Tips for trees, courtesy of the Morristown Shade Tree Commission

Image courtesy of Morristown Shade Tree Commission
Image courtesy of Morristown Shade Tree Commission


No, they’re not all coming down!  But trees need protection to stand tall, according to the Morristown Shade Tree Commission:

From my tree to yours
This is how we like being taken care of

  • Ensure adequate ground space above and below when you plant me.
  • Water me regularly and replenish mulch as it decomposes ~ mulch should never touch my trunk or my bark.
  • Keep sprinkler heads from spraying my tree trunk in the same place, especially at close range, which can injure my bark. Redirect the spray arc of the head so it doesn’t shoot a stream of water directly onto my trunk.
  • Leave my leaves around my base as they are the best natural fertilizer for me.
  • Protect my tree bark! Never tie, nail, staple, tape or attach anything to my trunk or branches. Tree bark is a living armor that protects me. Damaging my armor makes it easy for fungus and bacterial infections to take hold and harm me.
  • Please do not chain or lean your bicycle on my trunk. You will destroy my bark.
  • Protect my tree roots ~ healthy roots are essential, which means healthy soil is also critical. Oxygen is necessary for nutrient absorption by my roots, which is why healthy soil is loose and airy. Compacted soil is a threat to my life and to my root system because compaction blocks water and oxygen from the root zone.
  • Protect my roots during home renovations and construction by keeping heavy things away from my critical root zone; which is the area around my trunk that is as wide as my leaf canopy.
  • Protect me from physical damage such as lawnmowers and weed whackers hitting my trunk.
  • If I am near a driveway or road, help me avoid being hit by tall trucks or other vehicles. You can remove my lower limbs in these areas to prevent breakage. Put up small reflectors near my tree trunk (not on my trunk) to keep cars from hitting me at night.
  • Do not apply salt near me in the winter.
  • Keep your eye out for early signs of damage from pests or disease.
  • Use natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.
  • Use only proper pruning methods and consult a qualified arborist.
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