Urban Forestry Care of Trees

General Care of Trees

  • Water trees often during the first 2 years of their life, especially in the summer
  • For new or struggling trees, do deep root watering to encourage root growth
  • Don’t water too much. Keep soil moist, but not soggy. Allowing the soil to dry out slightly before another water is healthy for the tree.
  • Mulch your tree to reduce moisture loss, however avoid volcano mulching (piling mulch high against the trunk of the tree)

Pruning a Tree

Most routine pruning can be done at any time during the year without causing damage to the tree. However, for non-routine pruning, the practices depend somewhat on the purpose for pruning.

  • To encourage vigorous new growth in the spring, prune during dormancy, after the coldest part of winter has passed.
  • To direct or correct growth, prune soon after seasonal growth is complete.
  • To enhance flowering, prune spring-blooming trees when flowering fades, and prune mid- to late summer blooming trees in winter or early spring.
  • Generally don’t prune in the fall, as decay fungi spread quickly in the fall and wounds heal more slowly.

Protecting Trees during Construction

  • Take a tree inventory before construction
  • Determine which trees can and will be kept based upon species, health, age and size
  • Identify trees that need extra care
  • Fence in trees being preserved for protection
  • Prepare a tree preservation plan
  • Include utility paths on plans
  • Consider replacing or moving trees if the cost would be less than preserving
  • Do not raise the natural soil level in a tree protection zone
  • Consider natural aquifers and drainage patterns even in areas away from the tree
  • Do not store materials or operate equipment near or under trees
  • Prevent soil pollution from petroleum products, chemicals or lime-based products
  • Minimize soil compaction in tree protection zones
    Dig by hand near tree root system in order to decrease root damage
  • Consult an arborist for tree maintenance and care during the process

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Mission

The West Virginia Division of Forestry is committed to protecting, nurturing, sustaining, and promoting the wise utilization of our state’s forest resources.

About

Established in 1909, as a declaration of the state government for the need of forest protection and research, the West Virginia Division of Forestry protects and conserves the state’s forest resources.

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