Tree Planting and Care

Helpful Hints for Healthy Trees



Planting a tree is one of the best ways we can provide a lasting gift to future generations. Growing the tree canopy is a worthy mission, and it is important to know the best practices involved so a tree planting is successful in the long-term.

Though it might just seem as simple as digging a hole and sticking a seedling into the ground, there is a lot to consider when planting a tree. Just as cars need regular service, houses need maintenance, and pets need food, shelter and exercise, trees require a thoughtful plan for planting and then ongoing care and upkeep. Otherwise, a tree may be susceptible to drought, disease, pests and other hazards.  Even more guides to newly-planted tree care here:

Picking the Right Spot to Plant

There are many factors involved when planting a tree. It is important to select the right type of tree for the conditions, and you must consider elements such as the amount of available sunlight, proximity to water and buildings, and quality of the soil.  Learn more about where to plant here: Right Tree, Right Place.

Read about tree spacing to keep your home and utilities safe: Homeowners’ Guide to Tree Placement

If you’re interested in planting trees for screening or privacy purposes, check out our Planting Privacy Trees blog.


Congrats! You got your tree in the ground.  Now it’s time to think about watering.  During the hot months, you can give your young tree about 5 gallons of water per week.  Your tree many need more water during dry spells or less after major rain events.  Watch our watering video below for more details and check out our water-related blogs:


Proper Care: Mulch, Fertilizer, Pruning

The best way to ensure your tree has a long life (while reducing mature tree care costs in the future) is to keep it in good health.  This takes more than just good watering habits.  Keeping the tree properly mulched, fertilized (if necessary), and pruned are all easy ways to keep the tree happy. And don’t forget, if the tree is staked, remove it after 1 year. Our video shows you how. 

Protecting Trees from Harm

An urban landscape is a tough place for a tree to grow up.  Even with proper care and maintenance, trees can still be susceptible to adverse environmental influences. This might be in the form of drought conditions, incursion by invasive pests, and construction damage. Learn more about Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction.

Mature Tree Care and Pruning

Taking care of your mature trees promotes tree health and structural integrity, ensures a tree’s value will continue to grow, and prevents the development of more costly problems in the future.

Pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure. It is important to understand the pruning needs of mature trees and to practice proper pruning techniques.

Pests and Diseases

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native invasive insect that has already killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America and is slowly but steadily moving into areas of North Carolina. Susceptible trees in North Carolina are green ash, white ash, Carolina ash, pumpkin ash and white fringetree. This beetle can spread naturally (by flying) or through the accidental, human-facilitated movement of infested material such as firewood or ash timber.

The North Carolina Forest service developed a map that tracked detections of the Emerald Ash Borer in the state, including Lincoln and Iredell counties. For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer, click here.


Cankerworms are a common, native pest of hardwood trees.  These caterpillars can cause defoliation in our tree canopy. When cankerworms hatch, many descend on silk threads, get caught by the wind and “balloon” to surrounding trees. They prefer Willow Oaks, but feed on more than 50 other plants.  

For years, Charlotte experienced a higher-than-normal population of cankerworms, which threatened the health of our beloved canopy.  However, thanks to tree-banding efforts by the city and caring Charlotteans, cankerworm populations have dropped to manageable levels.  Tree banding is no longer necessary and it is recommended that any existing bands be removed.  More on cankerworms here: Cankerworm Update

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