Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Planting shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the correct species of tree and care for them properly.

MT Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they 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 trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.

Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best planted in your back or front 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 purely for shade and enjoyment.

Besides just 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 a large enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Most of these back yard tree recommendations get extremely big, so you need to do your research to find out if the tree will have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough room, its root system can damage your fencing or home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its area will probably 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 beneficial for increasing value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.

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

These are some of the shade trees MT 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 in the fall months.
Another excellent 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 and shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Montana, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

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

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest 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 will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which might result in lower 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 from the air.

Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can give them all they will need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.

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

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in Montana. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, needing little attention or maintenance.

Consult a local arborist from MT Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your shade trees, or to help you select the best tree for your home.

Once you have determined the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your property always 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 then provide the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call MT Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Montana. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is very important. This helps them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can assist in helping 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 comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, MT Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Montana will visit your home, examine the tree and decide 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 the pros. It’s dangerous work, climbing trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy branches to the ground; and it can also be dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of damage.

Instead of putting yourself and putting the tree itself at risk, call someone who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will result in much healthier trees and a safer environment near your home for several reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and not as likely to cause damage during severe storms
  • Maintained trees won’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees create shade while still allowing air to flow through their canopies and your landscaping

MT Tree Trimming strongly encourages trimming trees that are near your home or any that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not necessary. But it is important. Trees are hardy and survive on their own across the world, in various different climates and regions, without pruning.

That said, there are several benefits of tree pruning, so it’s definitely recommended for any trees that you value. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important job for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a complicated project. You need the right tools and a lot of information to ensure the project is done correctly. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s alright, because there are a lot of professionals available who know exactly how to correctly trim trees for an affordable cost to you including all of the certified arborists throughout Montana we team up with!

Below are the 5 most common mistakes homeowners make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from MT Tree Trimming will know, and that’s why their services are worth paying for!

Trimming Too Much

When done correctly, trimming is an ongoing process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by an arborist if you care about them and intend to keep them healthy.

A huge mistake that people often make when pruning trees by themselves is cutting too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they have let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to correct it all at once. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is much easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but a certified arborist is able to safely prune trees any time of year.

Trimming in the Wrong Place

An experienced arborist knows 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.

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

Pruning Large Branches

Branches larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be pruned unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size 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 every year ensures that the company only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which results in a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of harming the tree or exposing it to decay and pests.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! During this process, tree trimmers would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was not attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of arborists do not practice tree topping currently.

During DIY tree trimming, you may think this is an easy way to reduce the height of your tree with just one cut, but once you have cut the top of a tree off, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call MT Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad trimming.

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

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but not in the same places, which can lead to odd shapes that might take years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one pruning mistake.

Bad trimming could also lead to death of the tree. Removing too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue growing.

Cutting off too many branches could also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock can be overcome, but it does take a lot of care and patience. Even with the right maintenance, a tree experiencing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call MT Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Montana able to customize a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues blossoming and looking beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living organisms, so that means that they can get “sick” like humans and animals. A disease or other tree issue may take a while to show up because of the sheer size of the tree, and once symptoms become obvious, it could be too late to revive the tree.

A professional arborist from MT Tree Trimming can identify and treat common tree issues so that there is a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to stop a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get healthier growth and more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

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

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

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most typical problems encountered by experienced arborists in Montana. Once you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

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

Leaf rust is bad because it prevents the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective trimming of the diseased leaves. It might be necessary to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.

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

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. A tree care professional can diagnose the problem.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even when the wet conditions are over with, mildew can remain and thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it often appears on the leaves of the tree first.

The the best method for treating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will eliminate the current mildew and help to prevent 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 disease that occurs when pests or rodents build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most galls are not dangerous for the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in varying sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some color in between.

It is not necessary to treat the tree for galls, but they can limit the growth of recently planted trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, since this is where the insects live during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Pruning – There’s a science to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what to do, you could damage the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) is just as big of an issue. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to trim trees to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be significantly affected by drought. If you plant new trees, you will need to supplement the amount of 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 see is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some initial research before planting trees in a full-sun area. Most species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is too hot for a long period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting a lot of sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Montana

An experienced arborist from MT Tree Trimming will be able to quickly diagnose what’s happening with your sick tree and lay out a plan to save it if at all possible.

Here is what an arborist is trained to do:

  • Evaluate trees from below and from the branches of the tree if necessary. Climbing into the canopy is typically necessary to understand exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products applied to the leaves. The arborist will have expert knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the most effective treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to remove dead or damaged branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy pruning is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree survives both the disease and the pruning process.
  • Remove the tree from your yard if there is no chance to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is too far gone, and cutting it down is the only choice to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

Arborists 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.

Some tree diseases look very similar to each other, requiring an expert opinion to correctly determine and correct the problem. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from MT 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 montana

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

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

With the help of a professional arborist in Montana, you will be able to figure out what season is optimal for pruning your trees to prepare them for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Trim Trees

Without any other context, MT Tree Trimming recommends pruning trees during the winter. This would be sometime within November to March in Montana. This season is ideal because the trees are usually dormant, so trimming will lead to the least amount of harm, if any.

There are many benefits to trimming trees in the winter:

Less chance of insect damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are largely inactive in the winter in Montana. Throughout the rest of the year, anything from insects to fungus can harm a freshly pruned tree because the tree will be the most vulnerable and these issues are more common when there is warmer weather.

Easier to determine the shape of the tree when there are no leaves – Leaves get in the way of your arborist from seeing the complete shape of your tree. When the branches are bare, it is much easier to see dead or diseased branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just close together.

Trees can heal before spring – By doing this significant pruning during the winter, your trees will have many months to rebuild callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By spring, you’ll hardly be able to identify where the branches were trimmed, and the tree will be able to focus its energy to produce brand new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

Less chance of damaging nearby landscape – Most of the nearby trees and greenery will also be dormant, so there is less risk of damaging them. Many times, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the warmer seasons, but there are no plants to be disturbed during the winter months since these annuals have already died out.

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees can benefit from annual trimming. Tree pruning in the 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

Dead and diseased branches are cut off, as are stubs that are susceptible to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub against each other are also pruned so that they don’t weaken each other or create an open wound on the tree.

Pruning trees every year is also a good way to get expert eyes on your trees so that early warning signs of decay, disease and insect problems can be spotted and responded to right away.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

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

Pruned trees, on the other hand, blossom more fruit, healthier leaves and provide better shade. They are fuller and healthier and less likely to cause landscaping issues. So regardless of why you planted a new tree, pruning each winter will improve the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Pruning

If the curb appeal of your yard or landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is important! Trimming trees gives them an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is important if you have many similar trees on your property.

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

Less Risk of Dropping Branches

Tree trimming – done the right way – encourages the remaining 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 much safer living under and around pruned trees.

Another safety concern for large trees is that they can block 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 stop it from blocking various views.

Call MT Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Hiring a certified arborist in Montana gives you access to their knowledge on tree trimming. We recommend relying on their years of experience if there are trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist doesn’t only look at the immediate situation. Instead, an arborist will take the time to inspect your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that could 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’ needs and stick to that plan until your goals for your trees are met.

This plan could take years to implement, but rest assured, it will result in 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 resist plant diseases and enhance fruit or flower production from trees. It will also strengthen your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree trimming will save you a lot of money too. Preventative care is much more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or curing an ill tree of a disease that has spread 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 trimming and maintenance from MT Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Montana. Call now!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Montana is a landscaping service that beautifies and reinforces trees so they are able to fight off insects, diseases and inclement weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning has to be completed if you want a healthy tree, but it needs to be done correctly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from MT Tree Trimming. Homeowners may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are still small and growing, but you also may do permanent damage to the tree.

To correctly prune trees, you must 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 at once
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not harm the tree

Removing too much off of a tree could kill it or cause structural damage, but precise trimming done each year benefits trees in several ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, eliminates dead or diseased limbs and expedites fruit or flower production.

Ideally, pruning needs to be completed every year, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how regularly you have your trees pruned, ensure your arborist is qualified to do the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call MT Tree Trimming in Montana!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

Depending on the size, type and health concerns of your trees, one pruning method could be more beneficial than another, but each technique has various benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for larger, overgrown trees in Montana. This technique eliminates weak branches within the crown to improve sunlight and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This pruning technique also removes branches and limbs that are touching so they do not rub up against one another and snap or cause weaker areas that can be an access point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are typically cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

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

There are a variety of reasons you may decide to raise the crown of a tree. Frequently, it is done in order to clear the line of sight for cars and pedestrians, but it can also be done to increase space for landscaping beneath the tree.

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

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the total size of the tree’s crown from its exterior edge. It shortens branches vertically and horizontally to keep the tree at a manageable size. By lowering the crown size, you can remove the need to cut the tree down because it won’t come into contact with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even when the tree isn’t close to structures like these, crown reduction can make the tree look neater because it also removes irregular growth. This is a great solution for trees that are various ages but are supposed to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Sometimes referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive type of tree trimming method that gets rid of dying, snapped or diseased branches so that the rest of the tree can continue to grow normally. These limbs can only create issues in the future.

Crown cleaning makes the tree look much better, and it stops limbs from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that reduces the risk of branches falling, since healthy branches do not usually fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an advanced pruning method for trees that have been severely damaged (either by pests or weather). It must be done by a certified arborist who knows how the tree is going to grow over time and roughly how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike most other tree trimming services, crown restoration happens throughout an extended period of time with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. The arborist must have a definitive plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree begins to grow and reshape on its own, working with the tree’s new growth pattern.

Vista Pruning

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

It entails several tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – anything that helps the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that a professional is not going to jeopardize the health of a tree, so the primary 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 unique style of tree pruning that will attract a lot of attention to your lawn. Espalier pruning needs to begin when the tree is very young and then continued very routinely during the tree’s life span.

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

Professional Tree Pruning in Montana

Tree trimming can be dangerous for a tree, your landscaping, and, of course, for you! MT Tree Trimming highly suggests professional tree trimming over DIY.

Aside from the many possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t know how to prune it properly. Over-pruning is one of the most typical mistakes made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

Trees in Montana that get annual care from a professional are usually much better off, and hiring an experienced arborist from MT Tree Trimming to prune the trees on your property is a choice you won’t regret. Locate your city in our service area. We work with arborists across the entire state of Montana!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your land has several benefits. Trees offer much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter polluted air and increase property value.

Once full-grown, trees are very simple to care for: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. However, if you want to help your trees reach their full potential, they need a little more effort.

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

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t too complicated, but you will want a little information to do it correctly. Research the new trees you plant in order to know exactly what they need. Then properly care for them and watch them bloom.

Below, we’ll explain the five best practices on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably are aware of the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and detail how to do each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, withstand damaging winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need a lot more water than well-established ones. The trees you plant are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil surrounding it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause some of the roots to rot.

The best practice is 4-10 gallons of water every week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the rest. Your new 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, that it’s possible 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 under the longest horizontal limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow as well.

Keep the mulch at least 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in keeping it spread out consistently and far enough away from the tree trunk so it does not limit air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides several nutrients your soil might not naturally have. Most young trees benefit from fertilizing, but you have to use the right products and doing it at the right time for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

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

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

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

Trim Your Tree

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

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

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

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never completely safe from these things. As your tree gets larger, watch it closely for evidence of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, despite whether leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Withering, regardless of adequate watering
  • Individual limbs or branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signals likely mean a health problem. It is probably going to need professional care if your goal is to save the tree. A certified arborist can typically diagnose the issue by just looking at the tree, although they will do testing if necessary.

If you discover the issue early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect your growing trees.

The tips above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with some sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that they will survive and look beautiful too!

Of course, you could already have a very busy schedule and don’t want to take on these additional tasks. In most cases, property owners don’t have the ability or the tools to give their growing trees the appropriate care.

Whatever the situation, it’s a good idea to hire a tree service for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in Montana can consult with you about the best course of care for each tree species you plant on your property. They love sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting new trees, and can make the difference between trees struggling and trees thriving.

Call MT Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Montana – including tree trimming – for new trees and old trees. An arborists can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.