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Caring for Your New Street Tree – Treat It Like It’s Your Own

October 15, 2011

The City of Fort Wayne has already, or soon will be, planting many new street trees in Southwood Park.

If youʼre one of the lucky new tree recipients, hereʼs how to get your tree off to a good start:

1. Water after planting, even if the tree was planted in a dormant state.

2. Around the treeʼs base, leave the first 4 – 6 inches bare and, in a wider circle, top dress lightly with mulch to save the trunk from mowing mishaps. If the city top dressed with mulch right to the trunk, please pull it back that first 4 – 6 inches. This prevents root growth into the mulch, a sure fire way to harm a tree.

3. Next spring and summer, WATER OFTEN, especially during periods of drought.

4. To help the roots establish, apply a root stimulator following label instructions. McNamaraʼs and Menardʼs both stock root stimulators, which are inexpensive (one $5-$7 bottle is all youʼll need), easy to apply, and great for getting ALL new plantings off to a good start.

5. Give the tree a couple of years to get established before you start giving it competition by planting a ground cover or annuals around it.

Southwood Park has lost a lot of street trees but weʼre ever so lucky to be getting these replacements. Itʼs a new start to a new tree canopy that, with proper care, we will watch grow and enjoy for years to come.

— Pat Thomson

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