Best Trees to Plant for Shade

Growing shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for children to enjoy some much-needed time outside. It will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.

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

ME 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 continue to grow strong and healthy.

Planting Trees for Shade

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

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

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees , so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.

Here are a few popular options:

  • Magnolia
  • Sugar maple or silver maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Weeping cherry
  • Red oak

If you have enough space, a live oak is a beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very large. An older live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Many of these back yard tree suggestions get pretty big, 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 have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too large for its area will most likely have to be cut down, 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 these trees will be much more impactful for adding value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.

Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in both color and size, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These types of trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color during the fall.
Another great option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a long row to create privacy and shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Maine, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The reasons to have shade for your home are numerous — there are some that you likely wouldn’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get very warm, you won’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.

Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder below their protective canopies. This translates to 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’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can give them all they will need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.

Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and countless memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Maintaining shade trees is easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Maine. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.

Consult a local arborist from ME Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or to help you determine the best tree for your yard.

Once you have decided on the perfect shade tree(s), follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

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

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call ME Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Maine. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is crucial. This will help them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

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

We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, ME Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Maine will visit your home, examine the tree and decide the proper maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to the pros. It’s a dangerous job, climbing high up trees, wielding chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can experience a lifetime of problems.

Instead of putting yourself and putting the tree itself at risk, enlist a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced to do the job for you.

This will result in stronger trees and a safer environment surrounding your landscaping for many reasons:

  • Healthier trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

ME Tree Trimming strongly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your home or all that are an integral part of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and can survive on their own across the world, in various different climates and regions, without being pruned.

However, there are many benefits of professional tree pruning, so it’s highly recommended for any trees that you care about. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that perform an important service for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a complicated task. You need the correct tools and a lot of knowledge to ensure the project is done correctly. The majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are plenty of companies available who know how to properly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all arborists in Maine we partner with!

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

Trimming Too Much

When done correctly, trimming is an ongoing process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by a professional if you value them and want to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake that homeowners often make when trimming trees by themselves is cutting too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to fix it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but an experienced arborist will be able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

After you cut a tree branch and gravity starts to pull it down, it can rip bark from the tree trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, leaving the tree in danger of attracting diseases and making it easier for pests and rodents to find their way in.

To guarantee this doesn’t happen, an arborist will make special cuts underneath larger branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing how to place these initial cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and reduces the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the tree limb doesn’t tear.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained tree specialist knows where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the exact 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 from it leaves a stump when the tree recovers. Most DIY tree trimming leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural damage.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be pruned unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can cause imbalance in the tree and expose it to pests and rodents and rot as the tree recovers from such a large loss.

Conservative pruning every year ensures that the company only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting the tree or exposing it to decay and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! In this process, arborists would just 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 anymore.

As a DIY tree trimming, you might think this is a good way to reduce the height of your tree with only one cut, but once you have cut the top of a tree off, there’s virtually no chance it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call ME Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad trimming.

Doing this project yourself might seem like a way to save a little money, but you could end up with way more expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s a lot safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Maine from ME Tree Trimming.

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which results in odd shapes that could take years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one pruning error.

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

Cutting off too many branches can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it takes a lot of patience and care. Even with proper care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call ME Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Maine 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 organisms, so it stands to reason that they can become “sick” like people and animals. A disease or other tree problem may take a little while to show itself due to the sheer size of the tree, and once symptoms become obvious, it could be too late to restore the tree.

A professional arborist from ME Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat common tree problems so that you have a much better chance of keeping the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist prevent a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get healthier growth and more flowers or fruit.

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

If you notice any of these things on any of your trees, act fast for the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most typical issues encountered by professional arborists in Maine. Once you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, contact someone with the training and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is 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 dangerous because it prevents the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective tree trimming of the diseased leaves. It could be necessary to remove entire limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This common tree disease creates a large grouping of twigs, dead leaves and branches that form a a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually wet weather or fungus. The formation of a clump of leaves and twigs is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.

Some instances of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are only considered a growth malformation. A tree care specialist can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on almost anything in wet conditions, but even when the moist conditions are gone, mildew can remain and thrive. It appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it usually grows on the leaves of the tree first.

The the best method for eliminating mildew is to use a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will treat the existing mildew and stop future mildew on the tree. You may also need to trim the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a tree condition that occurs when pests or rodents build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most galls are not dangerous for the tree, but they are not attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in various sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some color in between.

It is not necessary to treat the tree for galls, but they can affect the growth of young trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, because this is where the insects survive during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Pruning – There’s an art to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, you could damage the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you want to plant new trees, 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 stunted. The first sign you are likely to noticed is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your research before planting trees in a sunny area. Most species of trees can handle it just fine, 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 extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Maine

A certified arborist from ME Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s going on with your sick tree and put together a plan to rescue it if at all possible.

Here is what an arborist is trained to do:

  • Review trees from the ground and from the branches of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is usually necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with fertilizers and additives in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. This person will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune trees to remove dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the problem and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the best way to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the trees that you have and how to best care for them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.

Many tree diseases look very similar to each other, requiring a professional opinion to correctly identify and correct the issue. If your trees appear to be dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a certified arborist from ME Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late for your tree.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in maine

When it comes to the question, “Which season is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer will likely be indirect.

Tree type often dictates when many species are able to be trimmed, along with insect population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other species of plants and trees nearby.

With the guidance of a professional arborist in Maine, you will be able to decide which time of year is the best for pruning your trees to set them up for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other context, ME Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees in the winter. This would be sometime from November to March in Maine. This season is ideal because the trees are typically dormant, so pruning will lead to a minimal amount of damage, if any.

There are many benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Less chance of insect damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are mostly inactive in the winter. During the rest of the year, everything from insects to fungus can affect a newly pruned tree because the tree is most susceptible and these issues thrive during warmer weather.

Easier to determine the shape of the tree when there are no leaves – Leaves get in the way of your arborist from seeing the complete shape of the tree. When tree branches are bare, it is a lot easier to identify dead or diseased limbs and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By performing significant pruning in the winter, your trees will have several months to rebuild callus tissue on the tips of the remaining branch collar. By spring season, you’ll barely be able to tell where the branches were cut off, and the tree will be able to focus its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

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

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees will benefit from routine trimming. Tree trimming every winter is good for trees, but it is also a precaution for the safety of your property and your family and neighbors. Let us explain:

Trimming Makes the Tree Healthier

Dead and diseased limbs are removed, as are stubs that are susceptible to pests and disease. Branches that can rub against one another are also trimmed so they don’t weaken one another or create an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees every winter is a great way to get expert eyes on the health of your trees so that early warning signs of decay, disease and pest problems can be spotted and handled immediately.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it starts to be hard for water and nutrients to reach every branch. This can leave the tree looking weak and sick and definitely not doing what it’s meant to do.

Pruned trees, on the other hand, produce more fruit, healthier leaves and provide better shade. They are much fuller and healthier and less likely to create landscaping problems. So regardless of why you planted a new tree, pruning will improve the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Pruning

If the curb appeal of your landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is a necessity! Pruning trees creates an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is especially important if you have a lot of similar trees on your property.

Cutting off lower branches and upper branches that grow at improper angles enhances the overall look of the tree while also promoting tree health.

Less Chance of Falling Branches

Tree pruning – done the right way – helps the remaining tree branches to grow healthier and stronger. Therefore, storms and high winds won’t damage your trees the same way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be safer living under and around pruned trees.

Another safety concern for large trees is that they can block the view of traffic lights, road signs and driveways. Tree trimming, crown raising and other professional tree care services will keep the tree at a good size and prevent it from blocking various views.

Call ME Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Working with a certified arborist in Maine gives you access to their knowledge on the subject of tree pruning. We strongly recommend relying on their years of experience if there are trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist won’t only consider the immediate situation. Instead, he or she will take time to research your trees and study their unique scenario (including their location and factors that may put them at risk). After gathering all the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on your trees’ unique needs and stick to that plan until the goals for your trees are met.

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 kind of ongoing care will result in healthy tree growth, help your landscaping resist plant diseases and enhance fruit or flower production from the trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or limbs.

Being proactive about tree care can save you a lot of money over time as well. Preventative care is far more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage restoration or curing a sick tree of a disease that has gotten out of hand (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 trimming and maintenance from ME Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Maine. Call now!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Maine is a landscaping service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they are able to withstand pests, diseases and severe weather – and look good doing it!

Pruning needs to be done if you want healthy trees, but it needs to be done correctly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from ME Tree Trimming. Homeowners may be able to prune trees safely while they are still small, but you also may do permanent damage to the tree.

To properly prune trees, you should know all of the following:

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

Removing too much from a tree can kill it or lead to structural damage, but precise pruning done every year benefits trees in a lot of ways. Pruning helps to improve the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, removes dead or diseased portions and expedites fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning needs to be performed every year, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between pruning services. Regardless of how often 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 an issue if you call ME Tree Trimming in Maine!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 different ways to properly trim a tree so that it grows healthier and stronger each year.

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

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is popular for larger, overgrown trees in Maine. This technique removes weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve sunlight and air flow through the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This tree pruning method also gets rid of branches and limbs that are touching so they no longer rub up against one another and snap or create weakened areas that can be an entry point for pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are almost always removed during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This pruning method only removes branches at the lowest part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them difficult to cut off, and they can pull nutrients from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weaker tree.

There are many reasons you might want to raise the crown of a tree. Frequently, it is done in order to clear the line of sight for cars and pedestrians, but it can also be done to make space for landscaping underneath the tree.

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the total size of the tree’s crown from its outer edges. It shortens branches horizontally and vertically to maintain the tree at a manageable size. By reducing the crown size, you can remove the need to chop the tree down because it will no longer come into contact with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even when the tree isn’t near structures like these, crown reduction will help the tree look neater because it also removes irregular growth. This is a good idea for trees that are different ages but you want to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Often known as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive pruning method that removes dead, snapped or diseased limbs so that the remaining sections of the tree may continue to grow normally. These limbs can only cause problems over time.

Crown cleaning helps to make the tree look a lot better, and it stops branches from rubbing together. It is also a safety practice that reduces the likelihood of branches falling, since healthy branches rarely fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an intense pruning technique used on trees that were significantly damaged (either by weather or vandals). It should be performed by a certified arborist who knows where the tree is likely to grow over time and roughly just how long it’s restoration is going to take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration occurs over a longer period of time with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. The arborist will have a definitive 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.

Vista Pruning

If you are striving for trees that increase the beauty of your landscaping, you are actually interested in vista pruning. The intent of vista pruning is to make the tree more visually pleasing from a particular vantage point.

It entails many pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – anything that makes the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that an arborist will never jeopardize the health of a tree, so the primary 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 trimming that will attract a lot of attention to your lawn. Espalier pruning needs to begin when the tree is young and then continued very consistently throughout the tree’s life span.

of espalier pruning include allowing maximum sunlight to get to the trees, as well as making it easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in Maine

Tree trimming can be harmful to a tree, your landscaping, and, of course, for you! ME Tree Trimming highly suggests professional tree trimming over DIY.

Besides the dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t know how to prune it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most common errors made by homeowners maintaining their own trees.

Trees in Maine that get annual care from a professional are usually much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from ME Tree Trimming to care for the trees on your property is a choice you won’t regret. Locate your city in our service area. We work with arborists across the entire state of Maine!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting trees on your property has many benefits. Trees create much-needed summer shade, filter contaminated air and increase property value.

Once full-grown, trees are simple to care for: another benefit! They are durable and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. However, if you want to see your trees reach their maximum potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees can cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t all that difficult, but you do need a little information to do it right. Familiarize yourself with the trees you plant to know exactly what they need. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

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

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, withstand strong winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

The root of the tree and the soil around it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, because this might cause some of the roots to rot.

The best practice is 4-10 gallons of water every week. This includes rain water, and although it’s challenging to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to add the rest. Your new trees need this much water every week for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive landscaping product. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch exactly 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 continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow as well.

Keep the mulch at least 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in spreading it out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not limit air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides nutrients your soil might not have naturally. Most new trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you need to use the correct products and doing it at the correct time in order for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The best 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 are unsure about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care specialist for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed trees over time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the first few growing seasons after planting a tree, and then reconsider your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree gets older. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care tasks that become more important for your young trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – yet very tricky – in the early years after planting a tree. As the tree grows, you will start to see many little branches take off, attempting to become the trunk of the tree. You may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually result in a weak tree in the future.

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

So long as you have trees growing on your land, they need to be pruned regularly. When the tree gets too large for you to prune them safely, you can trust ME Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

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

  • Leaf color change out of season, with leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Early leaf drop, regardless of whether these leaves appear healthy or diseased
  • Wilting, even with adequate watering
  • Individual limbs or branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signs likely mean a health issue. It is likely going to need professional care if your hope is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can diagnose the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing if deemed necessary.

If you identify the issue 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 steps above are simple but effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics! When new trees have proper care, combined with some sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the chances are probable that the tree will survive and will look beautiful!

Of course, you might already have a lot on your plate and don’t want to perform these additional lawn care projects. In some cases, property owners don’t have the physical ability to give their new trees the appropriate maintenance.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to seek the help of a professional for caring for new trees. A certified arborist in Maine can advise you about the best course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant on your land. Arborists enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting new trees, and they can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call ME Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Maine – including tree trimming – for new trees and older trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.