Post-Planting Care: Watering and Pruning

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Watering After Planting

For the first year after planting, your seedling still needs to be watered well once per week, 52 weeks per year. It won’t require a lot of water each time, but the frequency will be important in order for your tree to establish its root system in the ground.

I recommend a very simple, efficient watering method for your newly planted seedling – and for a taller sapling as your tree grows. It's called a TREE IV, and it's available for purchase online.

Sprinkler systems do not provide enough water for your tree, so plan accordingly when planting.

Pruning your tree

Know in advance that you will eventually trim off ALL of the lower branches on your tree within three or four years, so don’t worry about your tree looking a bit “bushy” during its early years. Those lower branches actually help the tree stem grow stronger, as the tree senses it will have permanent lower branches growing from the stem and “beefs up” the lower stem to support them. So leave those lower branches on your tree for a couple of years and allow your tree stem to grow stronger.

Eventually, you will want to prune off all of the lower branches below the 4-foot or 5-foot level from the ground – so that the remaining lower branches will be the lowest permanent branches as your tree grows older.

As your tree grows larger, and in the interest of making it look its best, it's best to hire a professional tree trimmer to give your tree a haircut every so often. If you do the job yourself, you may not be pleased with the long-term results. A pro will do a better job – and you will be more pleased with the way your tree looks. Once you cut off a limb, it can never be re-attached, so always use a pro.