Tree Care Instructions
You are now part of a growing number of citizens helping to create a cooler and greener future for The City Beautiful. By following these instructions, you will be able to give your tree a long, healthy life.
- Water your tree daily for the first two months, then follow the schedule below. Only increase frequency during dry periods.
- 1-2 months: daily
- 2-6 months: 3 x times per week
- 6-12 months: 2 x per week
- 12-18 months: 1 x per week
- Don’t let the soil around your tree dry out.
- Fill the ring of soil around your until the water doesn’t drain immediately. Approximately five gallons per one inch caliper.
- Maintain the soil ring around your tree for six months
- Keep the soil and mulch away from the stem of the tree to ensure you are watering the roots.
- Use a hose to soak the soil around your tree thoroughly or add a bubbler to an existing irrigation system.
- Sprinklers alone will not provide enough water.
- If necessary, your tree was staked when planted. Loosen the straps if they begin cutting into the trunk. After six months, remove the stakes and straps completely.
- Don’t put rope or wires around the trunk or branches; they will injure the bark.
- Wait three months after planting to fertilize.
- Use a slow release fertilizer at a rate of 1/4 – 1/2 lbs per inch of trunk diameter evenly in the drip line.
- Don’t use a fertilizer with a weed killer near the drip line.
- Pruning is not recommended until your tree has been planted for one year.
- Encourage a single, central trunk in standard trees and three to five main trunks in multi-stemmed trees such as crepe myrtles.
- Don’t “top” your tree, including crape myrtle. Topping will cause V-shaped crotches and other weak growth to develop.
- Remove branches that cross over and touch other branches or the trunk.
- Prune off the sprouts from the trunk.
- When removing a branch, leave the branch collar (the swelling at the base of a branch) attached to the trunk.
- Don’t use a string trimmer or lawn mower to remove sprouts. Machinery can damage the trunk.
- Using mulch (pine bark or pine straw) around your tree will retain moisture, reduce weeds, and avoid damage to the trunk.
- Don’t apply more than a two inch thickness of mulch. You must keep mulch two to four inches away from the base of the tree.
- Keep grass and weeds at least two feet away from the tree by maintaining the mulched area.
- The larger the mulch ring the better for the tree. The minimum is two to three feet.
- Trees that die due to owner neglect will not be replaced.
Tree Trimming or Removal
Unfortunately, there are times when a tree must be removed due to its health or safety implications. For help from the city with tree trimming and removal, please see how to Apply for a Tree Removal Permit. If you have any questions or concerns regarding tree removal or trimming, please call the Parks Division at 407.246.2514.