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Tree Care 101 – Everything You Need to Know

Trees are a great addition to any home or business, and their health depends on proper care. Learn how to select the right tree for your property, plant it, prune it, and inspect it regularly.

Watering is one of the most important parts of tree care. Young trees often look wilted or droopy if they don’t receive adequate water.

Selecting a Tree

When selecting a tree for your landscape, you need to consider several key factors. First, you need to identify the function or purpose you are looking to achieve with the tree. For example, are you planting the tree for aesthetics, to provide privacy, to reduce energy costs, to protect against wind and/or rainstorms, or to provide a source of fresh air?

After determining the function of the tree, you need to select the right species for that function. Each tree species is adapted to a specific amount of light, soil quality, moisture, and temperature ranges in its natural habitat. If a tree is planted in an environment that is not ideal for its species, it can quickly decline in strength and vitality, causing the tree to become susceptible to pest and disease problems.

Next, you need to determine what size you want the tree to grow to and whether it will need pruning later in its life. Small trees tend to be less likely to need pruning, but larger ones may need trimming to keep them from blocking views or creating a safety hazard, says Bauer.

Another consideration is the amount of shade a tree will provide. Some trees thrive in full sun, while others are suited for partial shade only.

Finally, you need to think about the location of the tree in your yard. A mature tree could send limbs over your house or overhead power lines, so make sure it is located in a spot that will not pose a threat to you or your neighbors.

To help you with your site assessment, visit local garden centers and nurseries to review their selections of trees. You also can contact city offices or your Cooperative Extension System office to find out what tree varieties are thriving in your area.

You should also check the hardiness zone for your area. The USDA divides the United States into 11 hardiness zones, each of which has a specific minimum average winter temperature. This information will help you identify which species are most adapted to your climate.


Trees are important to the ecosystem and their growth contributes to air quality, climate amelioration, reducing erosion, conserving water, providing wildlife habitat, and supporting human health. They also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and absorb harmful pollutants.

It is important to select a tree that will grow well in your soil and weather conditions. You should perform a site assessment to determine the best time of year for planting your tree and if any special conditions need to be addressed in its new location.

During the site assessment process, you should ask yourself if the site is near any roadways that are salted in winter or if there are any environmental hazards that could affect your trees’ growth. Your answers will help you choose a tree species or cultivar that will thrive in your location.

Once you have found the right tree for your soil and weather conditions, you should prepare the proper planting hole. Never dig the hole deeper than the height of the root ball. Then, locate the topmost layers of roots in the root ball and make sure that they are level with the soil surface (Image 1).

After you have completed this step, carefully place the tree’s root ball into the hole. Check that it is not too deep, and then backfill the rest of the hole gently to avoid compacting the soil around the tree’s roots.

Break up any clods of soil that are still remaining in the bottom of the hole. This practice will promote soil regrowth and prevent the tree from settling too deeply into the ground.

To improve your soil conditions, it is a good idea to add organic matter, such as compost, manure or aged rotted horse manure. This will provide the tree with needed nutrients and encourage healthy root growth.

Once your tree has been planted, you should regularly water it to keep the soil moist and to settle the soil around the roots. Once the soil is settled, it will be much easier for the roots to penetrate deep into the ground.

Planting a tree is an exciting activity, but it is essential that you do it correctly. If you take the time to plant your tree properly, it will be much more likely to thrive in your environment and last a lifetime.


Pruning is a form of tree maintenance that removes dead or diseased branches and shapes a plant into a more desirable shape. It also improves the sunlight that reaches lower branches and increases fruit production.

The frequency of pruning depends on what kind of tree you have and what you want to achieve. It’s a good idea to prune every two to three years, though you may need to do it more often with evergreens.

When pruning, use a sharp pair of hand tools to remove any suckers that form at the base of your trunk. These weak weedy growths are useless and can steal energy from your tree’s main branches.

Next, remove any rubbing or cross-growth with other branches on the same side of the trunk. This can cause the trunk to become distorted or weak, so it’s best to remove it all together.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the suckers, it’s time to trim and shape your trees. To do this, you’ll need to know how to make good cuts that encourage controlled growth and avoid water damage.

To start, find the branch collar on your trunk – this is where the stem tissue around the base of a branch connects to the tree’s root system. With most trees, you’ll see a slight swelling and rougher bark in this area.

Once you’ve found the collar, cut the branch at an angle. This creates a hole that’s just wide enough for the new growth to grow in. The final cut should be made to the outside of the collar, allowing a little space to let the new growth form a callus before it’s covered by more tissue.

Remember, however, that each cut you make has the potential to change the growth of your tree. So, set your objective for why you’re pruning – whether it’s to improve the health and structure of the tree, increase light and air penetration, reduce stress on selected limbs, or correct problems like crooked or misshapen leaders.

Routine Inspections

Many people think about inspections when they think of home and car maintenance. But trees also need routine inspections in order to prevent problems from developing.

Trees are a vital part of the landscape, and they play a huge role in the health of your property. They provide shade, protection from wind and snow, aesthetic value, and air purification. Mature trees need regular care in order to remain healthy and thriving.

A professional arborist can inspect your trees to identify any signs of pests or disease that may be threatening their health. In addition, they can assess the condition of your soil and create a personalized watering guide to ensure that your trees are getting the proper amount of water for their size and age. Action Tree Service has one of the best tree services in the industry so be sure to give them a go if you’d like to maintain your trees’ health.

The inspector’s eyes will travel the entire height of your tree, from the top to the bottom, looking for any limbs that are missing, have rotted, or are weak. If a problem is found, the arborist will recommend the best way to fix it.

Like an annual doctor’s visit, a tree inspection will look for signs of disease, including infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and insects. In addition, physical damage from construction, storms, or incorrect pruning can be identified.

By identifying these problems, a tree inspection protects the health of both humans and pets. It will also help you avoid costly repairs and remove trees if they’re damaged or diseased.

It can be difficult to tell when a tree is in trouble, so it’s important to have a professional evaluate your trees. An arborist will be able to detect any issues before they become larger or more severe, and they can help you decide whether or not it’s worth keeping the trees around or removing them altogether.

Another benefit of having your trees inspected is that they can identify any insect or disease infestations, which will save you money on treatments in the future. Insects and diseases are a growing concern for many homeowners and businesses, and they can affect the health of your trees in many ways.

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