Tree Care & Maintenance

We recommend that newly planted trees receive about 20 gallons of water per week, especially in the hot, dry summer months. Trees benefit most when they are “deep-watered” which means watering the tree slowly over an extended period of time. By deep-watering the tree, you help promote deep root growth, which increases the survival rate of the tree.

You can deep-water trees by placing a hose at the base of the tree at a very low volume and allowing it to water the tree until the soil no longer absorbs the water. During prolonged dry periods, this may take around 2 hours.

Deep-Watering Tools
Ooze Tubes and Tree Gators are other effective ways to deep-water a newly planted tree. In addition, a cost effective way to water your trees is to use a rain barrel to capture the rain water that comes off of your house or business and then use the rain water to water your tree during dry periods.

Mulching a newly planted tree is another beneficial thing that residents can do for the health of street trees. Some of the benefits of mulch include:
  • improvement of soil structure
  • insulation of tree roots
  • minimization of weed competition
  • reduction of water loss from the soil
Mulching Technique
To properly mulch a tree place about 2 inches deep of mulch around the tree. It is more beneficial to the tree to mulch wide, not deep. Pull the mulch about 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree, which creates a bird's nest or a dough-nut hole (however you can visualize it) around the tree. This enables better water retention. Piling mulch against the trunk of the tree which is termed a “mulch volcano” is an improper technique and causes many problems for trees. In addition, mulching is more cost effective than putting down a landscape fabric.

Other Maintenance
Do not add extra soil to tree pits. Adding soil can suffocate the tree and also provide a breeding ground for fungi and insects where the soil comes in contact with the trunk of the tree.

Residents should keep tree pits free of garbage, road and sidewalk salt, and dog waste, which can contaminate the soil. In addition, residents are responsible for removing fallen branches, leaves and/or fruit debris. If the tree has any additional tree care needs, please submit an online Tree Work Request form, or call the Natural Resource Specialist at 301-759-6607.