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Caring for Your New Trees


After your tree is planted, the next step is to properly take care of it to get the best possible results. Tree care is an easily manageable process. The most crucial part of tree care is watering. Lack of water or over-watering are the most frequent causes of death in recently planted trees. There are a few things to remember when caring for your newly planted trees:

  • Water immediately after the tree is planted.
  • Continue to water through the first full year at least once a week in the absence of rain. If you are uncertain as to whether the tree needs water, dig down 6-8 inches at the edge of the planting hole. If the soil is dry and crumbly, the tree needs water. Adequately moistened soil should form a ball when squeezed. Regular deep soakings are better than frequent light wettings.
  • To conserve moisture and promote water and air penetration, the area around the tree can be covered with mulch. The depth should be 3-4 inches. Do not cover the area surrounding the tree with plastic sheeting since air and water movement would be prevented. Porous landscape fabric can be used since it freely allows for water and air penetration.

Tree Gator

Tree watering systems like the Tree Gator are ideal for making sure you water adequately. These can usually be filled once a week, and they allow for a slow deep soaking. Of course, always check first to make sure the ground isn't already too wet from rainfall. As an option, we can provide you with Tree Gator systems for one or all of your trees.


Fertilization after planting is not needed. You may want to fertilize your tree in the future if it becomes evident that your soil is deficient of certain nutrients. It is very rare for a tree to need any fertilizer or nutrients that aren't already plentiful in most soils. There are many resources on the internet that can help you make these decisions. For more information contact the University of Illinois Extension at:


Your new trees will not require any pruning for the first few years. As it grows, you may want to prune to direct the tree growth. More information can be found on the internet, check out the University of Illinois Extension for more information at:

Updated on 28 Nov 2023