Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. It 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 and care for them properly.

IL Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.

Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best suited for your front or back yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees very much, so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color and some extra privacy.

Here are popular options:

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

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

Many of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty large, so you need to do a little research to find out if the tree will have enough space to grow to its full potential.

If there is not enough room, the tree’s root system can damage your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its location will most likely have to be removed, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.

Front Yard Shade Trees

In the front yard, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be a lot more beneficial for increasing 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 and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in both color and size, while still creating lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.

These are some of the shade trees IL Tree Trimming recommends:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

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

With options in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Illinois, they will provide your yard and home with shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — and there are some that you maybe don’t automatically think about.

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

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

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air surrounding your house. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.

Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think chipmunks are cute, your trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.

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

How to Care for Shade Trees

Maintaining shade trees is easy as long as you’ve planted the right species for the weather in Illinois. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.

Consult a local arborist from IL Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or to help you select the best tree for your home.

After you have determined the perfect shade tree(s), follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your yard always get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.

Trimming Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call IL Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Illinois. 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 will help them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to promote healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, IL Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Illinois will visit your property, assess the tree and determine the proper maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree pruning is best left to the pros. It’s a dangerous job, climbing trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree as well. Trees that aren’t pruned correctly can experience a lifetime of problems.

Instead of putting yourself and the tree itself at risk, call someone who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will result in healthier trees and a safer environment near your home for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are sturdier and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Cared for trees won’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Trimmed trees produce more flowers or fruit
  • Pruned trees provide shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your landscaping

IL Tree Trimming highly suggests 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 very strong and can survive on their own everywhere in the world, in many different climates and regions, without trimming.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of professional tree trimming, so it’s highly recommended for trees that you value. This includes sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that perform an important service for your home, such as shade or wildlife habitat.

Tree Trimming Gone Wrong

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

But that’s not a problem, because there are plenty of professionals available who know exactly how to properly trim trees for an affordable cost to you including all arborists in Illinois we team up with!

Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make when attempting DIY tree trimming that can lead to many tree problems. These are things that a professional arborist from IL Tree Trimming will know, and that’s exactly why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done properly, trimming is an ongoing process. Starting when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be care for by an arborist if you value them and intend to keep them strong and healthy.

A big mistake people often make when pruning trees by themselves is trimming too much of the tree at a time. This occurs because they let the tree’s growth get out of control and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should not cut off more than 5-20% of the tree’s crown at the actual removal cut. It is a lot easier to do this during a time of year that there are no leaves, but an experienced arborist will be able to properly prune trees any time of year.

Trimming in the Wrong Place

An experienced arborist knows exactly where to cut each limb to prevent damage. This cut should occur just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the trunk.

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

Pruning Large Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be trimmed unless it is absolutely necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can lead to imbalance in the tree and expose it to pests and rodents and rot as the tree recovers from losing such a big branch.

Conservative trimming once each year ensures that the company only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which produces a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of hurting the tree or exposing it to disease and insects.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! During this service, tree trimming companies would just cut the top off of the tree to get the desired height. It was not attractive nor was it beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you might think this is an easy way to lower the height of your tree with only a single cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s virtually no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call IL Tree Trimming

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

Performing this job yourself might seem like a good way to save money, but you might end up with way more cost trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s a lot safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Illinois from IL 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 result in strange shapes that could require years to correct. The tree could end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of just one pruning mistake.

Incorrect pruning could also lead to death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, meaning it won’t get enough water or enough carbon dioxide and sunlight to continue growing.

Cutting off too many branches might also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t always permanent, but it takes a lot of care and patience. Even with proper maintenance, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree trimming mistakes and call IL Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Illinois able to customize a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues blossoming and looking beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living organisms, so that means that they can get “sick” just like people and animals. A disease or other tree problem might take a little while to show up because of the overall size of the tree, and once you identify a symptom, it could be too late to restore the tree.

A certified arborist from IL Tree Trimming can diagnose and treat common tree issues so that there is a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree pruning.

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

If you notice any of these things on any of your trees, 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 encountered by certified arborists in Illinois. The moment you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, call someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is very common in both trees and plants. The name comes from the yellow and brown spots this disease produces on the leaves.

Leaf rust is bad because it interferes with the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be treated with fungicides and selective trimming of the affected leaves. It may be recommended to remove entire branches with leaf rust.

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

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, while others are simply considered a growth malformation. An arborist can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even when the wet conditions are over with, mildew can continue to thrive. It appears as a powdery substance, usually white, and it often shows up on the leaves of a tree first.

The trick to treating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will remove the current mildew and prevent future mildew on the tree. You might also need to prune the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when insects build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most types of galls are not harmful to the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in varying sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some color in between.

It is not necessary to treat the tree for galls, but they can limit the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, since this is where the insects live during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Trimming – There’s a science to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure what to do, you could damage the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to prune trees to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be significantly affected by drought. If you plant new trees, you will probably have to supplement the amount of 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 some planning before planting trees in a full-sun area. Many species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is harsh for an extended period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to prevent wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Illinois

An experienced arborist from IL Tree Trimming will quickly identify what’s going on with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it.

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Evaluate trees from below and from the branches of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is usually necessary to see exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products applied to the leaves. The arborist will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune tree limbs to eliminate dead or diseased branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is needed, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree can survive both the issue and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your yard if there is no chance to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and removing it is the best choice to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also inform you about the trees that you have om your property and how to best care for them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation again.

Many tree diseases look similar to one another, requiring an expert eye to accurately determine and treat the problem. If your trees appear to be dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from IL 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 illinois

When it comes to the question, “Which season is best for tree trimming?” The answer will likely be vague.

Tree type will determine when many species are able to be trimmed, along with insect population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other species of plants and trees in the yard.

With the assistance of a professional arborist in Illinois, you will be able to determine what time of year is optimal for trimming your trees to set them up for success next season and beyond.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other context, IL Tree Trimming recommends pruning trees in the winter. This would be sometime from November to March in Illinois. Winter is optimal because the trees are usually dormant, so pruning will cause the least amount of damage, if any.

There are many benefits to trimming trees during the winter:

Lower chance of insect damage and disease – Pests and plant diseases are usually inactive during the winter in Illinois. During the rest of the year, everything from insects to fungus can affect a freshly 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 there are no leaves – Leaves get in the way of your arborist from seeing the complete shape of a tree. When the tree branches are bare, it is a lot easier to see dead or diseased branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees can heal before spring – By performing major pruning during the winter, your trees have several months to rebuild callus tissue on the tips of the remaining branch collar. By spring, you’ll hardly be able to tell where the branches were removed, and the tree will be able to use its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers instead of healing new cuts.

Less chance of damaging nearby landscaping – Most of the nearby trees and greenery will also be dormant during this time, so there is less risk of doing damage to them. Most of the time, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the warmer months, 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 annual pruning. Tree pruning each winter is good for the trees, but it is also a precaution for the safety of your landscaping and your family and neighbors. Let us explain:

Pruning Makes the Tree Healthier

Dead and diseased limbs are cut off, as are stubs that are prone 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 year is also a good way to get an expert’s opinion on the health of your trees so that early signs of decay, disease and insect infestations can be identified and dealt with immediately.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree becomes 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 intended to do.

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

Trees are More Beautiful After Pruning

If the curb appeal of your landscaping is important to you, tree pruning is important! Pruning trees gives them an attractive, uniform shape and size. This is important if you have a lot of identical trees on your property.

Trimming lower branches and upper branches that grow at awkward angles enhances the overall look of the tree while also strengthening tree health.

Less Chance of Falling Branches

Tree trimming – done the right way – encourages the remaining branches to grow healthier and stronger. Therefore, storms and high winds won’t affect your trees the way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be much safer living under and around pruned trees.

Another safety issue for overgrown trees is that they impede the view of traffic lights, road signs and driveways. Tree trimming, crown raising and other certified tree care services will keep the tree at a good size and prevent it from blocking various views.

Call IL Tree Trimming for Tree Trimming

Hiring a professional arborist in Illinois gives you access to their expert knowledge on the subject of tree trimming. We strongly recommend relying on their expertise if there are trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for awhile.

An arborist won’t only consider the current situation. Instead, he or she will take the time to inspect your trees and study their unique scenario (including their location and factors that could put them at risk of disease or infestation). After collecting all the information, an arborist will suggest a long-term plan based on your trees’ unique needs and stick to that plan until the goals for your trees are met.

This plan could require years to implement, but rest assured, it will result in healthy trees that you and your family can enjoy for generations.

This type of ongoing care will promote healthy tree growth, help your landscaping fight off plant diseases and improve fruit or flower production from trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is not as much risk of falling trees or branches.

Being proactive about tree care can save you a lot of money too. Preventative maintenance is much more cost-effective than the cost of emergency tree services, storm damage restoration or restoring a sick tree of a disease that has gotten out of control (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the curb appeal of your property, trust a certified arborist for tree trimming and maintenance from IL Tree Trimming. Find our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Illinois. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Illinois is an important landscaping service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they are able to withstand insects, diseases and inclement weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning must be completed if you want healthy trees, but it needs to be done properly by someone who has experience in what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from IL Tree Trimming. You may be able to prune trees safely while they are still small, but you also may be doing irreparable harm to the tree.

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

  • When is the best time to prune your types of trees
  • How much of the tree can be pruned at at once
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not harm the tree

Cutting too much from a tree might kill it or result in structural damage, but minimal pruning done every year benefits trees in a lot of ways. Professional pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, eliminates dying or diseased limbs and increases fruit or flower production.

For the best results, pruning must be performed each year, but as trees mature, you may be able to go two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how routinely you have your trees pruned, ensure your arborist is qualified to do the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call IL Tree Trimming in Illinois!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

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

Depending on the shape, type and health concerns of your trees, one pruning method might be more beneficial than another, but each technique has distinct benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is typical for larger, overgrown trees in Illinois. This process eliminates weak branches within the crown of the tree to improve sunlight and air flow throughout the crown. Air flow is especially important for disease prevention.

This tree pruning technique also eliminates branches that are touching so they do not rub against each other and snap or cause weaker areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at strange angles are typically removed during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree trimming technique removes branches and limbs at the lower part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk. Letting low branches get too large makes them hard to cut off, and they can draw nutrients away from the top of the tree, which leads to less fruit and a weaker tree.

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

It is a common technique for overgrown trees that are close to homes and other buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the total size of the crown from its exterior edge. It shortens limbs vertically and horizontally to maintain the tree at a manageable size. By lowering the crown size, you can remove the need to cut the tree down because it won’t come into contact with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

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

Crown Cleaning

Sometimes known as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive tree trimming method that gets rid of dead, broken or diseased limbs 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 stops limbs from rubbing together. It is also a safety practice that reduces the likelihood of falling branches, because healthy branches do not usually fall.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an intense trimming technique used on trees that were significantly damaged (either by weather or vandals). It must only be done by an experienced arborist who knows how the tree is likely to grow in the future and how long it’s restoration is going to take.

Unlike most other tree trimming services, crown restoration occurs during a longer time period with conservative pruning that reshapes the tree. Your arborist should have a plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, working with the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

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

It encompasses many tree trimming techniques including crown thinning, crown cleaning and crown reduction – anything that makes the trees look more attractive. Remember, though, that an arborist will never compromise the health of a tree, so the primary focus of vista pruning is still to maintain strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are heavily pruned to grow flat against a wall or a trellis. It is a different style of pruning that will attract a lot of attention to your yard. Espalier pruning should be started when the tree is young and then continued very routinely throughout the tree’s life span.

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

Professional Tree Pruning in Illinois

Tree trimming can be harmful to a tree, your landscaping, and, of course, for you! IL Tree Trimming highly recommends professional tree pruning over DIY.

Besides the many possible dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of damage to a tree if you don’t prune it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most common errors made by homeowners trimming their own trees.

Trees in Illinois that get routine care from a professional are much better off, and hiring an experienced arborist from IL Tree Trimming to prune the trees on your property is a choice you won’t regret. Locate your city in our service area. We work with arborists throughout the entire state of Illinois!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your land has several benefits. Trees create much-needed summer shade, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal and property value.

Once grown, trees are pretty easy to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing even with minimal care. But, if you want to see your trees reach their potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees can result in rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

The good news is that caring for trees isn’t too difficult, but you will want a little information to do it correctly. Research the new trees you plant to know exactly what they need. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll describe the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You likely are familiar with the basics, so we’ll dive deeper and explain how to complete each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, resist damaging gusts of wind, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need a lot more water than older ones. The trees you plant are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil all around it need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this can cause some of the roots to rot.

The best practice is 4-10 gallons of water every week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the rest. Your new trees need this much water every week for the first 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive lawn care material. It helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can cause rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the tree will not survive.

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

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients your soil may not naturally have. Most young trees benefit from fertilizing, but you need to be using the right products and doing it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

The perfect time to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides good conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you are unsure about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed your 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 needs as the tree grows larger. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care projects that become more important for new trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – but very challenging – in the first years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows, you may see many small branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it will ultimately look like when it is much larger. As tiny limbs emerge on the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients away from the branches at the top of the tree.

As long as there are trees somewhere on your land, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the tree gets too big for you to trim them safely, you can count on IL Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never truly safe from these issues. As your tree gets older, monitor it carefully for evidence of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves appear healthy or diseased
  • Wilting, even with proper watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signals indicate a health problem. It is likely going to need professional care if your goal is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can often identify the problem by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you identify the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect growing trees.

The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that they will survive and look beautiful too!

Of course, you could already have a full schedule and don’t really want to perform these additional tasks. In some cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability to give their growing trees the necessary care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to hire a local tree service for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in Illinois can advise you about the best course of care for each type of tree you plant on your property. They love sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting new trees, and can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call IL Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Illinois – including tree trimming – for newer trees and old trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.