Planting a tree is a wonderful gesture for the environment and for posterity.
Once established, a tree requires no special care. However, a young, newly planted tree requires some care in order to establish itself in the soil and survive the first two years of its life.
Water your tree regularly and generously during the first two years after planting, especially during periods of drought. Allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Prefer watering early in the morning or at the end of the day (when the tree is not exposed to the sun).
The addition of a stake is recommended when the tree is planted in a very windy place, on steeply sloping ground, if the tree is poorly rooted or in a place with a lot of traffic.
If you are using a tutor, be sure to:
• Plant it outside the root ball;
• Install it facing the prevailing winds;
• Use a clip that does not overtighten the trunk;
• Withdraw it after 1 year.
For small trees, weeding around the plants is essential to allow young trees to enjoy full sunlight and space to grow with ease. Also, manual weeding limits competition for soil nutrients.
Mulch has several functions: It keeps the soil’s moisture, reduces weed growth, moderates soil temperature swings, provides nutrients and organic matter as it decomposes, protects trunks from lawn mower injury and roots when the snow cover is insufficient, shelters useful organisms and stimulates the biological life of the soil.
Choose organic mulches (fragmented ramial wood, shredded bark (such as cedar or hemlock mulch), wood chips, forest mulch, etc.).
Apply about 10 to 15 cm of mulch at the base of the tree, being careful to clear the trunk.
In general, the use of planting soil (purchased at a garden centre), the addition of compost, mycorrhiza or any other amendment at the time of planting are sufficient to meet the needs of a tree. Eventually, it will find all the nutrients to grow on the existing soil. Adding fertilizer is therefore not recommended.
In general, the trees purchased in nurseries have already been pruned to ensure that the tree will develop a single central trunk and the branches will be well arranged. If it is necessary to prune some broken or badly positioned branches, we recommend doing this before planting, since it is easier to access the top of the tree. For more complex pruning, it is advisable to hire an expert to make cuts that do not hurt the tree and that support its growth.
PROTECT FOR WINTER
To protect the roots of your tree during winter, cover the base of the tree with snow. In addition, during the first 3-5 years, it is advisable to install a rodent protector in the fall and remove it in the spring.
In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises, it is important to regularly observe your tree closely. Do you notice a colour change in the leaves? Larvae or insects? Damaged leaves? It could be a sign of diseases or greedy insects.
Do not panic! Like us, trees sometimes get sick. With proper care and treatment, your tree will quickly get better.
If in doubt, consult a garden center advisor or https://espacepourlavie.ca/carnet-horticole-et-botanique