Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Having shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

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

KY Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees often have a thick, wide canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.

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

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be purely for your enjoyment.

Besides just shade, these trees can create year-round color and some extra privacy from neighbors.

Here are a few popular choices:

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

If you have a large 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 can reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.

Many of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely large, so you need to do your research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough space, its root system can destroy your fencing or home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too big for its yard will most likely have to be removed, which is an unfortunate 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 overshadow your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in color and size, while still creating lots 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 colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent choice 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 provide privacy as well as shade.

With options in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In truth, any tree can be a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Kentucky, they will provide your yard and home with shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

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

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get very warm, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.

Climate Control – Trees can regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler under their canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lower energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air surrounding 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 cute, your trees can give them all they need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.

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

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is pretty easy as long as you’ve planted the type of trees for the climate in Kentucky. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, demanding little attention or maintenance.

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

Once you have chosen the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this 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 new trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide the ideal 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 planting the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call KY Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Kentucky. 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 helps them form a deep root system and will give the tree more stability over the course of its lifetime.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to promote healthy 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 source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, KY Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Kentucky will visit your home, assess the tree and lay out the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to experienced professionals. It’s dangerous work, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned properly can experience a lifetime of damage.

Instead of putting yourself and putting the tree at risk, hire an arborist who is trained and experienced to do the job for you.

This will lead to stronger trees and a safer environment around your home for several reasons:

  • Healthier trees are sturdier and not as likely to cause damage during storms
  • Maintained trees won’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees offer shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

KY Tree Trimming highly suggests pruning trees that are near your home or those that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and survive on their own across the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s recommended for any trees that you value. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that offer an important job for your home, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Pruning a tree is a complex task. You need the right tools and a lot of knowledge to ensure the project is done right. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are a lot of services out there who know how to correctly prune trees for an affordable cost to you including all arborists throughout Kentucky we team up with!

Below are the 5 most common mistakes people make when they attempt DIY tree trimming that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that an experienced arborist from KY Tree Trimming will know, and that’s why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done the right way, tree pruning is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by a professional if you care about them and desire to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake people make when pruning trees themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they have let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to correct it all immediately. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a once. It is a lot easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but a certified arborist is able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

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

To stop this from occurring, an experienced arborist makes special cuts beneath big branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing how to place these small cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and lowers the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the tree limb doesn’t tear.

Cutting at the Wrong Place

A certified tree specialist knows where to cut 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 trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to pests and decay. Cutting too far from it leaves a stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree trimming leads to an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic problems.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is 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 losing such a large branch.

Conservative trimming annually guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of harming the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! With this process, arborists would just cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was neither attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is an easy way to lower the height of your tree with just a single 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 KY Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from poor trimming.

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

Limbs will not grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which causes odd shapes that could take years to correct. The tree could look bad for the remainder of its life, all because of a single pruning mistake.

Incorrect pruning could also cause death of the tree. Cutting off too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can affect the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

Cutting off too many branches could also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t necessarily permanent, but it takes a great deal of patience and care. Even with proper care, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call KY Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Kentucky able to come up with a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so it stands to reason that they can get “sick” just like humans and animals. A disease or other tree problem might take a while to show appear because of the overall size of the tree, and once you identify a symptom, it could be too late to revive the tree.

A certified arborist from KY Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat common tree issues so that you have a much better chance of keeping the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist keep a tree from dying, but they are also able to help trees get healthier growth and bloom more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your property that has always seemed healthy but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next blog post, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree issues and what these symptoms mean.

If you spot any of these things, 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 common issues encountered by experienced arborists in Kentucky. As soon as you think one of these things could be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the knowledge and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is actually a fungus that is very common in both trees and plants. The name originates from the yellow and brown spots this disease causes 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 pruning of the affected leaves. It may be necessary to remove whole limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This disease results in a large clump of twigs, dead leaves and branches that look like a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually wet weather or fungus. The formation of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, while others are only considered a growth malformation. A tree care specialist can diagnose the problem.

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

The trick to treating mildew is to use a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and stop future mildew on the tree. You might also need to prune the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a tree condition that happens when insects build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to leave their eggs in. Most galls are not harmful to the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in a range of sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

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

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Trimming – There’s a science to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what to do, you could damage the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to trim trees to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be severely affected by drought. If you want to plant new trees on your property, you will probably have to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water can have its growth inhibited. The first sign you are likely to see is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some initial research before planting trees in a full-sun area of your property. Many species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is too hot for a long period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting too much sun needs even more water to prevent wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Kentucky

A trained arborist from KY Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s going on with your sick tree and put together a plan to rescue it.

Here are the things an arborist is trained to do:

  • Inspect trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Getting into the canopy is typically necessary to identify exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through additives and fertilizers in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. The arborist will have expert knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Trim tree limbs to remove dead or diseased branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy pruning is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree survives both the problem and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your property if there is no chance to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is too far gone, and cutting it down is the best choice to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also educate you about the trees that you have om your property and how to best care for them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation again.

Some tree diseases look similar to one another, requiring an expert eye to correctly determine and treat the problem. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from KY Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in kentucky

When it comes to the question, “What time of year is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer can be indirect.

Tree type often dictates when many species can be trimmed, along with pest population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees in the yard.

With the guidance of a professional arborist in Kentucky, 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 every year after that.

Best Season to Trim Trees

Without any other information, KY Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees in the winter. This ranges from November to March in Kentucky. Winter is optimal because trees are typically dormant, so pruning will lead to a minimal amount of damage, if any.

There are many benefits to pruning trees during the winter:

Less chance of pest damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are usually inactive during the winter in Kentucky. During the rest of the year, everything from insects to fungus can affect a freshly trimmed tree because the tree will be the most susceptible and these issues thrive when there is warmer weather.

Easier to see the shape of the tree when the leaves are gone – Leaves stop your arborist from seeing the complete shape of the tree. When branches are bare, it is much easier to see dead or diseased branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By performing major pruning during the winter, your trees will have several months to build up callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By the spring season, you’ll barely be able to identify where the branches were cut off, and the tree will be able to use its energy to produce brand new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

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

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees can benefit from pruning. Tree pruning in the 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

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

Pruning trees every year is also a great way to get an expert’s opinion on your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and insect infestations can be spotted and responded to immediately.

A Well-Maintained Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree becomes overgrown, it’s 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 intended to do.

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

Trees are More Attractive After Pruning

If the curb appeal of your yard or landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is important! Trimming trees creates an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is important if you have several identical trees on your property.

Removing lower branches and upper branches that grow at improper angles improves the overall look of the tree while also promoting tree health.

Less Chance of Dropping Branches

Tree trimming – from a professional – helps the remaining tree branches to grow healthier and stronger. Therefore, storms and high winds won’t damage your trees the way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be much safer living under and around trimmed trees.

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

Call KY Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Hiring a professional arborist in Kentucky 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 awhile.

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

This plan might take many years to implement, but rest assured, it will lead to healthy trees that you and your family can enjoy for many years to come.

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

Being proactive about tree care will save you a lot of money as well. Preventative care is far more cost-effective than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage restoration or curing an ill 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 curb appeal of your landscaping, trust a certified arborist for tree trimming and maintenance from KY Tree Trimming. Discover our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Kentucky. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Kentucky is a professional service that can beautify and reinforce trees so they are able to withstand pests, diseases and severe weather – and look breathtaking while doing it!

Pruning needs to be done if you want healthy trees, but it must be done properly by someone who has experience in what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from KY Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are small, but you also may do permanent harm to the tree.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree should be trimmed at a time
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not damage the tree

Pruning too much off of a tree might kill it or lead to structural damage, but precise trimming done each year benefits trees in many ways. Pruning helps to improve the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, eliminates dead or diseased branches and assists in fruit or flower production.

Ideally, pruning should be performed annually, but as trees mature, you may be able to go two years between pruning services. Regardless of how often you have your trees pruned, ensure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call KY Tree Trimming in Kentucky!

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 size, type and health status of your trees, one method could be more effective than another, but each technique has different benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for older, overgrown trees in Kentucky. This technique eliminates weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve light and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This tree pruning technique also eliminates branches that are touching so they do not rub against each other and snap or create weakened areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are usually cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

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

There are several reasons you may want to raise the crown of a tree. Many times, it is done to clear the line of sight for cars and pedestrians, but it can also be done to create space for landscaping beneath the tree.

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction lowers the total size of the tree’s crown from its outer edges. It shortens branches horizontally and vertically to keep the tree at a certain size. By reducing the crown size, you can eliminate the need to chop the tree down because it won’t interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t near structures like these, crown reduction will make the tree look much better because it removes irregular growth. This is a good idea for trees that are different ages but are supposed to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Sometimes known as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive type of tree pruning method that eliminates 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 limbs from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the likelihood of falling branches, since healthy branches rarely fall.

Crown Restoration

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

Unlike other tree trimming services, crown restoration happens over an extended time period with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. Your arborist should have a definitive plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree begins to grow and reshape on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

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

It encompasses many tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – anything that makes the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that a professional is not going to sacrifice the health of a tree, so the primary focus of vista pruning is still to maintain strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are pruned heavily to grow flat against walls or a trellis. It is a different style of tree pruning that is sure to draw a lot of attention to your landscape. Espalier pruning must be started when the tree is young and then continued very consistently during the tree’s life span.

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

Professional Tree Pruning in Kentucky

Tree trimming can be dangerous for a tree, your lawn, and, of course, for you! KY Tree Trimming highly recommends professional tree pruning over attempting DIY.

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

Trees in Kentucky that get routine care from a professionals are much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from KY Tree Trimming to prune the trees on your property is a decision you won’t regret. Locate your town in our service area. We work with arborists throughout the entire state of Kentucky!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting trees on your property has several benefits. Trees provide much-needed summer shade, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal. Everyone should plant trees.

Once full-grown, trees are pretty easy to care for: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing even with minimal care. However, if you want to see your trees reach their potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for young trees can lead to rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t all that complicated, but you will want some tips to do it right. Research the new trees you plant in order to know what they need. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll outline the five best practices on how to plant a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and detail how to perform each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only keep trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, resist extreme gusts of wind, fight off diseases and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

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

The rule of thumb is 4-10 gallons of water each week. This includes rain water, and although it’s difficult to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the remaining gallons. Your trees will need this much water for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive lawn care product. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots. But laying mulch incorrectly can lead to rotting and decay – so much so, that it’s possible that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch exactly 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground underneath the longest horizontal limb. For brand new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow substantially.

Keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas around the tree. Be vigilant in keeping it spread out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not stop air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides several nutrients that your land’s soil may not have naturally. Most new trees benefit from fertilizing, but you need to use the right products and do it at the correct time in order for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

The ideal time to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer provides the right conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you are uncertain about which fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are typically a good idea because they feed trees over time rather than all right away.

Follow through with these tasks in the first few growing seasons after planting a tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree grows larger. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care tasks that are more important for young trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – yet very tricky – in the early years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows bigger, you will start to see a lot of small branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, it can actually result in a weak tree as time goes on.

Early pruning helps to shape the tree into what it will look like when it becomes much larger. As little limbs emerge on the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t pull water and nutrients from the upper branches.

As long as there are trees on your land, they need to be pruned regularly. When the trees get too large for you to prune them safely, you can trust KY Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never completely safe from these issues. As your tree gets older, monitor it carefully for signs of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Wilting, even with proper watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health problem. It is probably going to require professional maintenance if your hope is to save the tree. A certified arborist can usually diagnose the problem by just looking at the tree, although they will perform testing if deemed necessary.

If you catch the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect your growing trees.

The steps above are basic yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the chances are in your favor that the tree will survive and will look beautiful!

Of course, you may already have a full schedule and don’t really want to perform these additional tasks. In some cases, property owners don’t have the ability to give their new trees the appropriate maintenance.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to seek the help of a tree company for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in Kentucky can advise you about the course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant. Arborists love sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting new trees, and can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees thriving.

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