How to care for a new street tree?

If you just got a new street tree, there are a few things you can do to give it its best chance to thrive and grow into an asset for your property and the neighborhood:

  • Mulch. All public trees must be mulched after planting. This is important because it insulates the soil from extreme heat and cold, keeps roots moist, keeps weeds down, improves soil as the mulch decomposes, insulates the tree against temperature extremes, prevents soil compaction and reduces mower or weed trimmer damage. Important: Do not pile mulch up against the trunk itself to avoid trunk rot and girdling roots. So just say no to mulch volcanoes!
    Diagram Showing Mulch Volcano Versus Proper Mulching
  • Water. A new tree will need additional watering during the first 1 to 3 years, as it will have a difficult time dealing with the heat and drought of urban environments. Deep weekly watering in the summer months can help speed the root establishment.
  • Prune. Young trees benefit from a structural pruning 3 to 5 years after it is planted. The City Arborist will take care of this at that time (which is also why it's important to get permission to plant a tree - otherwise we don't know about it to help care for it!

Learn more about new tree care on the Arbor Day Foundation's "Tree Planting and Care" page.

Show All Answers

1. What constitutes a public tree?
2. Who owns and cares for public trees in Newport?
3. My street tree needs to be pruned. What do I do?
4. I would like a street tree. What are the options?
5. How to care for a new street tree?
6. I'm worried my tree is unhealthy. What do I do?
7. My sidewalk is buckling because of tree roots. What can be done?
8. Can I plant other things in a tree lawn/well?
9. Duke tops my trees every few years. It looks awful. What can be done?
10. I don’t like my tree, or my tree is causing problems. What can be done?
11. I have a tree on my own private property. Do I need permission to remove it?