Keep trees, especially newly planted ones, well watered during the fall, until the ground freezes. Before freezing temperatures, remove the watering bags that surround the tree trunk. If a warm period thaws trees and soil, water newly planted trees, especially if your region is in the midst of prolonged drought. In autumn and winter, trees drop their leaves and become dormant as they prepare for colder temperatures.
However, newly planted trees experience the greatest growth in their root system during this time. Colorado often experiences dry spells during winter (two or more weeks without snow cover), which can leave roots susceptible to drying out and cause tree death or serious root damage. Not watering throughout the winter is the factor that contributes most to the mortality of newly planted trees. It is best to slowly give newly planted trees 10 to 15 gallons of water before storing the hose for the winter and supplementing with 10 to 15 gallons of water during dry periods and when temperatures are above 40 degrees.
Do not water when temperatures are near or below freezing point. Young trees should be covered with protective material to help preserve their warmth when temperatures begin to drop. Make sure the cover is large enough to reach the ground and that it is firmly nailed to prevent heat loss. Young or newly planted trees are much more susceptible to drought damage during the winter months.
Make sure they are well watered during the summer and fall off until the ground freezes, and water them every two weeks during the winter when there is no snow cover. Does it look like a telephone pole sticking out of the ground, or can you see the area at the base of the trunk where it starts to widen, just above the top of the roots? We call this widening of the trunk, and it is important that the widening of the trunk is above ground level. If it is buried, the tree will have many problems. Keep in mind that, in many cases, a tree purchased in a container or with balls and burlap will have the trunk flare buried, so you will have to uncover it before planting.
Continue watering at this rate until the tree is established (usually well into autumn). Check the soil around your tree (under the mulch layer) between irrigations. You want it to be damp, but not soaked. A tree needs 10 gallons of water per week for every inch of tree diameter.
So, for example, a 2-inch wide sapling will need 20 gallons of water each week. Long and deep watering is better than short and frequent watering. If you use a soaking hose or a slow drip system, this means at least 2 hours of watering each time. The best option is to remove the grass around a tree (it will make it easier to cut the lawn anyway) and put a layer of organic mulch.
To reap the many benefits of mulch, be sure to place it at a distance of 3 to 4 inches from the tree trunk. Any mulch that touches your tree can severely damage it by encouraging rot and facilitating pest attack. Spread the mulch to a maximum depth of 2 to 4 inches; this is NOT a case of “more, better”. Can be used up to 6 inches around trees, as long as it is not stacked in a volcano) Most of the time, a newly planted tree does not need to be nailed.
But, if for some reason you do, be sure to remove bets after one year (two maximum). Allow the tree to grow for at least a full season before considering any corrective pruning. The tree will need all the energy it can get (from photosynthesis in the leaves) to help it develop a strong root structure. It is also important not to prune the tree much during the first year so that it can recover from the stress of being transplanted.
Water only when the temperature is above 40 degrees F and there is no snow or ice on the ground near the trees. It also prevents weeds from sprouting and ensures that you won't accidentally damage your newly planted tree with a string pruner or clipper. Not covering budding trees in cold conditions may cause them to produce less fruit in spring. A mature tree is likely to survive sunburn and the effects of frost, but this disease could result in the death of a teenage tree.
Caring for your tree in its early years will affect its health, shape and strength throughout its lifespan. But just like a new puppy, young or newly planted trees also need special care and attention so that they can develop healthy roots and a solid structure. Hungry animals (such as deer, rabbits, and mice) also tend to attack young trees and eat their bark during the cold months. Being proactive and monitoring your tree for any changes is the best way to keep a plant in great shape.
Protect tree trunks with ¼ inch mesh wire mesh cylinders around the tree trunk about 6 inches away from the trunk. Snow is also unlikely in Sonoma County, but temperatures may fall below comfortable limits at night, putting trees at risk. The best overall strategy to protect trees and shrubs from animal rubbing is to reduce habitat areas and use physical barriers to prevent them from reaching plants. .