Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Planting shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outdoors. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

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

SD Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on caring for your shade trees so they continue to grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

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

Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best planted in your back or front yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for your enjoyment.

Besides just shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as some extra privacy from neighbors.

Here are a few popular choices:

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

If you have enough space, a live oak is another great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Many of these back yard shade tree suggestions get pretty large, so you definitely want to do a little research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough space, the tree’s root system can damage your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too large for its location will most likely have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.

Front Yard Shade Trees

In the front yard of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be much more beneficial for adding value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.

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

These are some of our favorites:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color during the fall.
Another good choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a row with others to create privacy and shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In truth, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in South Dakota, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — and there are a few that you likely don’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.

Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from hot sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in more affordable energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, so there is cleaner air around 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 cute, your trees can give them all they will need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.

Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have small children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and countless memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

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

Consult a certified arborist from SD Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your shade trees, or to help you select the perfect tree for your property.

After you have chosen the perfect 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 yard always 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 most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call SD Tree Trimming for tree trimming in South Dakota. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is very important. This helps them form a deep root system and will give the tree more stability over the course of its lifetime.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.

We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, SD Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in South Dakota will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the proper care plan for its long-term growth and health.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it can be dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can suffer from a lifetime of problems.

Rather than putting yourself and putting the tree itself at risk, find someone who is trained and experienced to do the job for you.

This will result in much stronger trees and a safer environment around your landscaping for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees don’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade and allow air to flow through their canopies and your property

SD Tree Trimming strongly encourages pruning trees that are near your house or all that are a focus of your landscape.

Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

It is not required. But it is important. Trees are hardy and are able to grow on their own all over the world, in various different climates and locations, without trimming.

That said, there are several benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s recommended for any trees that you care about. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important job for your house, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

Trimming a tree is a difficult task. You are going to need the right equipment and a lot of information to guarantee the job is done right. The majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s not a problem, because there are plenty of services out there who know how to correctly trim trees for an affordable price to you including all of the certified arborists throughout South Dakota we team up with!

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

Pruning Too Much

When done properly, trimming is an ongoing process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be looked after by an expert if you value them and intend to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that homeowners often make when pruning trees themselves is trimming too much of the tree at a time. This happens because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is a lot easier to do this during a season that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist is able to properly prune trees any time of year.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

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

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to pests and decay. Cutting too far away from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree pruning leads to an improper cut, leaving either structural or aesthetic damage.

Trimming Big Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter shouldn’t be pruned unless it is necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can lead to imbalance in the tree and expose it to insects and decay as the tree recovers from losing such a large branch.

Conservative trimming annually ensures that your tree trimmer only has to cut off 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 decay and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is an outdated type of pruning, and for good reason! In this service, tree trimmers would just cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was neither attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the vast majority of tree care companies 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 only a single cut, but once you have cut the top of a tree off, there’s virtually no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call SD Tree Trimming

Here’s the truth. Your tree may never recover from poor pruning.

Attempting this job yourself might seem like a way to save money, but you might end up with way more expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s really safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in South Dakota from SD Tree Trimming.

Limbs aren’t going to grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which can lead to strange shapes that might take years to fix. The tree could end up looking bad for the remainder of its life, all because of just one trimming error.

Bad trimming could also cause death of the tree. Cutting off too many branches (and, therefore, leaves) can affect the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get enough water or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

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 care and patience. Even with proper care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call SD Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in South Dakota able to customize a 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 become “sick” like people and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a while to show appear due to the sheer size of the tree, and once you see a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from SD Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of keeping the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist keep a tree from dying, but they are also able to help trees get healthier growth and bloom more flowers or fruit.

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

If you see 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 professional arborists in South Dakota. As soon as you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the knowledge and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is common in both plants and trees. The name comes from the yellow and brown 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 treated with fungicides and selective tree pruning of the affected leaves. It could be recommended to cut off entire limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This tree disease results in a large mass of twigs, dead leaves and branches that look like a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually rainy weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.

Some instances of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the problem.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even after the wet conditions are gone, mildew can remain and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery texture, typically white, and it often shows up on the leaves of the tree first.

The the best method for eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the existing mildew and prevent future mildew growth on the tree. You may also need to trim the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that have been affected by the mildew

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

Gall appears as as bumps on the tree, in different sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

You do not have to treat the tree if there are galls, but they can limit the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the pests. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, since this is where the insects survive during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Trimming – There’s an art to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what to do, you could harm the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of an issue. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to trim trees to keep them healthy.

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

Too Much Sun – Do your planning before planting trees in a full-sun area. Many types of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is too hot for an extended period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs even more water to prevent wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in South Dakota

A trained arborist from SD Tree Trimming will quickly identify what’s going on with your sick tree and put together a plan to rescue it.

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Review trees from below and from the branches of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is typically necessary to identify exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or solutions applied to the leaves. The arborist will have expert knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Trim trees to remove dead or damaged branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree survives 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 too far gone, and removing it is the best choice to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the other trees that you have and how to best care for them so you don’t return to the same situation again.

Many tree issues look similar to one another, requiring a professional opinion to accurately identify and correct the problem. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a professional arborist from SD Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late for your tree.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in south dakota

When it comes to the question, “What season is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer can be indirect.

Tree type will dictate when many species can be pruned, along with insect population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other plants and trees in the landscape.

With the assistance of a professional arborist in South Dakota, you will be able to decide which season is the best for pruning your trees to prepare them for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Trim Trees

Without any other information, SD Tree Trimming recommends pruning trees during the winter. This ranges from November to March in most areas. This season is best because trees are typically dormant, so trimming will lead to a minimal amount of harm, if any.

There are a lot of benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Lower risk of insect damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are mostly inactive in the winter in South Dakota. During the rest of the year, everything from insects to fungus can affect a newly trimmed tree because the tree will be the most susceptible and these issues thrive in warmer weather.

Easier to see the shape of the tree when the leaves are gone – Leaves get in the way of your arborist from seeing the complete shape of your tree. When branches are bare, it is much easier to see diseased or dead limbs and branches that are touching versus those that are just close together.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By performing significant pruning in the winter, your trees will have several months to build up callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By spring, you’ll barely be able to identify where the branches were removed, and the tree will be able to devote its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

Less chance of harming nearby landscaping – Most of the nearby trees and plants will also be dormant during this time, so there is less risk of them. Many times, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the spring and summer, but there are no plants to be disturbed during the winter since these annuals already died out.

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

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

Pruning Makes the Tree Healthier

Dead and diseased branches are cut off, as are stubs that are susceptible to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub one another are also trimmed so they don’t weaken one another or cause an open wound on the tree.

Trimming trees each winter is a great way to get an expert’s opinion on the health of your trees so that early warning signs of decay, disease and pest problems can be spotted and dealt with right away.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it starts to be hard for water and nutrients to get to every branch. This can leave the tree looking weak and sick and definitely not doing what it’s meant to do.

Trimmed trees, on the other hand, blossom more fruit, healthier leaves and offer better shade. They are fuller and healthier and less likely to create landscaping issues. So regardless of why you planted a new tree, routine trimming each winter will improve the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Attractive After Pruning

If the view of your landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is important! Trimming trees results in an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is very important if you have a lot of identical trees on your property.

Cutting off lower branches and upper branches that grow at improper angles enhances the overall beauty of the tree while also promoting tree health.

Less Risk of Dropping Branches

Tree pruning – from a professional – encourages the remaining branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and other inclement weather in South Dakota won’t damage your trees the way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be much safer living under and around trimmed 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 manageable size and stop it from blocking various views.

Call SD Tree Trimming for Tree Trimming

Hiring a certified arborist in South Dakota gives you access to their knowledge on the subject of tree pruning. We strongly recommend relying on their years of experience if you have trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist won’t only consider the current situation. Instead, an experienced arborist 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 of disease or infestation). After gathering all the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on your trees’ needs and stick to that course of action until your goals for your trees are met.

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

This type of ongoing care will result in healthy tree growth, help your entire property fight off plant diseases and enhance flower or fruit production from the trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is less risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree trimming can save you a lot of money as well. Preventative maintenance is much more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or curing an ill tree of a disease that has gotten out of hand (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the curb appeal of your landscaping, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from SD Tree Trimming. Discover our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of South Dakota. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in South Dakota is a professional service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they can withstand insects, diseases and severe weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning should be done if you want a healthy tree, but it must be done carefully by someone who has experience in what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from SD Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune trees safely while they are still small and developing, but you also may be doing permanent harm to the tree in the process.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your species 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

Cutting too much from a tree can kill it or cause structural damage, but conservative trimming done every year benefits trees in many ways. Pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, eliminates dying or diseased branches and assists in fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning needs to be completed every year, but as trees get older, you may be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how regularly you have your trees trimmed, make sure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call SD Tree Trimming in South Dakota!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

Depending on the size, type and health concerns of your trees, one method could be more effective than another, but each technique has distinct benefits.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is common for older, overgrown trees in South Dakota. This technique removes weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve light and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This tree pruning method also eliminates branches and limbs that are touching so they do not rub up against each other and snap or cause weakened areas that can be an access point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are typically cut off during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree pruning technique only removes branches and limbs at the lower part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Allowing low branches to get too large makes them hard to cut off, and they can pull nutrients away from the top of the tree, resulting in less fruit and a weak tree.

There are several reasons you may want to raise the crown of a tree. Often, it is done to clear the line of sight for automobiles and pedestrians, but it can be done to free up space for landscaping under the tree.

It is a common method for large trees that are close to homes and other buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the total size of the tree’s crown from its outer edges. It shortens branches horizontally and vertically to keep the tree at a certain size. By reducing the crown size, you can eliminate the need to cut the tree down because it will no longer interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even when the tree isn’t close to structures like those listed above, crown reduction will help the tree look neater because it also eliminates irregular growth. This is a smart solution for trees that are different ages but are supposed to look uniform.

Crown Cleaning

Often known as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive type of pruning method that removes dying, snapped or diseased branches so that the remaining sections of the tree will continue to grow normally. These limbs can only create issues later.

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

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an intense trimming method used on trees that were severely damaged (either by pests or weather). It must only be performed by an experienced arborist who knows how the tree is likely to grow in the future and roughly how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree trimming services, crown restoration occurs over an extended period of time with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. An arborist will have a plan to restore the tree, but also be flexible as the tree begins to grow and reshape on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you are striving for trees to add to the beauty of your landscaping, you are actually interested in vista pruning. The goal of vista pruning is to make the tree more visually pleasing from a particular viewing point.

It consists of many tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – any technique that helps the trees look more attractive. Remember, though, that an arborist is not going to jeopardize the health of a tree, so the focus of vista pruning is still to create strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are pruned heavily to grow flat up against walls or a trellis. It is a different style of pruning that will attract a lot of attention to your yard. Espalier pruning must begin when the tree is young and then done consistently throughout the tree’s life span.

Benefits of espalier pruning include facilitating maximum sunlight to reach the trees, as well as making it easier to produce fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in South Dakota

Tree trimming can be dangerous for a tree, your lawn, and, of course, for you! SD Tree Trimming highly encourages professional tree trimming over 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 trim it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

Trees in South Dakota that get annual care from a professional are usually much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from SD 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 South Dakota!

How to Care for New Trees

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

Once full-grown, trees are very easy to care for: another benefit! They are strong and tend to continue growing with minimal care. However, if you want to help your trees achieve their potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees might cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t very difficult, but you do need some tips to do it correctly. Research the trees you plant to know exactly what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll explain the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably are familiar with 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 tips will not only keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, withstand damaging winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, flowers 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 ball of the tree and the soil surrounding it need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause the roots to rot.

The best practice is 4-10 gallons of water every week. Rain water counts, and although it’s difficult to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the rest. Your trees will need this much water every week 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 incorrectly can cause rotting and decay – so much so, that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch exactly 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree and spread it out to cover the ground under the longest horizontal branch. For brand new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will grow as well.

Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be vigilant in spreading it out consistently and away from the trunk of the tree so it does not impede air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides nutrients your soil may not have naturally. Most new trees benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using 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 provides good conditions (mild temperatures and moist soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t sure about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care specialist for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed trees over a period of time rather than all right away.

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

Trim Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – yet very tricky – in the early years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you will see a lot of little branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually lead to a very weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming shapes the tree into what it will ultimately look like when it becomes much larger. As little limbs emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be cut off so they don’t pull water and nutrients from the branches at the top of the tree.

So long as you have trees growing somewhere on your land, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the tree gets too large for you to trim them safely, you can count on SD Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and insect problems. But you’re never completely safe from these issues. As your tree grows older, monitor it closely for signs of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, despite whether these leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Withering, despite adequate watering
  • Single branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signals likely mean a health issue. The tree is likely going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can usually identify the problem by simply looking at the tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

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

The tips above are basic but effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, combined with sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that the tree will survive and look wonderful!

Of course, you may already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to be responsible for these additional tasks. In many cases, property owners don’t have the ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary maintenance.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to contact a professional for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in South Dakota can consult with you about the best course of care for each tree species you plant. Arborists enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting new trees on their land, and can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees thriving.

Call SD Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in South Dakota – including tree pruning – for new trees and older trees. A local tree service will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.