Posted: October 19, 2015

Adding a young tree to your lawn can be a great way to break in your new property or enhance any long-held homestead. With the right attention and care, a tree can even become the highlight of your yard. If you're a tree-growing novice, however, then experts like those at Maier Tree and Lawn will tell you that it can be difficult to know what steps you have to take to keep your tree alive, let alone healthy.

If you're looking to keep your young tree healthy through its most vulnerable early years, it's good to start with the basics: try focusing on stability, weather protection, and wildlife awareness!

The physical stability of your young tree is an important component of healthy development. Ideally, your tree should be able to stand up on its own and grow freely without intervention, but occasionally, it might need a little help. For instance, does your tree need to be staked to keep it upright? If so, staking the tree loosel will provide it with much needed support while still allowing movement.  Or does it need some branches trimmed to reduce leaning?  This is a place to be sparing in pruning. A professional will be able to make good decisions about whether to prune or not.  Ultimately what you wantto do is foster an environment where the tree can grow uninterrupted. For instance, mulching around the base of the tree is a good way to promote nutrient absorption and prevent weeds from getting in the way… but you're doing all that without altering the natural growth pattern of the tree! Other than that, keep a watchful eye out for trouble and  provide gentle guidance if things get off track.

Weather protection may be the hardest thing to prepare for because it can be so unpredictable, but even so, a little planning can go a long way. If you're worried about a young tree surviving some seasonal extremes, tree wraps can be an easy and inexpensive way to reduce the potential for sun-scald or other cold-related damage. And if you know that your lawn catches a lot of wind, then make sure you go back to step one and reconsider the general stability of your sapling. If it can't survive some run-of-the-mill windy Winona weather, then how will it survive a storm?

The local wildlife can do a number on a tree-in-training and keeping them at bay has the potential to be a bit of a headache. Deer, squirrels, woodpeckers, rabbits, and all sorts of critters may see your sapling as a tool for their own animal aspirations. These include nesting in, feasting upon, and rubbing against your young tree until it's a shadow of its former self… or just dead. Tree cages, repellants, and special tree wraps can all be a big help in these cases, but it's a good idea to consult a specialist before making any potentially destructive decisions.

If you have any questions regarding young tree care or tree protection, call Maier Tree and Lawn at 507.286.8733 (Rochester) or 507.454.7000 (Winona). Bringing up a new tree can be a lot of fun, but a lot can go wrong in those first few years if you don't watch carefully! Keep your eyes open for trouble and don't be afraid to ask for help if things aren't going quite right. For additional information, feel free to visit Maier Tree and Lawn at their website located here.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!