Protection of young trees

Protection of young trees

Each year, the Town of Kirkland plants trees to replace those felled and to beautify urban landscapes. Here are a few tips to follow, to help tree survival in its first growth years (three years).

Water supply

Watering must be done directly at the base, into the basin in order to be effective. Adding mulch around the watering basin is beneficial hence slowing down water evaporation and keeping humidity much longer. Watering frequency should be at least once a week, except during heavy rain falls, and should be increased during hot temperatures. At least 15 liters of water is needed per watering, to saturate the ground to a depth of 30 cm. Also, keep watering throughout the fall months, for as long as there are leaves in the tree.

Tree trunk and root protection

Bark acts as a protection barrier that shelters the tree’s internal vital system. On young trees, the bark is tender, therefore fragile, thus the importance of keeping it intact! The watering basin ensures this protection by adding a buffer zone that prevents possible damages with lawn care equipment. A protector can also be kept in place at the base of the tree only if it is not tight around the trunk and if it has openings, allowing air circulation. After the tree’s critical growth stage in the first three years, the watering basin can be dismantled by leveling out the soil and adding mulch.

It is also important not to compact the soil around the tree, since this will hinder root development outside its trench.

Detrimental Practices!

  • Avoid over-watering, as it will make the leaves turn yellow or fall down.
  • You should not rely on your lawn sprinkler system to water your tree since it was not designed and installed for that specific purpose.
  • Don’t plant shrubs or flowers at the base of the tree.
  • Don’t bury the by heaping up soil or mulch around the trunk base. This will cause decaying of the bark and will lead to the tree’s death.
  • Don’t install Christmas lights on a young tree. The weight of the wires and bulbs could cause branches to break. Furthermore, the buds could be ripped off, which would jeopardize the development of future branches and the trees photosynthesis capacities.
  • Don’t install cement blocks, bricks, rocks or any other heavy material around the tree.