Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Having shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.

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

MI 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 continue to grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

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

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

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.

Here are a few popular choices:

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

If you have the space, a live oak is a great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

A lot of these back yard shade tree suggestions get extremely big, so you need to do a little research to find out if the tree will have enough space to grow to its full potential.

If there is not enough room, the tree’s root system can destroy your fencing or even your home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too big for its location will most likely have to be removed, which is an inconvenient 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 they will be much more impactful for increasing value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.

Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overpower your home and landscaping. These trees should pair with your landscaping in size and color, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.

These are some of the shade trees MI Tree Trimming recommends:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These species trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color during the fall.
Another excellent choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a long row to create privacy as well as shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In truth, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Michigan, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — there are some that you maybe wouldn’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar,  you won’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.

Climate Control – Trees can help regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lowering your energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, so there is cleaner air around your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.

Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your trees can provide them all they need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.

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

How to Care for Shade Trees

Maintaining shade trees is very easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the weather in Michigan. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.

Consult an arborist from MI Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you select the best tree for your property.

After you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s), follow this care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call MI Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Michigan. 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 will help them form a deep root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to aid growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, MI Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Michigan will visit your property, assess the tree and formulate the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

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

Rather than putting yourself and the tree at risk, find a professional who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much healthier trees and a safer environment surrounding your house for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are stronger and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees won’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees provide shade and allow air to flow through their canopies and your property

MI Tree Trimming highly suggests trimming trees that are near your home or all that are a focus of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is important. Trees are hardy and are able to grow on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and locations, without trimming.

However, there are many benefits of tree pruning, so it’s definitely recommended for trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important service for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Tree trimming is a complex project. You are going to need the correct equipment and a lot of information to guarantee the project is done correctly. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have either of these!

But that’s OK, because there are many arborists available who know exactly how to properly prune trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Michigan we partner with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes homeowners make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from MI Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth the price!

Pruning Too Much

When done correctly, trimming is an ongoing process. Starting when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an expert if you care about them and intend to keep them strong and healthy.

A big mistake that people make when pruning trees themselves is cutting too much of the tree all at once. This happens because they have let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to correct it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but a certified arborist is able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

When you cut a tree branch and gravity starts pulling 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 insects to find their way in.

To stop this from occurring, an arborist will make special cuts underneath larger branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these small cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the branch doesn’t rip.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained arborist knows exactly where to trim each limb to prevent damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

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

Trimming Large Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch this large can lead to imbalance in the tree and expose it to insects and rot as the tree recovers from such a large loss.

Conservative pruning once each year guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! With this service, arborists would just cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was not attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you may think this is an easy way to lower the height of your tree with only a single cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call MI Tree Trimming

Let’s face it. Your tree may never recover from poor pruning.

Performing this project yourself might seem like a way to save money, but you might end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s really safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Michigan from MI Tree Trimming.

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which produces strange shapes that could require years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

Bad trimming could also cause death of the tree. Removing too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can affect the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning 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 might also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it does take a great deal of care and patience. Even with proper maintenance, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call MI Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Michigan able to devise a long-term 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 become “sick” just like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree issue might take a little while to show itself due to the sheer size of the tree, and once symptoms become obvious, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from MI Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat common tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an experienced arborist keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed OK but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next section, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree problems and diseases and what these symptoms mean for a tree.

If you notice any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent problems addressed by experienced arborists in Michigan. As soon as you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is common in both plants and trees. The name originates from the brown and yellow spots this disease produces on the leaves.

Leaf rust is dangerous because it inhibits the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective trimming of the affected leaves. It may be recommended to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This tree disease results in a large mass of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually wet weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or danger.

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the problem.

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

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and help to stop future mildew on the tree. You might also need to trim the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of 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 various sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

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

Other Tree Problems

Poor Pruning – There’s an art to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure how to do it, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) can be just as big of an issue. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to trim trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you 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 symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your initial planning before planting trees in a sunny area of your property. Most species of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is harsh for an extended period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs even more water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Michigan

A certified arborist from MI Tree Trimming will be able to quickly diagnose what’s going on with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it.

Here is what an arborist is trained to do:

  • Inspect trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is typically necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products sprayed on the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Trim tree limbs to remove dead or damaged branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree survives both the issue and the pruning.
  • Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the only way to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the other trees that you have om your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation in the future.

Many tree diseases look very similar to each other, requiring an expert opinion to accurately determine and treat the issue. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from MI Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in michigan

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

The type of tree will dictate when many species can be pruned, along with pest population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees in the landscape.

With the help of a certified arborist in Michigan, you can determine what 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, MI Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees during the winter. This ranges from November to March in Michigan. Winter is optimal because the trees are mostly dormant, so trimming will cause the least amount of damage, if any.

There are many benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Less risk of pest damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are largely inactive in the winter in Michigan. During the rest of the year, everything from insects to fungus can affect a freshly trimmed tree because the tree is most susceptible and these issues thrive during warmer weather.

Easier to determine 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 a lot easier to identify diseased or dead branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees can heal before spring – By performing major tree trimming in the winter, your trees will have many months to rebuild callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By the spring season, you’ll hardly be able to identify where the branches were cut off, and the tree will be able to devote its energy to produce brand new leaves, fruit or flowers rather than healing new cuts.

Less chance of harming surrounding landscaping – Most of the surrounding 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 warmer seasons, but there are no plants to be disturbed in the winter months since these annuals already died out.

Do All Trees Need Trimming?

Yes, all trees will benefit from routine trimming. Tree trimming each winter is good for the 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 branches are removed, as are stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub against each other are also trimmed so they don’t weaken one another or cause an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees each year is also a great way to get expert eyes on your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and pest problems can be identified and handled as soon as possible.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it’s hard for water and nutrients to reach every limb. This can leave the tree looking scraggly and sick and definitely not doing what it’s meant 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 want from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Trimming

If the view of your yard or landscaping is important to you, tree pruning is a necessity! Trimming trees results in an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is important if you have several identical trees on your property.

Eliminating lower branches and upper branches that grow at improper angles enhances the overall look of the tree while also strengthening tree health.

Less Risk 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 safer living under and around pruned trees.

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

Call MI Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Hiring a certified arborist in Michigan gives you access to their expert knowledge on tree trimming. We highly recommend relying on their expertise if you have trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist doesn’t just consider the current situation. Instead, an experienced arborist will take the time to research your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that may put them at risk of disease or infestation). After gathering all of the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on the trees’ unique needs and stick to that plan until the goals for your trees are met.

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

This type of annual care will aid in healthy tree growth, help your landscaping fight off plant diseases and increase 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 can save you a lot of money over time too. Preventative maintenance is much more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or curing an ill tree from 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 property, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from MI Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Michigan. Call now!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Michigan is a landscaping service that beautifies and reinforces your trees so they can withstand insects, diseases and inclement weather – and look breathtaking doing it!

Pruning should be performed if you want a healthy tree, but it must be done properly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from MI Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune trees safely while they are small and developing, but you also may be doing permanent damage 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 at once
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not damage the tree

Cutting too much from a tree can kill it or cause structural damage, but minimal trimming done every year benefits trees in several ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, removes dead or diseased branches and expedites fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning must be completed every year, but as trees get older, you may be able to wait two years between pruning services. Regardless of how routinely you have your trees trimmed, be sure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call MI Tree Trimming in Michigan!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 different ways to properly trim a tree so that it grows stronger and healthier every year.

Depending on the size, type and health status of your trees, one pruning method may be more effective than another, but each technique has distinct benefits.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for larger, overgrown trees in Michigan. This technique removes weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve light and air flow through the crown. Air flow is especially important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning method also eliminates branches that are touching so they do not rub up against one another and break or cause weakened areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at odd angles are typically removed during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree pruning technique only removes branches and limbs at the lowest part of the crown so new limbs start higher up on the trunk. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them hard to cut off, and they can draw nutrients away from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weak tree.

There are several reasons you might decide to raise the crown of a tree. Many times, it is done in order to clear the line of sight for automobiles and pedestrians, but it can be done to make space for landscaping under the tree.

It is a very common method for large trees that are close to homes and other buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction lowers the total size of the crown from its exterior edges. It shortens limbs vertically and horizontally to keep the tree at a certain size. By lowering the size of the crown, you can eliminate the need to chop the tree down because it will no longer interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even when the tree isn’t near structures like these, crown reduction will make the tree look much better because it eliminates irregular growth. This is a great idea for trees that are a variety of ages but are supposed to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Also referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive tree pruning method that removes dead, broken or diseased limbs so that the remaining parts of the tree may continue to grow normally. These branches can only cause problems over time.

Crown cleaning makes the tree look much better, and it prevents limbs from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the likelihood of branches falling, since healthy branches rarely fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is a focused trimming technique for trees that have been significantly damaged (either by weather or vandals). It needs to be performed by an experienced arborist who knows where the tree is likely to grow in the future and how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens throughout an extended period of time with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. An arborist should have a plan to restore the tree, but also be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, working with the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you are looking for trees that help improve the overall beauty of your landscaping, you are most likely interested in vista pruning. The purpose of vista pruning is to help to make the tree more aesthetically pleasing from a particular vantage point.

It consists of several pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – anything that helps the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that an arborist will never compromise the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to create strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are heavily pruned to grow flat against a wall or a trellis. It is a different style of trimming that will attract a lot of attention to your lawn. Espalier pruning must be started when the tree is very young and then continued very routinely during the tree’s life span.

of espalier pruning include allowing maximum sunlight to get to the trees, as well as making it much easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in Michigan

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

Besides the possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of damage to a tree if you don’t know how to prune it correctly. Excessive pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

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

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your land has several benefits. Trees give summer shade, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal and property value. Everyone should plant trees.

Once full-grown, most trees are simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to grow with minimal care. But, if you want to help your trees achieve their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.

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

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t too difficult, but you do need some tips to do it correctly. Educate yourself with the trees you plant to know what they need. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

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

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow faster, stand up to strong winds, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need a lot 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 should be kept moist, but don’t let it get too wet, because this can cause some of the roots to rot.

The best practice 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 supplement the remaining gallons. Your new trees will need this much water every week for the first 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping material. It helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can result in rotting and decay – so much so, that the new tree will not survive.

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

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides nutrients your soil may not naturally have. Most new trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you need to use the right products and do it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

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

If you aren’t sure about which type of fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed trees over a period of time rather than all right away.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree gets older. As time goes on, there will be additional tree care projects that become more important for new trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very tricky – in the first years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows, you will start to see several little branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, but it can actually lead to a very weak tree in the future.

Early pruning shapes the tree into what it is going to look like when it gets much larger. As small limbs emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be cut off so they don’t pull water and nutrients away from the branches at the top.

As long as you have trees growing on your land, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the trees get too big for you to trim them safely, you can count on MI Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and insect issues. But you’re never 100% safe from these things. As your tree gets older, monitor it carefully for evidence of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Wilting, even with proper watering
  • Individual limbs dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health problem. It is probably going to require professional care if your plan is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can often identify the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you identify the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect younger trees.

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

Of course, you may already have a full schedule and don’t want to perform these additional tasks. In some cases, homeowners don’t have the ability to give their new trees the necessary care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to contact a local tree service for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Michigan can consult with you about the course of maintenance for each tree species you plant on your property. They love sharing their knowledge and skills with homeowners planting brand new trees on their land, and can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees thriving.

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