Oct 9, 2018

5 signs that your newly planted trees is flourishing

Newly planted trees positively affect the environment. They boost the beauty of the landscape, provide some new shade for the area, improve air quality, and just add overall value to the property.

However, for the care of trees, it takes commitment and a keen attention to detail to monitor for healthy growth. Even if you properly prune, water and care for your tree, there is still the potential of missing the signs of disease or weakness as these symptoms may not be blatantly visible.  

If you respect and nurture your tree the right way it can live a life for future generations to appreciate.

A healthy tree, especially in its early years, is always promising. In the long run, a tree properly maintained when its young will be stronger, safer, and healthier.

Here are five signs that indicate your newly planted tree is flourishing:

1. One Main Leader

Healthy trees have a leading branch that keeps the tree strong. A leader should stand the tallest off the main trunk and support your tree as it takes form. If you don’t see a strong leader, you can prune out any potential competitors to give it one.

However, there are always exceptions to rules and these include: trees with several trunks, specific fruit trees such as peach, nectarine, and cherry, and some bonsai trees.

You will also notice branches starting to jet out from lower down the trunk. The branches, referred to as scaffold, help make up the rest of the canopy, followed by lateral branches growing off these.

2. New Growth Every Year

A healthy tree will grow a little bit more each year. Make sure to measure the growth from this year and compare it to the year before.

Healthy trees will also produce new growth on its branches. Look for scars on the branches and you may be able to notice the difference between this year’s buds and the previous year.

Also, measure the trunk diameter each year. Use a tape measure to see how much the tree has grown.

Keep in mind that just because a tree grows slower than another does not mean that it’s less healthy. Be sure to do the research on your specific tree species in order to know what to expect.

Regular tree evaluations will make the greatest difference in a tree’s overall life. Pay attention to its needs, and call a professional before jumping to conclusions about its health.

3. Full, Strong Branches

Healthy branches are a sign that your tree is alive and receiving the proper nutrients it needs from the sun’s rays, watering, and soil.

Insects are signs of dead branches and dead branches actually invite insects over to enter the tree. To prevent this vicious cycle, keep an eye out during the tree’s early stages for these dead branches

Healthy trees have no signs of disease or insect infestation. If your tree was attacked by disease or insects, you will see some signs such as oozing sap, a dramatic infestation of ants (or another creepy crawler), discoloration, and/or lack of flowers and fruit.

You can test if a branch is dead by scraping the branch. Living branches will be green underneath.

You can also perform the snap test. Snap a twig off the branch then gently bend the twig. A living twig will bend easily and is quite supple. A dead twig will easily snap.

4. Sturdy Trunk

The tree trunk should also be strong, thick, and sturdy to endure the harshest weather conditions. A strong trunk is a sign that your young tree is flourishing.

A well-built foundation starts at the roots and climbs up to the trunk. If there are two or more competing trunks, it is a sign of weakness in the long term as the strength within one unified tree then divides into each trunk. A strong tree trunk becomes the leader that the rest of the tree follows into living a flourishing life.

5. Lots of Healthy Leaves

Depending on the season, leaves (or needles in the case of Oregon’s popular evergreen trees) should be abundant. There should especially be lots of leaves during peak blooming season.

Bare patches of leaves, or sections without needles, are often a sign a tree is in poor health. Causes of bare patches can include animals eating the leaves, water and nutrients not reaching all the branches, and even improper pruning, to name a few.

Healthy leaves (or needles) should not only be abundant but they should be the right color, size, and shape. Yellow is a sign of unhealthy growth (unless the breed specifically produces that color). In most cases, dark green, large leaves are a sign of a healthy tree.

Irregular leaf shape, such as wilting or drooping, can be signs of drought, too much sun, not enough sun, or overwatering. In either case, your tree is stressed and needs to be tended too if you want it to flourish.

It is important to know the specifics of your tree and the diseases it can attract. Some diseases and signs of poor health are specific to tree breeds. Do the research and know the care of trees specific to your tree species. This will help you identify the signs of healthy or unhealthy growth along the way.

For the most part, a tree can fend for itself. It is about just monitoring its growth and making sure that you pay attention to signs of damage and treat the tree accordingly.

Pay attention to a young tree’s foundation, growth, bark, branches and leaves to give it the chance for a healthy life. Young trees, like all plants, need extra care and attention to make sure they flourish.

If you see any damage, be sure to deal with it right away. The care of trees is a slow and process, but is worth the patience and care when they are strong and flourishing on your land.