Water – Trees should be watered regularly during the first three summers after planting. Water deeply twice a week with five to ten gallons. Friends of Trees videos on YouTube offer quick tips on how to use an ooze tube and or a drilled bucket to water your trees.
Weed & Mulch – Keep an 18-inch radius of weed-free, mulched area between the trunk and other plants. Weeds and grass absorb water that should be reaching the tree’s roots, and mulching both reduces weed growth and minimizes scarring from lawn mowers and weed whackers. But be sure to clear the mulch away from the tree in a three-inch radius to prevent fungus or infection.
Fertilizer – Fertilizer should not be applied during the first year after planting.
Pruning – During the first year after planting, only broken or dead branches should be pruned. In the second year, if the tree is growing well, it should be pruned only where branches rub together. Suckers or young shoots growing from the base of the tree should be removed at all times.
Never top a tree! – Topping can send a tree into shock by removing too much food-producing foliage at once, and it increases the chance of infection.
Insects and Disease – Call the Multnomah County extension service at 503-725-2033 if you suspect your tree is infested or diseased. Or clip a small leaf sample and bring it to a local nursery for advice.
Stakes and Tree Ties – Stakes and ties should be removed one year after planting. Loosen ties if they become tight around the trunk or begin to chafe away the bark.
** Tree care content from Friends of Trees.