Summer Tree Care Tips

summer tree checklist


Have you planted a tree this year?? You are playing a key role in helping our city increase its tree canopy coverage and bring numerous health benefits to our neighborhoods!

We hope you’ve been keeping cool during this recent heat wave. Remember – your new tree feels it too! Below are a few quick reminders to help you care for your tree and give it its best chance to thrive. 

We are committed to helping you and your trees along this journey, and look forward to getting to know you at projects throughout the year! Please reach out to us at info@friendsofgrparks.org if you have any questions.

watering is key

  • Give the tree 10-15 gallons of water once per week (#ProTip: Plastic hardware store buckets are typically 5 gallons!)
  • Heat wave?? Be generous and give your tree an extra bucket to help it along!
  • Gator bags are a great way to slowly release water into the critical root zone of your tree. Just fill them up and they’ll do the rest! (Remember to remove them in the fall so that you don’t accidentally provide a habitat for pests that can damage your tree)
  • Regularly check that your mulch resembles a “donut” instead of a “volcano”, leaving about 6″ of ground around the trunk clear. This is key to keeping water in the correct place so the tree has time to access it!
  • Water your tree for at least 2 growing seasons after it’s planted – or 3 if possible!

check for pests like webworm

Throughout this summer, look over your tree for signs of pests. In 2020, we’re seeing a lot of webworms. They don’t often harm trees, but their webs can be unsightly! Young trees with a lot of webs may experience stress from too much defoliation.

  • If you see webs on your branches, manually remove them with your hands (we recommend wearing gloves!).
  • If the web is too high to reach easily, a strong spray from a garden hose can knock them off.
  • Pruning is not necessary for your tree to recover from webworms, since leaves will grow back in the future. 
  • Remember, some trees should not be pruned in the summer because of risks from insects or diseases that are attracted to fresh wounds (oak wilt is a prime example). If you’re unsure about pruning your tree, email us and we’ll be happy to help!


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