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  Sustainability  >  Street Tree Management  >  Care for Trees 101

STREET TREE MANAGEMENT

CARE FOR TREES 101

Maintained Park Trees in Syracuse 

Planning makes all the difference! (Scroll down for lots of great information.)

 

Planning

Before you purchase your tree, please consider the following:
1) Your tree will grow (sometimes really big). 
2) To determine a suitable species:

a. Check above ground
i. Overhead utility lines
ii. Pavement 
iii. Intersection sightlines
iv. Buildings
v. Fire hydrants
vi. Other trees, bushes, plants
b. Check below ground
i. Digsafely New York  Call 811
c. Town Codes
d. Consider existing climate (hardiness), sun (full, partial, shade), soil
(clay, sand, wet, dry,) proposed location (road salts, compaction, etc.). 
e. For more detailed information refer to the following guide from Urban Horticulture
Institute: http://www.hort.cornell.edu/uhi/outreach/recurbtree/pdfs/~recurbtrees.pdf 

Checking depth of holeDigging a Hole

1) Measure the height of the root ball to the trunk flare (see diagram above) and dig hole
that depth. 
2) Dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball.
3) Estimate what half the soil that you just pulled out of the hole looks like and Mix that amount of MULCH back into the pile of soil. 
5) Fill hole with that soil mixture (gently packing all around and under the roots); remove clumps of grass.
6) Water the root ball and entire backfilled hole.
7) Mulch over the filled hole.

Perfectly Planted Tree. Mulch Doughnut, Instead of Mulch Volcano. Mulching

1)     Maintain a FLAT ring of mulch around the base of your tree.

- The ring should be LESS than 4” deep and NOT touch the bark.

Wood chips and leaves are good choices.

2) To reduce string trimmer damage place a 5-page layer of newspaper over the grass before mulching then place 4” of mulch on top (this will help keep the grass and weeds from growing up through the mulch. 
3) Roots NEED oxygen.

-Too deep of mulch or soil prevents oxygen from reaching the roots.

 

                                                                        

Circling Root Caused by Mulch Volcano.

Mulch Volcano-Over time will kill the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watering (routine)

1) Plan on watering your new tree regularly during the first 2 years. Your new tree will likely need about 5 gallons a week. 

2) If conditions are dry, consider using a tree gator (pictured above) which slowly irrigates your new tree. 

3) Remember roots need oxygen. If conditions are wet, cut back on the amount of water you are providing.

 

Pruning young trees Pruning
Pruning-Check out this informative handout.
1) The main reasons for pruning trees are human safety, tree health, and esthetics. 
2) Your new tree should be pruned 2 years after planting. 
3) The best time of the year to prune is winter. 
4) Prune your trees when they are young so you don’t have a problem later!
5) Try to remove less than 25% of the tree’s live branches. 
6) Trees should have:

- Branches that are well-attached to the trunk.

- One central leader.

- Even spacing between branches.

- Adequate clearance between the ground and first branch to allow ease of moving, etc.

-Good crown height. The crown of a leaf bearing tree should be at least 60% of the total tree height. 

 

 

Lawn Mower and String Trimmer Damage

The bark on young trees is very tender. Tree guards reduce this type of injury. Extra care is still required to eliminate injuries. Be sure to remove the guard after 3 or 4 years. The old guard can be seen at the very bottom of the photo.(A tree guard can be seen above in the mulching photo.)

 

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