By Bruce Goldberg | May 20, 2015 0

Caring for Your Sapling

Springtime means you can bury those memories of a rough winter and plant that garden, maybe add some bushes – even plant a tree or two.
Just remember that young trees need plenty of care in their first three years and you have an obligation to get them off to a good start.

Trees Bring Value

The benefits of having well-cared-for trees on your property are strong and include:

  • Raising your home’s value by 10 to 20 percent
  • Lowering energy costs by throwing shade over your house
  • Protecting your home from winter winds
  • Absorbing street noise
  • Enhancing your home’s curb appeal and simply looking great

For urban dwellers, trees add a note of civility, beauty and can lower everyday, city-life stressors. Trees can also deter crime.

Additionally, trees absorb pollutants such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter. By capturing rainwater, they help keep it off the streets, allowing municipalities to save money on storm water management.

How to Give the Best Care

To ensure the strongest, healthiest trees, pay attention to these important planting and care guidelines:


  • Plant your saplings at least 20 feet apart. They should sit at least five feet away from sidewalks, driveways and underground utilities.
  • Dig a six-inch-wide hole that is no deeper than the root ball. Place the tree on firm soil so that it doesn’t sink. Keep soil and mulch away from the foot collar to prevent disease and root rot.
  • Use the original soil to fill the hole. If you want to add nutrients, then add compost before you mulch. The mulch ring should be four inches tall, go around the tree and be at least two inches from the trunk.

Watering and Maintenance

  • Hydrate the saplings three times a week with one-half gallon of water. Leave a trickling hose over the tree roots for one minute, three times a week.
  • For the first two years, water your saplings year-round when outside temperatures are at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The best times to water are in the late morning or early afternoon, so that the water has a chance to absorb before a freeze sets in overnight.
  • Water mature trees at least once per month. After a substantial snowfall, it’s best to wait two or three weeks after it melts before watering again.
  • Deep root watering (using a feeder which forces water down four to six inches below the surface) can help overcome Colorado’s compacted clay soils and is worth considering.
  • DON’T stake or tie a sapling; they grow stronger by swaying with the wind.

Following these steps will get your trees off to the healthiest start in life.

Ask the Experts

Locally owned and operated here in Denver, we specialize in tree planting and transplanting throughout the city and Colorado Front Range area. We offer holistic approaches to landscaping and environmentally-friendly design, supporting local growers. For a free consultation, give us a call today at: 303-623-8733.

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