Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Growing shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for children to play outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

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

IA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they continue to grow strong and healthy.

Planting Trees for Shade

Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These types of trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.

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

Back Yard Shade Trees

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

Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy.

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 grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.

Most of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely large, so you definitely want to do your research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough space, its root system can destroy your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that grows too large for its location will probably have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.

Front Yard Shade Trees

In the front yard, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but they will be much more beneficial for increasing curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.

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

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

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color during the fall.
Another good option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a row with others to provide privacy as well as shade.

With options in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Iowa, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The benefits of having shade on your property are numerous — there are some that you probably don’t typically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.

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

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

Safety for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can give them all they will need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.

Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and joyful memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Maintaining shade trees is easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the weather in Iowa. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or maintenance.

Consult a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you determine the perfect tree for your yard.

Once you have decided on the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.

Planting Your Shade Tree

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

Trimming Your Shade Tree

Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call IA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Iowa. 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 helps them develop a deep and strong root system and will give the tree more stability over the course of its lifetime.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.

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

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to trained professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, wielding chainsaws and dropping heavy branches to the ground; and it can be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that aren’t pruned the right way can experience a lifetime of damage.

Rather than putting yourself and putting the tree at risk, call a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced to do the job for you.

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

  • Healthy trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees don’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees provide shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

IA Tree Trimming strongly suggests pruning trees that are very close to your house or all that are a focus of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are very hardy and grow on their own all over the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of tree trimming, so it’s highly recommended for trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that perform an important job for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

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

But that’s alright, because there are many companies out there who know how to properly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists in Iowa we work with!

Here are the 5 mistakes people make when attempting DIY tree pruning that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done the right way, pruning is a never-ending process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an arborist if you care about them and want to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake that homeowners often make when pruning trees themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This happens because they let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to fix it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the final removal cut. It is a lot easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

An experienced tree specialist knows where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the trunk.

Cutting too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to decay, mildew and pests. Cutting too far away from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural problems.

Trimming Large Branches

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

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that the company only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of damaging the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimming companies would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping anymore.

During DIY tree pruning, you might think this is a good way to lower the height of your tree with just one cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call IA Tree Trimming

Here’s the truth. Your tree may never recover from bad trimming.

Doing this job yourself might seem like a good way to save money, but you might end up with way more expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s much safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Iowa from IA Tree Trimming.

Limbs will not grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which leads to odd shapes that could require years to correct. The tree could look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning error.

Improper pruning could also cause death of the tree. Cutting off too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get enough water or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

Cutting off too many branches could 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 care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call IA Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Iowa able to devise a plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living organisms, so that means that they can get “sick” just like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree issue may take a while to show itself due to the sheer size of the tree, and once you identify a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming can diagnose and treat tree problems so that you have a much better chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to stop a tree from dying, but they are also able to help trees get healthier growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

Have you noticed a tree on your property that has always seemed OK but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next blog post, we’ll explain some of the most common tree issues and what these symptoms mean.

If you notice any of these things, act fast for the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most typical issues encountered by professional arborists in Iowa. The moment 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 comes from the yellow and brown 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 treated with fungicides and selective tree pruning of the diseased leaves. It might be necessary to remove whole limbs with leaf rust.

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

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, others are simply considered a growth malformation. An arborist can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in moist conditions, but even when the moist conditions are over with, mildew can persist and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery texture, typically white, and it usually appears on the leaves of a tree first.

The the best method for treating mildew is to use a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and help to prevent future mildew on the tree. You may also need to prune the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when pests or rodents build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to leave their eggs in. Most types of galls are not dangerous for the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in a range of sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

You do not have to treat the tree if there are galls, but they can inhibit the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the pests. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, because this is where the insects live during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Trimming – There’s a science to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could harm the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be significantly affected by drought. If you plant new trees, you will need to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water will have its growth stunted. The first symptom you are likely to see is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your planning before planting trees in a full-sun area. Many species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is harsh for a long period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Iowa

An experienced arborist from IA Tree Trimming will quickly diagnose what’s happening with your sick tree and put together a plan to save it.

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Inspect trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Getting into the canopy is usually necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products applied to the leaves. The arborist will have knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the most effective treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree survives both the disease and the pruning.
  • Remove the tree from your lawn if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the best way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the trees that you have and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation again.

Some tree problems look similar to one another, requiring a professional eye to correctly diagnose and treat the problem. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late for your tree.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in iowa

When it comes to the question, “Which season is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer will likely be indirect.

Tree type will determine when many species are able to be pruned, along with insect population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees nearby.

With the assistance of a certified arborist in Iowa, you will be able to decide which season is ideal for trimming your trees to prepare them for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Trim Trees

Without any other context, IA Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees during the winter. This would be sometime from November to March in most areas. Winter is best because the trees are typically dormant, so trimming will lead to a minimal amount of damage, if any.

There are several benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Lower risk of pest damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are usually inactive in the winter in Iowa. Throughout the remainder of the year, anything from insects to fungus can affect a freshly pruned tree because the tree will be the most vulnerable and these issues are more common 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 a tree. When tree branches are bare, it is much easier to see diseased or dead branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By performing significant pruning in the winter, your trees have several months to build up callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By the spring season, you’ll barely be able to tell where the branches were removed, and the tree will be able to devote its energy to produce new, healthier 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 damaging them. Most of the time, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the spring and summer, but there are no plants to be disturbed in the winter months since these annuals already died out.

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees will benefit from annual trimming. Tree trimming every 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 limbs are cut off, as are branch stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Branches that can rub against one another are also pruned so they don’t weaken one another or cause an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees each year is a great way to get an expert’s opinion on the health of your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and pest infestations can be identified and handled as soon as possible.

A Well-Maintained Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it starts to be hard for water and nutrients to get to every branch. This can leave the tree looking weak and sick and definitely not doing what it’s intended to do.

Pruned trees, on the other hand, produce more fruit, healthier leaves and provide better shade. They are much fuller and healthier and less likely to cause 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 important! Pruning trees results in an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is especially important if you have many identical trees on your property.

Trimming lower branches and upper branches that grow at awkward angles improves the overall beauty of the tree while also promoting tree health.

Less Chance of Dropping Branches

Tree pruning – from an arborist – encourages the remaining tree branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and other inclement weather in Iowa won’t damage your trees the same way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be safer living under and around trimmed trees.

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

Call IA Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Working with a professional arborist in Iowa gives you access to their expert knowledge on tree pruning. We recommend relying on their expertise if you have trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for awhile.

An arborist won’t just consider the current situation. Instead, he or she will take the time to research your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and factors that could put them at risk). After collecting all of the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on your trees’ unique needs and stick to that course of action until your goals for your trees are achieved.

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

This kind of ongoing maintenance will aid in healthy tree growth, help your landscaping fight off plant diseases and enhance flower or fruit production from the trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is not as much risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree trimming will save you a lot of money over time as well. Preventative maintenance is far more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or restoring a sick tree from a disease that has gotten out of control (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the curb appeal of your landscaping, trust a certified arborist for tree trimming and maintenance from IA Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Iowa. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Iowa is an important landscaping service that beautifies and reinforces your trees so they are able to fight off insects, diseases and inclement weather – and look wonderful doing it!

Pruning should be performed if you want a healthy tree, but it must be done properly by someone who has experience in what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune trees safely while they are still small and developing, but you also may be doing irreparable harm to the tree.

To properly prune trees, you need to know all of the following:

  • When is the best time to prune your types of trees
  • How much of the tree can be trimmed at a time
  • Where to cut each branch so you do not damage the tree

Removing too much off of a tree might kill it or lead to structural damage, but conservative trimming done every year benefits trees in many ways. Professional pruning helps to improve the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, removes dead or diseased portions and assists in fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning must be completed annually, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how routinely you have your trees trimmed, ensure your arborist is qualified to do the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call IA Tree Trimming in Iowa!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

Depending on the shape, species and health concerns of your trees, one pruning method might be more effective than another, but each technique has distinct benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for older, overgrown trees in Iowa. This method eliminates weak branches within the crown to improve sunlight and air flow through the crown. Air flow is important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning method also removes branches that are touching so they no longer rub against each other and break or create weakened areas that can be an access point for insects and pests. Branches that grow at strange angles are almost always removed during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree pruning method removes branches and limbs at the lowest part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk. Allowing low branches to get too big makes them difficult to remove, and they can pull nutrients away from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weaker tree.

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

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the total size of the crown from its outer edges. It shortens branches 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 down the tree because it will no longer come into contact 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 neater because it eliminates irregular growth. This is a smart solution for trees that are various ages but you want to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Sometimes referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive pruning method that eliminates dead, broken or diseased limbs so that the rest of the tree may continue to grow normally. These branches can only create problems later.

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

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an advanced pruning technique used on trees that were significantly damaged (either by pests or weather). It should only be done by an experienced arborist who knows how the tree is going to grow over time and roughly how long it’s restoration is going to take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens over a longer time period with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. Your arborist should have a plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you are striving for trees to increase the beauty of your landscaping, you are probably interested in vista pruning. The intent of vista pruning is to help to make the tree more aesthetically pleasing from a particular vantage point.

It consists of many tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – anything that makes the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that a professional is not going to sacrifice the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to maintain strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

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

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

Professional Tree Pruning in Iowa

Tree trimming can be harmful to a tree, your lawn, and, of course, for you! IA Tree Trimming highly suggests professional tree pruning over DIY.

Besides the dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t trim it correctly. Excessive pruning is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners caring for their own trees.

Trees in Iowa that get routine care from a professionals are usually much better off, and hiring an experienced arborist from IA Tree Trimming to trim the 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 Iowa!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your property has several benefits. Trees provide summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase property value.

Once completely grown, trees are easy to maintain: another benefit! They are strong and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. But, if you want to ensure your trees achieve their maximum potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees might cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

The good news is that caring for trees isn’t all that complicated, but you will want some tips to do it correctly. Educate yourself with the trees you plant to know exactly what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll describe the five best practices for planting a new tree and seeing it grow. You likely are aware of the basics, so we’ll dive deeper and detail how to do each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

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

Water Your Tree

New trees need more water than older ones. The trees you plant are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil around it should be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, 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 trees need this much water every week for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive lawn care material. It helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the tree will not survive.

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

Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in keeping it spread out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not impede air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides the nutrients your soil might not have naturally. Most new trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The ideal time to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer provides good conditions (comfortable 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 specialist for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all right away.

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

Prune Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – yet very challenging – in the early years after planting a tree. As the tree grows, you may see many small branches take off, competing to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, it can actually lead to a weak tree as time goes on.

Early pruning shapes the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As little branches emerge from the lower trunk, they must be removed so they don’t pull water and nutrients from the upper branches.

So long as you have trees on your land, they need to be pruned periodically. When the tree gets too big for you to prune them safely, you can count on IA Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never completely safe from these issues. As your tree grows older, monitor it closely for evidence of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Early leaf falling, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or sick
  • Withering, despite adequate watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health issue. It is likely going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can typically identify the problem by just looking at the tree, although they will perform testing whenever necessary.

If you determine the problem early enough, you will probably be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect new trees.

The tips above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that they will survive and look wonderful!

Of course, you might already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to perform these additional lawn care projects. In most cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary care.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to hire a local tree service for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Iowa can consult with you about the course of care for each tree species you plant on your land. Arborists love sharing their expertise and skills with people planting brand new trees, and they can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call IA Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Iowa – including tree trimming – for newer trees and older trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.