By Derek Lirange
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the City of Worcester has had thousands of new trees planted in the past four years. You may have even had a tree planted in your yard and if you like your new tree there are some things you ought to know before the winter comes.
New trees need water, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. You may think that if the tree in your yard has been around for a year or even half a year, it’s not new anymore; let me assure you, your tree disagrees. Your tree will still be “new” until it has been there for about 3 years, then it will be well established and should be able to take care of itself. Until that time, it is important to keep watering the trees and not just in the summer.
Many believe that just because the leaves have fallen from the trees that they no longer need water; au contraire! As long as the ground isn’t frozen yet the roots will still be active and take up water. While you could water the trees into December in a particularly mild year it may be best to make your last soak at the end of October, barring a freak snowstorm of course. This last soak should really ensure that a lot of water gets to the roots, so if possible the best method short of buying special equipment would be to let your hose run at just a trickle a foot from the base of the tree for a couple of hours. If you are especially ambitious you might also change the location of the hose a few times in those couple of hours to try to get all of the roots soaked.
The next most important thing for a new tree is to give it mulch for the winter. Now most of the trees planted by the city have a good ring of mulch around them but it would even behoove you to add a bit more on top and extend the ring to the sides. A depth of about 3 inches is good and as wide as the branches spread. However, make sure that no mulch is touching the bark of the tree, leaving about 3 inches of space between the trunk of the tree and the mulch. If the mulch gets piled up against the bark of the tree (which is a common sight) it can rot the bark and harbor insects which will bore their way into the tree. However, applied properly the mulch will pose no threat to the tree and will act like a blanket for the roots and soil, regulating the temperature Click to continue »