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How to Take Care of a Newly Planted Tree

So, you have decided to plant a new tree or shrub and you’re wondering how to make sure this thing doesn’t die under your care right? We’re here to guide you and help you get your green thumb! Most trees and shrubs are pretty easy to care for, but they do require some attention in order to really thrive. Follow these tips and watch yourself turn into a certified plant parent!


In order to settle the soil and decrease air pockets, newly planted trees should be watered immediately. Newly planted trees require moisture and oxygen. It’s crucial that during the first two weeks, your tree is deeply watered every day. After that, water the new tree once a week during the first year while it still has its leaves. Make sure to take into account hot/dry periods and rainfall as well. We don’t advise using a sprinkler because most of the water evaporates before soaking into the soil and it is best to water early in the morning.

Watering schedules will need to be adjusted according to rain or drying conditions. If the soil you’re using does not drain well, you may need to reduce the duration or frequency of watering. If your soil is lighter and sandy, it may require more watering. Signs of over watering are yellow, drooping leaves, whereas under watering may result in leaf loss.


Mulch is considered any organic material; that is placed on top of the soil and around the base of your tree to help retain moisture, control soil temperature and ward off weeds. Be careful not to pile on too much mulch as it could result in a cool and damp environment that attracts pests, disease and fungi. Apply 2-4 inches of mulch around the tree’s drip zone (this is as far as the tree’s leaves grow out). Rake to pull the mulch 1-2 inches from the tree trunk to provide the necessary air circulation. Mulch can be replaced as needed as it breaks down.


Young trees should not be pruned for at least a year, but you can trim away minor branch defects. Use clean and sharp pruning shears to clip the small twigs and branches.


When it comes to your newly planted tree, only use natural sources of fertilizer such as compost or manure. You can apply the fertilizer using the “top dressing” method, which is just spreading the fertilizer over the soil or mulch around the tree. This way the nutrients will eventually make their way down into the soil. This method is great because it avoids any disturbances in the soil that could damage the tree’s roots. Fertilizer can be applied any time of the year.

With these essential tips, we wish you all the success with your newly planted trees! PDQ 4U Urban Forestry offers many tree services such as trimming, pruning, planting, retopping, thinning and removing dangerous or aged trees. Contact us at 1.877.737.4812.1.877.737.4812

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