Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outside. 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 and care for them properly.

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

Planting Trees for Shade

All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for maximum shade. These types of trees usually have a thick, wider 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 front or back yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.

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

Here are 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 said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Most of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely big, so you need to do some research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.

If there is not enough room, its root system can destroy your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its yard will most likely have to be removed, which is an unfortunate and sometimes costly 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 adding curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.

Purchase 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 providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

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

With this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in South Carolina, they will provide your yard and home with shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

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

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.

Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their protective canopies. This leads to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!

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

Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.

Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree house 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 pretty easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in South Carolina. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.

Consult an arborist from SC Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your yard.

As soon as you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s), follow this care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The south, west and east of your property always get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides 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 for healthy growth.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call SC Tree Trimming for tree trimming in South Carolina. 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 will help them develop 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 just like you would any other type of tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can help your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.

We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, SC Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in South Carolina will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to the pros. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, wielding chainsaws and lowering heavy branches to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of issues.

Rather than putting yourself in harm’s way and putting the tree at risk, enlist a professional who is trained and experienced to do the job for you.

This will result in stronger trees and a safer environment surrounding your landscaping for several reasons:

  • Healthy trees are stronger and not as likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees won’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees create shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

SC Tree Trimming strongly encourages trimming trees that are very close to your house or any that are an integral part of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are very strong and can grow on their own everywhere in the world, in a variety of different climates and locations, without trimming.

That said, there are several benefits of tree pruning, so it’s recommended for any trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and blossoming trees or trees that perform an important service for your home, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Tree pruning is a difficult project. You are going to need the right equipment and a lot of knowledge to ensure the job is done right. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s alright, because there are a lot of services available who know exactly how to properly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all arborists in South Carolina we team up with!

Below are the 5 mistakes people make when they attempt DIY tree trimming that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that an experienced arborist from SC Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Trimming Too Much

When done correctly, tree pruning is a never-ending process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be maintained by an expert if you care about them and intend to keep them healthy.

A huge mistake homeowners often make when trimming trees by themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to correct it all immediately. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is a lot easier to do this during a time of year that the leaves are off, but a certified arborist is able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Bark from the Tree

When you cut a tree branch and gravity starts to pull it down, it can rip bark from the tree 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 guarantee this doesn’t happen, an experienced arborist makes special cuts beneath big branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these small cuts removes pressure from the branch collar and lowers the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the tree limb doesn’t tear.

Trimming in the Wrong Place

A certified tree specialist knows where to cut each limb to protect against damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the 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 issues.

Pruning Big Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is 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 losing such a big branch.

Conservative trimming annually guarantees that your tree trimmer only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting 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! With this process, tree trimmers would cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was not attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping currently.

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

The Solution? Call SC Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad pruning.

Performing this project 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 really safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in South Carolina from SC Tree Trimming.

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

Bad pruning could also result in death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get enough water or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue healthy growth.

Cutting too many branches can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t always permanent, but it takes a great deal of patience and care. Even with the right care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call SC Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in South Carolina 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 it stands to reason that they can get “sick” just like people and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a little while to show itself because of the overall size of the tree, and once you notice a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A professional arborist from SC Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of keeping 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 more healthy growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree pruning.

Have you noticed a tree on your property that has always seemed healthy but all of the sudden looks like something is wrong? In the next paragraphs, we’ll explain some of the most common tree issues and what these symptoms mean.

If you spot 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 around it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent issues encountered by experienced arborists in South Carolina. Once you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, call someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is very common in both plants and trees. The name originates from the brown and yellow spots this disease creates 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 trimming of the affected leaves. It could be recommended to remove whole branches with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This common disease creates a large clump of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by pests, 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 only considered a growth malformation. A tree care specialist can diagnose the problem.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on almost anything in moist conditions, but even when the wet conditions are gone, mildew can remain and thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it usually appears on the leaves of a tree first.

The the best method for eliminating mildew is to use a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will remove the current mildew and prevent future mildew on the tree. You may also need to prune the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and 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 branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most types of galls are not dangerous for the tree, but they are not attractive.

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

You do not have to treat the tree for galls, but they can affect the growth of recently planted trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, since this is where the pests survive during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Pruning – There’s a discipline to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure how to do it, you could damage the tree beyond 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 prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely 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 will have its growth inhibited. The first symptom you are likely to see is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some initial research before planting trees in a full-sun area. Many species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is harsh 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 South Carolina

An experienced arborist from SC Tree Trimming will quickly diagnose what’s going on with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it if at all possible.

Here are the things an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Review trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if necessary. Climbing into the canopy is often necessary to identify exactly what is causing the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through fertilizers and additives in the soil or products applied to the leaves. This person will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune tree limbs to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the disease and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your lawn if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is dying, and cutting it down is the only way to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also educate you about the trees that you have om your property and how to best care for them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.

Some tree problems look similar to one another, requiring an expert eye to correctly diagnose and correct the issue. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a professional arborist from SC 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 south carolina

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

Tree type often dictates when many species can be trimmed, 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 certified arborist in South Carolina, you can determine which time of year is ideal for trimming your trees to set them up for success next season and every year after that.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other context, SC Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees in the winter. This ranges from November to March in South Carolina. This season is best because trees are mostly dormant, so pruning will lead to the least amount of damage, if any.

There are many benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Lower risk of insect damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are largely inactive in the winter in South Carolina. During the remainder of the year, anything from insects to fungus can harm a freshly pruned tree because the tree is most susceptible and these issues thrive during warmer weather.

Easier to see the shape of the tree when there are no leaves – Leaves stop your arborist from seeing the overall shape of the tree. When branches are bare, it is much easier to see diseased or dead limbs and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By doing this significant pruning in the winter, your trees have several months to rebuild callus tissue on the tips of the remaining branch collar. By the spring season, you’ll hardly be able to tell where the branches were trimmed, and the tree will be able to focus its energy to produce new leaves, fruit or flowers rather than healing new cuts.

Less chance of damaging surrounding landscaping – Most of the surrounding trees and plants will also be dormant during this time, so there is less risk of doing damage to them. Many times, 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 have already died out.

Do All Trees Need Trimming?

Yes, all trees will benefit from routine trimming. Tree trimming in the winter is good for 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 Stronger

Dying and diseased limbs are cut off, as are stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub against one another are also trimmed so that they don’t weaken each other or cause an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees every winter is also a great way to get an expert’s opinion on the health of your trees so that early warning signs of decay, disease and insect problems can be spotted and handled immediately.

A Well-Maintained Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

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

Trimmed trees, on the other hand, produce more fruit, healthier leaves and better shade. They are fuller and healthier and less likely to create landscaping problems. So regardless of why you decided to plant a new tree, routine trimming each winter will maximize the results you want from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Trimming

If the view of your landscaping is important to you, tree pruning is a necessity! Trimming trees creates an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is especially important if you have several similar trees on your property.

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

Less Risk of Dropping Branches

Tree pruning – from an arborist – encourages the remaining branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and other inclement weather in South Carolina won’t affect 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 issue for overgrown trees is that they can impede the view of traffic lights, road signs and driveways. Tree trimming, crown raising and other professional tree care services will keep the tree at a manageable size and prevent it from blocking various views.

Call SC Tree Trimming for Tree Trimming

Hiring a professional arborist in South Carolina gives you access to their knowledge on tree trimming. We strongly recommend relying on their years of experience if you have trees on that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist doesn’t only consider the immediate situation. Instead, an arborist will take time to inspect your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that could put them at risk). After gathering all the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on the trees’ unique needs and stick to that plan until your goals for your trees are achieved.

This plan might take 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 improve flower or fruit production from trees. It will also strengthen your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree trimming can save you a lot of money over time too. Preventative maintenance is far more affordable than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or curing a sick tree of 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 property, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from SC Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of South Carolina. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in South Carolina is an important professional service that beautifies and reinforces trees so they can withstand pests, diseases and inclement weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning needs to be performed if you want healthy trees, but it must be done correctly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from SC Tree Trimming. Homeowners may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are still small and developing, but you also may do irreparable harm to the tree.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree can be trimmed at a time
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not harm the tree

Pruning too much from a tree might kill it or lead to structural damage, but conservative trimming done every year benefits trees in several ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, removes dying or diseased branches and assists in fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning should be done once a year, but as trees mature, you might be able to go two years between pruning services. Regardless of how often you have your trees pruned, ensure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call SC Tree Trimming in South Carolina!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 ways to properly prune a tree so that it grows healthier and stronger every 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 distinct benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is common for older, overgrown trees in South Carolina. This process eliminates weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve light and air flow throughout the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This pruning technique also eliminates branches that are touching so they no longer rub up against one another and break or cause weaker areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are usually cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This pruning technique only removes branches and limbs at the lower part of the crown so new limbs start higher up on the trunk. Allowing low branches to get too big makes them hard to cut off, and they can draw nutrients from the top of the tree, resulting in less fruit and a weaker tree.

There are several reasons you might decide 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 common method for large trees that are close to homes and buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the overall size of the crown from its outer edges. It shortens limbs vertically and horizontally to maintain the tree at a manageable size. By reducing the crown size, you can remove the need to chop down the tree because it won’t interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even when the tree isn’t close to structures like those listed above, crown reduction can help the tree look neater because it removes irregular growth. This is a great idea for trees that are different ages but you want to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Often referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive tree pruning method that gets rid of dying, broken or diseased limbs so that the remaining parts of the tree may grow normally. These limbs can only create problems over time.

Crown cleaning helps to make the tree look much better, and it prevents branches from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the likelihood of branches falling, because healthy branches do not usually fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an advanced pruning process for trees that were severely damaged (either by weather or vandals). It should only be attempted by a certified arborist who knows where the tree is likely to grow over time and roughly how long it’s restoration is going to take.

Unlike most other tree pruning services, crown restoration occurs during an extended time period with conservative trimming that reshapes the tree. An arborist must have a definitive plan to restore the tree, but also be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you want trees that add to curb appeal, you are most likely interested in vista pruning. The intent of vista pruning is to make the tree more aesthetically pleasing from a particular viewing point.

It consists of several pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – anything that helps the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that an arborist is not going to jeopardize the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to create strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

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

Some of the benefits of espalier pruning include facilitating maximum sunlight to get to the trees, as well as making it exceptionally easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in South Carolina

Tree pruning can be harmful to a tree, your landscaping, and, of course, for you! SC Tree Trimming highly encourages professional tree trimming over attempting DIY.

Besides the many possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of harm to a tree if you don’t trim it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most common errors made by homeowners maintaining their own trees.

Trees in South Carolina that get annual care from a professional are much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from SC 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 South Carolina!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has many benefits. Trees offer much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal. Everyone should plant trees.

Once grown, most trees are very easy to care for: 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 more effort.

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

The good news is that caring for trees isn’t too difficult, but you will want some tips to do it right. Research the new trees you plant to know exactly what they need to succeed. Then 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 thrive. You likely know the basics, so let’s dive a little deeper and explain how to complete each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

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

Water Your Tree

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

The root ball of the tree and the soil all around it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get too wet, because this can cause the roots to rot.

The general rule is 4-10 gallons of water every 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 add the remaining gallons. 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 product. It actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can sometimes lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree and spread it around to completely cover the ground under 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 no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas around the tree. Be attentive in spreading it out consistently and away from the trunk of the tree so it does not limit air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

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

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

If you are uncertain about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care specialist for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed trees over a period of time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree becomes more established. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care projects that are more important for your young trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very tricky – in the early years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows, you may see many little branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually lead to a weak tree over time.

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

So long as you have trees somewhere 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 SC Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never completely safe from these things. As your tree grows larger, watch it carefully for signs of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether these leaves appear healthy or diseased
  • Withering, despite adequate watering
  • Individual limbs or branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs indicate a health issue. It is probably going to require professional maintenance if your plan is to keep the tree alive. An arborist can identify the issue by simply looking at the tree, although they will do testing if deemed necessary.

If you catch the issue quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect younger trees.

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

Of course, you might already have a very busy schedule and don’t want to perform these additional tasks. In some cases, property owners don’t have the physical ability to give their new trees the necessary maintenance.

No matter the situation, it’s ok to seek the help of a tree company for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in South Carolina can advise you about the best course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant. Arborists love sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting brand new trees, and can make the difference between trees struggling and trees that thrive.

Call SC Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in South Carolina – including tree pruning – for new trees and older trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.