Five Common Mistakes for New Tree Owners

Newly Planted Tree

Here at Fannin Tree Farm, we enjoy helping our customers with any issues regarding their newly purchased trees. From providing expert tree care assistance on our sales lot to professional tree installation  at their destinations, our tree specialists love lending our customers a helping hand because we want everybody’s Fannin trees to survive and thrive for many years to come. This being the case, our tree experts have compiled a list of five common mistakes new tree owners tend to make. To protect your tree investment and ensure its livability, be sure to not engage in the following mistakes.

  1. Improper Watering – One of the easiest ways to harm your new tree is to water it improperly, which includes under watering and over watering. To ensure you do not under water your tree, keep in mind that new trees need about five gallons of water for every caliper inch. For example, if your tree measures four caliper inches, it needs 20 gallons of water at least three times a week. As a general rule, newly planted trees need to be watered at least three times a week using a deep-watering method (e.g., hand watering, Gator Bags, soaker hoses and zoned drip systems). To keep from overwatering, check the dampness of the soil at the base of your tree. It should have about the same water content as that of a damp sponge – it should never be soggy.
  2. Soil Compaction – It is essential to have the optimum soil conditions as your new tree strives to acclimate itself to its new environment. Compacting the soil at the base of a newly planted tree is a good way to strangle it and thus inhibit its growth and vitality. Soil compaction has two main effects. First, too much soil density will keep your tree’s root system from expanding and will stifle growth. Second, soil compaction prevents the flow of water and nutrients to the tree’s roots. To prevent soil compaction, do not walk near the base of your new tree or place anything heavy (like lawn equipment) anywhere under the tree’s canopy.
  3. Mechanical Damage  – One of the most common, preventable mistakes people make with their new tree is damaging it with lawn mowers, weed eaters, bicycles or other pieces of equipment. Hitting or leaning these objects on your new tree injures its bark, which makes it harder for the tree to repair itself. Sometimes tree wounds are unable to heal if the tree sustains further injury, which makes the tree vulnerable to disease and hinders the proper flow of vital water and nutrients. Be sure to exercise caution when you maintain your yard to be sure you do not damage your new tree in the process.
  4. Improper Pruning – Pruning a tree is essential for optimum growth and health. It ensures appropriate distribution of sunlight, prevents damage to vital limbs, strengthens trees’ structures and promotes long-term vitality. You should never prune haphazardly to keep branches in check, nor should you severely cut your tree’s topmost branches if they appear to be too tall. To prune your new tree, start with ridding it of dead or damaged branches, and then clear overgrown and smaller branches. The best time to prune your tree is in late winter before the spring flush.
  5. Using Chemicals– Using chemicals to kill weeds in your yard or to control other non-tree related issues can be a real detriment to newly planted trees. Be very careful to not spray any chemicals on your tree’s foliage or root zone when you’re working in the yard.

If you have any questions about these five common tree care mistakes or how to care for your new tree, do not hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help in any way we can!