mulched too close to the trunk of a tree.

Here are four simple tasks you can perform to ensure you’ll enjoy your new tree for years to come:

1) Stake the tree, only if necessary. Studies have shown that trees establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting. However, staking may be required when planting bare root stock or planting on windy sites.

2) Mulch the base of the tree. Mulch holds moisture, moderates soil temperature extremes, and reduces grass and weed competition. Piling mulch right up against the trunk of a tree may cause decay of the living bark. A mulch-free area, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) wide at the base of the tree, reduces moist bark conditions and prevents decay. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Water trees at least once a week, barring rain, and more frequently during hot, windy weather. When the soil is dry below the surface of the mulch, it is time to water. Continue until mid-fall, tapering off as lower temperatures require less-frequent watering.

3) Limit your pruning. At the time of planting, pruning should be limited to dead or broken branches. All other pruning should be withheld until the second or third year, when a tree has recovered from the stress of transplanting. You should always have a distinct purpose in mind before making any pruning cut, because every cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree. Pruning cut location is critical to a tree’s growth and wound closure response. Make pruning cuts just outside the branch collar to avoid damaging the trunk and compromising wound responses.

4) Select the right tree for the right place. A good website is ccmgatx.org which has a tree program called Selecting the Right Tree. Remember to look at the size of a grown tree before planting. If a tree is deciduous, it will drop its leaves in the Fall. A good place for a deciduous tree is a location to shade your house in the summer and allow the sun to warm your house in the winter.   It is also important to vary the trees in your yard.

If you need a good reference site, please go to treesaregood.org

ISA Certified Arborist TX-4006A

ISA – International Society of Arborists

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