Skip Navigation

Newly planted tree doing poorly

newly planted tree2Do not worry if your tree doesn’t grow vigorously right away. Trees take time to establish; sometimes years. A good root system underground needs to be established by trees before pushing out a lot of new growth above ground. 

What you can do

What the tree needs most from you is regular and frequent watering throughout the establishment period, which is up to five years. Please do not use a weed trimmer to cut grass around the base of your tree. Instead, re-apply mulch so that grass doesn’t grow near the trunk. Weed trimming damage is one of the leading causes of death to trees in urban environments. Once you create a wound, it disturbs the trees physiology and makes it difficult to heal and also provides an entry point for insects and disease. If the damage extends around the circumference of the trunk, the tree will die.

After one year, ensure that you remove the stakes and cloth supports that were installed when your tree was planted.  The wooden stakes are beneficial in the beginning to prevent breakage of newly initiated roots when the tree sways.  Removing the stakes after one year allows the tree to start swaying naturally and efficiently relocating photosynthates.  If you are unable to remove the stake yourself, or if you notice many street trees in your area that are still staked after a year, contact Community Services.

Back to Common Tree Concerns