Planting trees around your property can have many amazing benefits. Not only can healthy trees beautify your landscape and increase your property value, but they can also help reduce your energy expenses by providing a barrier from the cold and shade on hot days. 

Planting trees also has a number of benefits for our environment. Trees naturally help improve our air quality by absorbing harmful pollutants through their leaves and releasing oxygen back into our atmosphere. 

Trees are like the planet’s natural air purifiers, so it’s important that we properly maintain them. This includes planting new trees with care and providing the additional attention saplings need to grow strong and well established on your property.

In this guide, we take a closer look at how to care for newly planted trees to ensure their health and beauty for years to come. 

General Tips to Care for Newly Planted Trees

With the tips listed below, your newly planted trees and shrubs will be set up for success! 

Watering the Root Ball

One of the top tips to care for newly planted trees is to water the root ball. This is a very important step, as it is critical to the development and long-term survival of the tree. The main thing to beware of when caring for young trees is to keep the root ball well watered. This means you must make sure the root ball stays watered but not to the point of being soaked. If the root ball is dry or too wet, it will adversely affect the growth of the tree.

Moreover, using a garden hose or watering bag is one of the best ways to ensure that you are watering the root ball properly. This is because each of these tools allows you to control the stream of water and makes it easier to ensure that you are not under-watering or over-watering the root ball.

Stay Away from the Trunks and Leaves

Another important tip is to be sure not to water the trunks and leaves. Make sure that the root ball is watered at all times, but there is no need to water the trunks and leaves. Doing so can have a negative impact on the health of the tree.

Watering Schedule

Every tree is a little different, but for the most part, they all have the same watering needs. In general, young trees should be watered every 2-3 days, allowing each plant to receive 10-15 gallons every week. However, larger trees (those with over 2-inch trunk diameter at chest height) need 8-10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter.

Check the Soil

Another major tip for taking care of young trees is to check the soil regularly. The health and condition of the soil play a direct role in a tree’s ability to grow and thrive over time. To do so, simply dig some dirt from the ground directly beneath the canopy. Then, roll the soil around with your fingers. If the soil is wet, there is no need to water it. However, if it feels barely damp or dry, it is time to water it again.

Check the Leaves

Although you should not be watering the leaves, taking the time to check their condition can tell you everything you need to know. Leaves that appear to be dry or shriveled are an indication of the fact that the tree is being under-watered.

Don’t Skimp on the Mulch

Although mulch is not necessary to grow a tree, it can be very helpful. This is because mulch is used to help trees retain their moisture, ward off weeds, and help control the temperature of the soil. However, you must be careful not to add too much mulch as it can also create an environment that is cool, damp, and attracts pests, diseases, and fungi.

Tips for Caring for Young Trees in Hot Climates

Although many aspects of tree care are universal, when you are living in hot climates, there are other factors to consider. No matter if you have an especially warm summer or you live in an area that often experiences temperatures of 90 degrees or above. Here are a few things to do when you are caring for young trees in the sweltering heat:

Double Down on the Water

One of the top things you should do when caring for a newly planted tree in hot weather is to double up on the water. This means that new trees should receive 20-30 gallons a week rather than 10-15.

Schedule Your Watering Times

Although there is no requirement that you water your tree at the same time each day, doing so is a great way to ensure consistency and provide your tree with a reliable care plan. Moreover, it is best to water the tree either early in the morning or after the sun goes down to minimize evaporation and ensure the tree is receiving the optimal amount of water possible.


Lastly, it is typically safe to prune trees in mid-summer (from mid-August to mid-July). However, you may want to take a pause on pruning during extreme heat, as this can also be detrimental to the health of the tree. This is because pruning away foliage can rob the tree of its moisture reserves, which can result in death.

Get Personalized Tree Care from the Certified Arborists at Vintage Tree Care


Overall, if you are looking for the best ways to take care of a young tree, this list of tips is a great place to start. Although there are always exceptions depending on unique climates, the species of the tree, etc., these recommendations are a general foundation that can help you take care of trees from their very early stages.

For over 25 years the certified arborists at Vintage Tree care have been providing personalized care to customers throughout Sonoma County. We want to help ensure our community remains beautiful, healthy, and safe for years to come. 

Contact us online or by phone at (707) 495-4686 to learn more about our arborist services today.