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 location for a backyard BBQ or for kids to play outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.

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

HI Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These types of trees often have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.

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

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.

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

Here are popular choices:

  • Magnolia
  • Sugar maple or silver maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Weeping cherry
  • Red oak

If you have enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.

Most of these back yard shade tree suggestions get very big, so you definitely want to do a little research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.

If there is not enough space, the tree’s root system can destroy 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 most likely 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 than the back yard trees.

Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both color and size, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.

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

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase 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 long row to create privacy and shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any tree can be a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Hawaii, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

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

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you won’t need to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.

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

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove pollutants, so there is healthier 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’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 child doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and countless memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

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

Consult an arborist from HI Tree Trimming if you have questions about how to care for your shade trees, or even to help you decide the best tree for your home.

As soon as you have decided on the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The south, west and east of your property get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then 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 you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call HI Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Hawaii. 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 will help them develop 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 just like you would any other type of tree in order to aid healthy growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, HI Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Hawaii will visit your property, 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 trimming is best left to professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and dropping heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of damage.

Rather than putting yourself and the tree itself at risk, enlist someone who is knowledgeable and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to much stronger trees and a safer environment near your landscaping for several reasons:

  • Healthier trees are sturdier and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread diseases and parasites
  • Trimmed trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees offer shade and allow air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

HI Tree Trimming highly suggests 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 necessary. But it is beneficial. Trees are very hardy and can survive on their own everywhere in the world, in various different climates and regions, without pruning.

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

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Pruning a tree is a complex task. You need the correct equipment and a lot of information to ensure the project is done right. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s OK, because there are a lot of services out there who know how to properly prune trees for an affordable cost to you including all of the certified arborists in Hawaii we partner with!

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

Pruning Too Much

When done the right way, tree trimming is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are only 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an expert if you care about them and intend to keep them strong and healthy.

A huge mistake people make when pruning 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 control and try to fix it all at once. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but a certified arborist will be able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

After you cut a tree branch and gravity starts pulling it down, it can tear off bark from the 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 pests and rodents to scurry their way in.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, a trained arborist will make special cuts underneath big branches before making their actual removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these initial cuts takes pressure off the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the tree branch doesn’t tear.

Trimming in the Wrong Place

A trained arborist knows exactly where to trim each limb to protect against damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the specific place where the branch connects to the tree trunk.

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

Trimming Large Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch this large can cause imbalance in the tree and expose it to pests and rodents and decay as the tree recovers from such a large loss.

Conservative pruning annually ensures that the tree service company only has to remove branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which leads to a more attractive shape for the tree and less risk of harming the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated 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 neither attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the majority of arborists 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 off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever regain a natural shape.

The Solution? Call HI Tree Trimming

Your tree may never recover from bad pruning.

Performing this project yourself might seem like a good way to save a little money, but you might end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s much safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Hawaii from HI Tree Trimming.

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which produces strange shapes that might require years to fix. The tree could look bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single pruning mistake.

Improper pruning could also lead to death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can alter the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get all of the water it needs or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

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

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call HI Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Hawaii able to come up with a long-term 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 problem might take a while to show up because of the sheer size of the tree, and once you notice a symptom, it could be too late to restore the tree.

A professional arborist from HI Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat tree issues so that there is a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

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

If you notice 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 nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent problems addressed by certified arborists in Hawaii. Once you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, contact 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 brown and yellow spots this disease produces 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 tree pruning of the diseased leaves. It could be necessary to cut off entire limbs with leaf rust.

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

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, while others are simply considered a growth malformation. A tree care professional can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even when the moist conditions are gone, mildew can continue to thrive. Mildew usually appears as a powdery texture, usually white, and it often appears on the leaves of the tree first.

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will treat the existing mildew and help to stop future mildew on the tree. You might also need to trim the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when insects build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to leave their eggs in. Most galls are not harmful to the tree, but they are not attractive.

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

It is not necessary to treat the tree if there are galls, but they can affect the growth of new 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 live during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Improper Trimming – There’s an art to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, 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) can be just as big of a problem. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be significantly affected by drought. If you plant new trees on your property, you will probably have to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that is not getting enough water will have its growth stunted. The first sign you are likely to noticed is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your planning before planting trees in a full-sun area of your property. Most 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 of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting a lot of sun needs even more water to prevent wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Hawaii

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

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Review trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is often necessary to see exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through fertilizers and additives in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the best treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the problem and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and cutting it down is the only choice to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also inform you about the trees that you have om your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation again.

Some tree diseases look similar to one another, requiring an expert eye to correctly identify and correct the problem. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a certified arborist from HI Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in hawaii

When it comes to the question, “What time of year is best for tree trimming?” The answer can be vague.

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

With the guidance of a certified arborist in Hawaii, you can figure out what time of year is ideal for pruning your trees to set them up for success next season and every year after that.

Best Season to Trim Trees

Without any other context, HI Tree Trimming recommends pruning trees during the winter. This would be sometime from November to March in Hawaii. Winter is best because the trees are usually dormant, so trimming will lead to the least amount of harm, if any.

There are many benefits to pruning trees during the winter:

Less risk of pest damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are mostly inactive in the winter. Throughout the rest 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 the leaves are gone – Leaves stop your arborist from seeing the complete shape of the tree. When the tree branches are bare, it is a lot easier to identify 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 doing this major tree trimming during the winter, your trees have several months to build up callus tissue on the tips of the remaining branch collar. By spring, you’ll barely be able to tell where the branches were trimmed, and the tree will be able to use its energy to produce brand new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

Less chance of damaging nearby landscaping – Most of the surrounding trees and greenery will also be dormant, so there is a lower risk of damaging them. Most of the time, 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 already died out.

Do All Trees Need Trimming?

Yes, all trees benefit from routine trimming. Tree trimming every winter is good for the trees, but it is also a precaution for the safety of your landscaping and your family and neighbors. Let us explain:

Trimming Makes the Tree Healthier

Dead and diseased limbs are removed, as are branch stubs that are susceptible to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub one another are also pruned so they don’t weaken one another or create 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 insect infestations can be identified and responded to immediately.

A Well-Maintained Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree becomes overgrown, it’s hard for water and nutrients to reach every branch. 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, 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 decided to plant a new tree, routine trimming will improve the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Beautiful After Trimming

If the curb appeal of your landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is important! Trimming trees gives them an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is especially important if you have a lot of identical trees on your property.

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

Less Chance of Dropping Branches

Tree trimming – done the right way – encourages the remaining tree branches to grow healthier and stronger. Therefore, storms and high winds won’t damage your trees the same way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be much safer living under and around pruned trees.

Another safety issue for large trees is that they 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 HI Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Hiring a professional arborist in Hawaii gives you access to their expert knowledge on the subject of tree pruning. We strongly 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 immediate situation. Instead, he or she will take the time to research your trees and understand their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that may put them at risk). After collecting all the information, an arborist will suggest a long-term plan based on the trees’ unique needs and stick to that course of action until the goals for your trees are achieved.

This plan could take years to implement, but rest assured, it will lead to healthy trees that you and your family can enjoy for many years to come.

This type of annual care will aid in healthy tree growth, help your entire property resist plant diseases and improve fruit or flower production from your trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree pruning can save you a lot of money too. Preventative maintenance is far more affordable than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage restoration or curing an ill tree of a disease that has spread out of control (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the beauty of your property, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from HI Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Hawaii. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Hawaii is a professional service that beautifies and reinforces your trees so they will fight off insects, diseases and severe weather – and look breathtaking while doing it!

Pruning must be completed if you want healthy trees, but it needs to be done correctly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from HI Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are small and developing, but you also may be doing permanent damage to the tree in the process.

To correctly prune trees, you should know all of the following:

  • When to prune your types of trees
  • How much of the tree should be pruned at a time
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not damage the tree

Taking too much off of a tree might kill it or result in structural damage, but minimal trimming done each year benefits trees in many ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them stronger, eliminates dead or diseased limbs and expedites fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning must be done each year, but as trees get older, you might be able to go two years between pruning services. Regardless of how routinely you have your trees trimmed, ensure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be an issue if you call HI Tree Trimming in Hawaii!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

Depending on the shape, type and health problems of your trees, one method may be more beneficial than another, but each technique has different benefits.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for larger, overgrown trees in Hawaii. This technique eliminates weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve sunlight and air flow throughout the crown. Air flow is important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning technique also eliminates branches and limbs that are touching so they no longer rub against one another and break or cause weaker areas that can be an entry point for pests. Branches that grow at odd angles are almost always cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This pruning method only removes branches at the lowest part of the crown so new limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Letting low branches get too big makes them very difficult to remove, and they can draw nutrients from the top of the tree, resulting in less fruit and a weaker tree.

There are a variety of reasons you might decide to raise the crown of a tree. Often, 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 under the tree.

It is a very common technique for overgrown 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 keep the tree at a certain size. By lowering the size of the crown, you can eliminate the need to cut down the tree because it will no longer interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t near structures like these, crown reduction will help the tree look neater because it eliminates irregular growth. This is a great solution for trees that are different ages but are supposed to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Also referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive tree trimming technique that eliminates dying, snapped or diseased branches so that the remaining parts of the tree can grow normally. These branches can only cause issues later.

Crown cleaning makes the tree look a lot better, and it prevents limbs from rubbing together. And it is a safety practice that lowers the risk of branches falling, because healthy branches do not fall very often.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is a focused trimming process for trees that were severely damaged (either by weather or vandals). It should only be performed by a professional who knows where the tree is likely to grow in the future and how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens throughout a longer time period with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. The arborist must 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 pattern.

Vista Pruning

If you are looking for trees that increase the overall beauty of your landscaping, you are actually interested in vista pruning. The purpose of vista pruning is to make the tree more visually pleasing from a particular viewing point.

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

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are pruned heavily to grow flat up against walls or a trellis. It is a unique style of tree pruning that is sure to attract a lot of attention to your yard. Espalier pruning has 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 reach the trees, as well as making it exceptionally easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in Hawaii

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

Aside from the dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of damage to a tree if you don’t know how to prune it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners caring for their own trees.

Trees in Hawaii that get routine care from a professionals are much better off, and hiring an experienced arborist from HI 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 Hawaii!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting trees on your property has many benefits. Trees create much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

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

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

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

Here, we’ll explain the five best tips for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely know the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and lay out how to do 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, withstand damaging winds, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and create more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

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

The rule of thumb is 4-10 gallons of water each week. Rain water also counts, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the rest. Your new trees need this much water for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping product. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes cause rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that it’s possible that the tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it around to completely cover the ground under the longest horizontal branch. For brand new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will continue to grow substantially.

Keep the mulch 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 trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients that your soil may not naturally have. Most young trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you have to use the right products and do it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

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

If you are uncertain about which type of fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are typically a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all at once.

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

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – yet very challenging – in the first years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows, you will see a lot of small branches take off, competing to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree in the future.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As small branches emerge from the lower trunk, they need to be removed so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the branches at the top.

So long as you have trees growing on your property, they need to be pruned regularly. When the tree gets too large for you to trim them safely, you can rely on HI Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

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

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

These signals indicate a health problem. It is probably going to need professional care if your hope is to save the tree. A certified arborist can identify the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you catch the issue quick enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect your younger trees.

The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that the tree will survive and will look wonderful!

Of course, you might already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to take on these additional tasks. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the ability to give their new trees the appropriate maintenance.

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

Call HI Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Hawaii – including tree trimming – for newer trees and older trees. A local tree service can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.