Tree support, if needed, can be provided by staking, which stabilizes the root ball and supports the tree until it can stand alone. Stakes and ties should be progressively reduced in height to a point where the trunk does not bend when unsupported. This adjustment should occur after the tree is in full foliage (because of structural damage that could occur because of wind). Bare root trees, which are grown in nursery fields rather than in containers, may not require staking. With a few exceptions, most trees will be properly developed within two seasons and able to stand without staking. Often, short stakes (18" - 24") without ties are left or placed around the tree to protect against mechanical damage from mowers and string trimmers.
Pruning & Training
Proper pruning is essential to ensure a structurally strong, attractive mature tree. Pruning needs vary by specie and not all trees should be pruned the same. Generally speaking, creation of a main stem or leader is desirable, with the scaffold branches spaced vertically and radially on the trunk. This spacing also varies by specie: medium sized trees should have 6" - 8" between permanent limbs while large growing trees should have at least 18" vertical separation. When removing a branch, the pruning cut should be in branch tissue just beyond the branch bark ridge and the collar (see below). Normally, limbs being removed will be smaller in diameter than the main trunk or parent branch to which they are attached.
If your new tree is planted in the lawn, keep turf cleared at least one foot from the trunk. The lawn watering should supply enough water for young trees, but check the tree in between waterings to make sure it's not wilting. If it is wilting, water lightly between turf irrigation for the first few months. Use caution not to over-water or saturate the soil.
For trees in bare soil or shrub beds, begin watering 3-4 weeks after new growth begins. Water weekly for two months and then every two weeks for the rest of the season. Irrigating once very 2-3 weeks the second year should be adequate. Remember to increase the amount of water, while watering on a less frequent schedule as the root system develops.
Plant Selection & Planting
This brochure assumes that your tree has been selected and planted in accordance with the TREE PLANTING guide available from TREE Davis.
Benefits of Trees
Trees provide ...
Tools and Materials
Where To Go For Help
TREE Davis: (530) 758-7337,