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Regular Tree Maintenance Ideas

Beautiful fall foliage is the result of fastidious tree care. While we’re still at the height of summer, a fall tree care plan is essential to ensure your trees thrive in the fall and are ready for winter. This article will tell you what tree care you should do from September through November.

Prepare Your Trees Roots With Fertilizer

An essential component to keeping your trees healthy is by fertilizing them. Fertilizing in the autumn helps protect trees from winter damage. While trees in nature have an abundance of nutrients available in the soil, trees in urban and suburban settings face high-stress conditions. These conditions include lack of available moisture,  compression, physical damage, and construction. We also remove nutrients when we rake away leaves, twigs, and fall bark, which would have decomposed over time and fed the tree roots. Trees in these environments will not reach their complete potential, die sooner, and are more susceptible to diseases and insects. A tree maintenance routine that diminishes these stressful conditions is essential. In addition to regular tree trimming, proper fertilizing is one of your best defenses.

Rake To Remove Fallen Tree Leaves

Always rake fallen and dead leaves away from your trees. Fungi, which cause tree disease, overwinter and hide in fallen leaves. In the spring, as the weather warms, rain causes the dormant spores to revive, allowing them to re-infect your trees. Fastidiously raking and removing fallen leaves will limit the possibility of your trees being infected (or re-infected) with diseases caused by fungi.

Plant New Trees During Fall

While saplings are usually on display at nurseries in the spring, it is better to plant new trees in the fall. The new trees are less likely to die from drought or sun scorch in fall’s cooler temperatures.


Applying mulch around the base of your trees helps to insulate their roots. This insulating effect helps to protect the roots from the oncoming cold of late fall and winter. Additionally, mulch aids in the soil’s retention of organic matter and moisture. Mulching around your trees is one of the quickest and most cost-effective techniques you can employ for your trees’ health. Especially for young trees, mulching provides innumerable benefits.

How To Apply Mulch

Size: The best mulching goes as far as the tree’s drip line. Since this isn’t usually However, this isn’t practical for homeowners with larger trees,  apply the mulch in a 2- to a 3-foot radius around the tree instead.

Depth: Approximately 2-4 inches

  • Don’t pile the mulch against the tree trunk. Keep it away from the trunk so the root flare zone is visible.
  • To refresh the mulch’s look, lightly rake the top layers of the mulch, or simply remove the old mulch and replace it.
  • Don’t layer new mulch on top of the old mulch.
  • Don’t use fresh wood chips for mulching around young trees. New wood chips have higher acidity and can injure young trees.

Water to Trees To Keep Them Hydrated

The summer heat may have passed, but your trees can still suffer from drought stress in cooler months. Make sure your trees are watered to keep them hydrated.

Tree Watering Tips For Fall:

  • Concentrate on the pivotal root region when you’re watering. Getting the foliage wet is unnecessary and can help spread disease.
  • DON’T use a sprinkler. Sprinklers only wet the top layer of soil and don’t correctly water the trees.
  • Water in the morning prevents vaporization (evaporation) and helps trees stay hydrated all day.
  • Water thoroughly and deeply once or twice a week.
  • Put a garden hose somewhere in the critical root zone.
  • Turn the hose to just a trickle.
  • Leave the hose in place for around 2-3 hours.
  • Move the hose to a different site in the root zone and leave for another 2-3 hours. Then repeat another 1-3 times until the root zone is fully hydrated. How many times will depend on the size of the tree’s critical root zone.
  • The earth should be wet but not drenched. You should not have mud.
  • It’s fine for some areas of the soil to be wet and some to be dry.

If you need help with fall tree care, you can always call Long Island Lumberjack at (631) 212-8250. Dave and the rest of the crew will be more than happy to come out and give you an assessment of what your trees need to weather the winter.

Treat With Anti-Desiccants

Most of the adverse effects of winter stem from trees and shrubs losing moisture through the pores on their leaves/needles. During the winter, the dry air and the wind speed up this effect leading to leaves increasing their water demand from the roots to survive. However, the root system usually has difficulty keeping pace with these demands. The result is the leaves and needles turn brown and die. This unfortunate cycle is called “desiccation” or “winter burn.”

Making anti-desiccant treatments part of your tree care plan for winter can end this malignant cycle. Anti-desiccants add a protective wax coating to the foliage, reducing moisture loss. Like skin moisturizers, anti-desiccants provide trees and shrubs with the necessary protection to flourish during winter. Without anti-desiccants, the trees would have to fight to survive. And aesthetically speaking, this also means lush evergreens rather than brown and dying trees!

Prune Deadwood

Diseased, dying, or dead wood or branches are dangerous to people and property. These limbs often break and fall during fall and winter storms.  Ensure these branches are pruned as part of your fall tree care to avoid accidents and for your family’s and your home’s safety. Since deadwood can often be hard to see, give Long Island Lumberjack a call. We’ll come out and give your trees a thorough inspection, find any hidden deadwood, and cut it away to help avoid accidents.We discuss detecting and removing deadwood, along with other trimming and pruning issues, in an earlier Lumberjack Tales. post, Signs That It’s Time To Have Your Trees Trimmed Or Pruned.

Cable Your Trees (If Needed)

Tree cabling uses cables to stabilize a tree’s physical structure in cases where it can no longer support its weight. Cabling cannot be used to keep unhealthy, dying trees from falling apart. Instead, cabling assists healthy but oddly shaped or slightly injured trees to maintain their structural integrity during heavy winds or storms.

Inspect Trees Annually

When leaves are off the tree, late fall is an excellent time for inspection. Inspections can spot structural issues that could be dangerous. Long Island Lumberjack can do an annual assessment for you to keep your tree care stress-free.

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How To Identify And Treat Stress In Your Trees

Stress is as bad for trees as it is for people. Call (631) 212-8250 and let Long Island Lumberjack handle your tree stress early! Don’t wait!

Humans have something in common with trees. From how we use water and nutrients to keeping ourselves cool, we share more health systems than you might think. However, there is one significant thing that we both need to ward off as much as possible: stress. Most of us are aware of what causes stress in the human body. Overbooked schedules, not enough time, insufficient sleep. These stress-inducing factors take their toll on the body over time: aches and pains, headaches, disrupted sleep, weight fluctuations and a compromised immune system.

But were you aware that trees also perceive stress?


Air Pollution: Particulates (granules) and dust in the air block photosynthesis in the leaves. Trees also “sweat” similarly to humans (transpirational cooling). Trapped particulates will prevent water from being released by the leaves, which in turn will cause the tree to overheat. Acid rain and ozone can also damage bark and cause an imbalance in the soil’s pH levels. Did you know that stressed trees release volatile carbon compounds, thus contributing to air pollution?

Excessive Pruning: This is a multifaceted situation

Eliminating too many limbs at once causes stress. The cuts made during the pruning process are, after all, wounds. Cutting out too many leaves at once means removing a significant energy source for the tree. Bold pruning can expose the tree to far more light than before, damaging the bark.

Soil Condition

Compaction due to construction and heavy foot traffic compacts the soil, making it difficult for tree roots to access oxygen. Poor topsoil is also commonly used in new housing developments. Compost is a bonus! Quality soil matters.


Very often, trees don’t thrive in urban environments. Think of cities as “hot islands,” where concrete and metal don’t absorb heat the way turf does.

Light Pollution

Light pollution impacts a tree’s growth response. If trees are near artificial light sources that are perpetually on, they get confused! Think of it this way: with few exceptions, even most people can’t sleep with the lights on.

Storm Damage

While we can’t always prepare trees for storms, there are corrective actions we can take immediately after the damage has been done. For example, if a tree branch has been broken in half, knowing where to make a clean cut will affect the long-term health of your tree and ward off rot. It’s always best to call a professional if your tree has suffered damage. Long Island Lumberjack not only takes care of the damage after the storm, but we will also come out and check your trees to ensure they’re as stable as possible before an incident.


Too much or too little water stresses your trees. Not unlike us humans, trees are made up mostly of water – 75%. The leaves are a whopping 99% water. This water is necessary to carry nutrients from the roots to the canopy. A tree’s water needs vary with the seasons, but in the spring, at its peak, a mature red oak may use up to 200 gallons of water per day.


Canopy Dieback

You might notice that the tree blooms later than usual, or the leaves come down earlier than expected in the autumn. Compare the top of your tree to trees of the same species. Fewer leaves may be smaller, paler, and more sparse.

Water Sprouts

Sprouting new shoots from the trunk or main trunk is a sign of stress. These limbs are often weak and unsightly. The photo above is an excellent example of a tree under pressure. The stems are covered in unattractive new sprouts and leaves. You can almost see the tree “gasping for air” as a stress response.

Wilting Leaves

Turgor pressure” refers to the process that helps the needles and leaves on trees hold their shape. Just like good hydration makes your skin look dewy and youthful, proper moisture helps keep leaves looking healthy and “plump.”

Early Fall Color

Trees displaying their fall color early in the season are undoubtedly stressed. Low iron or manganese absorption could also be causing early fall color.


Right tree, Right place

Selecting a genetically specific tree for your region is very important. And set your tree up for success from the start. Choose a good location with room for growth, access to water and adequate light, and little pedestrian traffic. The tree should also be able to thrive in the type of soil and water-drainage qualities in the area you have chosen for planting. Some trees do better than others with different kinds of soil.


Frequently, we overlook watering in the winter. Winter watering is essential – particularly during dry spells. Wait until a warm day when you can safely connect your hose and give your tree a good soak.

Avoid compaction

Soil compaction reduces oxygen and water availability to the roots. You can reduce compaction by eliminating heavy traffic zones around the trunk of your tree and within the drip-line zone. You should also be mindful of heavy construction equipment driving over these areas if you plan to have construction nearby.

Prune conservatively

Never remove more than 1/3 of a tree’s biomass in a single season – and you could probably be even more conservative. A licensed tree care specialist like Long Island Lumberjack will know how much is too much. Eliminating many of the tree’s resources will send the tree into a stress response.

It never hurts to call us if you’re concerned that your tree is stressed. We have many solutions to encourage healthy root growth, proper nutrient absorption, and more. Long Island Lumberjack is your best resource for tree care and preventative health maintenance. Our phone number is (631) 212-8250.

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Is It Time To Have Trees Trimmed Or Pruned

While your front lawn may not look like the above photo, there are several signs that it’s time to trim your trees. But do you know what they are? Weak branches, excess growth, deadwood, and uneven development are some signs you need to have your trees trimmed. These conditions can be dangerous and can also affect your property. Falling trees and branches can damage property and are a particular hazard during heavy winds.

Excessive Growth

When trees reach a specific size, you need to have them trimmed. While they may look lush and appealing, they can be hazardous. Thick branches can catch the wind, causing damage. Thick limbs can tangle with siding or phone wires. You can effectively maintain the beauty of your trees – and their health – by keeping them trimmed. You will also prevent future problems, including pest invasions.

Trees grow unevenly, and excessive growth can present a safety risk during high winds or storms. Uneven development can cause poor weight distribution and property damage. Also, unhealthy growth can contribute to decay or the death of the affected limbs. It can also cause uneven dissemination of sunlight throughout the whole tree. When these issues appear, it may be time to call Long Island Lumberjack to schedule a tree trimming or pruning.

Proper trimming is essential for the health of your trees. Aside from lowering the aesthetic charm of your garden, overgrown trees can also harbor pests, making it unsafe for people or pets to access the house.

Some signs it’s time to get your trees trimmed


Healthy trees will drop bark naturally. But unhealthy branches will not produce new bark, resulting in exposed, smooth layers of wood underneath the bark.

There are many signs of deadwood on trees, including decaying branches, bare spots, and large fungi. It is easy to spot deadwood in the spring and summer, but you may have to look closer in the autumn or winter to see the signs of decay. Call a licensed tree professional, like Long Island Lumberjack, to determine the cause and provide a remedy if you see large fungi or clinging dead leaves. If you see deadwood on your trees, you may need to get them trimmed. A certified tree specialist can properly remove deadwood, assuring your home’s safety and avoiding additional damage to your tree. Deadwood is often a sign of a more significant issue, perhaps a rotting branch. Always call a professional to have deadwood cut out.

Excessive Weight

Trees need to be trimmed to keep their shape and prevent damage to the property. If they have excessive weight, they may break or become unstable during storms. Improper weight distribution can lead to property damage and injury. Excessive weight on a tree can also lead to decay and damage to the branches. Branches that cross each other need to be pruned to redistribute weight. You may need to have a tree pruned for various reasons, including safety, construction, or client needs. When pruning a tree, it is essential to ensure it will not harm it. If you notice a large amount of weight on the tree, it may be time for trimming. Branches that are bent or twisted may require professional service. It is probably time to prune if you see excessive weight on your tree. Branches can form in unappealing places and pose a hazard to nearby structures. Eucalyptus trees, for example, can become extremely heavy if the root system can no longer support the weight. Unchecked growth can cause a tree to topple over. To reduce this risk, consider pruning your tree as soon as it is visually overgrown.

Uneven Growth

If your trees grow unevenly, it may be time to trim them. This uneven growth can also indicate pests or diseases. It is essential to keep branches from crossing each other, or they can fall and damage your home or property. When you notice uneven growth, you should schedule an appointment with a tree-trimming service as soon as possible. Here are some other warning signs that your trees need trimming. Overgrown trees can also be a safety hazard. Overgrowth can make your trees unbalanced, making them appear bedraggled and out of proportion. Uneven growth can also make them seem unbalanced, making them look unkempt and untidy. Besides looking unsightly, overgrown trees can also hinder proper nourishment. Regular trimming will improve the health of your trees. Another symptom that you need to trim your trees is if you notice dead branches or split bark. If your trees have a lot of dead branches or split bark, this can suggest several health problems. It can also signify insectivores feasting on the bugs in your trees. Insectivores can cause severe damage, and you should take care of what’s attracting them – insects – as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that trees shed their leaves and branches naturally. Excessive amounts of dead matter can be hazardous to your home or property.

Weak Trunk

Weak tree trunks are not uncommon, and they mean your trees need trimming. Trees with large leaves, forked trunks, or internal decay are likely unhealthy and need trimming. Look for cavities, disfiguration, or fungi, which may suggest an upcoming problem. Weak tree trunks may also signal that the branches are rubbing with each other, which indicates internal decay and a need for close monitoring. Weak branches may cause property damage or be hazardous during strong winds. Dense branches are dangerous because they are so dense that they weigh down on limbs, causing them to break or cause other damage. A thick, overly dense branch may threaten your home even if the tree looks healthy. We can prune a weak branch to remove the threat and encourage healthy new growth. Besides the physical signs of weak tree trunks, you should also look for other signs of problems. If you notice that the tree trunk has a crack or split, it could have a pest infestation or disease. A broken branch might also be pointing to a nearby power line or other electrical wire. You should call a tree service professional if you notice dead wood or a crack in the tree’s structure.

Dead Branches

While dead branches are a normal part of the growth cycle of a tree, it is vital to keep them trimmed regularly. A branch with a large area of smooth wood near the crown is likely dead. When this happens, the branch could fall suddenly and cause much damage. Dead branches near the crown are hazardous, and you should have them removed as soon as possible. The same holds if a branch is over half the size of the tree. When a tree grows too tall, it needs to be trimmed regularly to prevent it from becoming unstable. Over time, it will begin to decay, which can spread to other branches. A tree can fall in a storm without pruning and lose its entire structure. Dead, dying, and twisted branches are apparent signs that you need to prune. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to call an Ottawa tree service for an estimate. While deadwood is a sign that your tree needs to be pruned, it can also indicate a fungus or pest problem. When a dead branch or limb is close to a power line, it can cause damage to nearby trees and power lines. In addition, dead branches can lead to several problems, including mold, rot, and insect infestations. If you notice deadwood, call a professional to prune it correctly and prevent it from spreading the disease.

Bowing Or Snapping Branches

Snapping, bowing, or breaking branches are signs you need to get them trimmed. A broken branch can strike something nearby, causing injury or property damage. In addition, these damaged branches may become dangerous if you do not remove them quickly. If you have recently experienced severe weather, you should inspect your property and take immediate action to prune any damaged branches.

In addition, broken branches may indicate severe disease or a pest problem. Proper pruning will prevent decay or the spread of disease to the rest of the tree. Call a tree-care professional if you are unsure how to prune broken branches. If the problem is more complex, contact a Long Island Lumberjack to perform the necessary work. You can even hire a professional to trim your trees if you aren’t sure you’re doing it correctly. Regular pruning can keep your yard looking aesthetically pleasing and reduce the risk of insect infestation. Branches with unsightly growths can also pose a health risk to visitors. Keeping trees pruned will enable you to enjoy unique shapes and textures, including topiaries or espaliers. If you’re wondering if you need to get your trees trimmed, it’s a good idea to call an a tree professional like Long Island Lumberjack today. We will be able to explain the process to you and provide recommendations that will work best for your trees.

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Storm Safety For Your Trees

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, September is the most common month for hurricanes to make U.S. landfall. But severe storms and tornadoes appear around the country in early summer, so it is important to take steps now to be prepared for storm season.

Long Islanders know how severe hurricanes and summer storms can damage trees in your yard. High winds, rain, and lightning can cause problems to even the healthiest trees. With proper care and maintenance, you can sleep soundly at night, knowing that your trees are in a safe condition and strong enough to withstand a storm. We can clean up the messes left behind from storms, but we can also assist you in preparing for those situations.

Before storm season hits, Long Island Lumberjack can analyze your yard. We will ensure there are no cracked tree trunks or limbs, hollow or decayed trees, or anything near the roof of your house or power lines that could fall and cause damage. After taking care of those issues before a storm, your yard will be safer when the bad weather strikes.

Storm Checklist

Before storm season begins, it’s a good idea to walk around your yard and pay close attention to your trees and landscaping. Some things to look out for include:

  • Dead or Dying Trees
  • Trees with Dense Canopies
  • Trees with Weak Limbs
  • Newly Planted or Young Trees
  • Trees with Split Trunks
  • Trees with Lightning or Pest Damage

If you notice any of these issues, it’s essential to have a professional tree service come out and inspect your property immediately. We’ll take the time to trim excess branches and thin dense trees and remove any landscaping that may be at risk of damaging your home or those nearby.

One of the biggest threats during any storm is tree damage.

A tree might seem like it could sustain the forces of a large storm. Still, whether unseen internal damage, wet, unstable ground or proximity to power lines, trees are vulnerable during severe storms and can present a significant hazard. The following tips can help protect yourself, your family, and your property from a storm.

Conduct a pre-storm assessment and identify trouble spots

A pre-storm assessment can help you identify potential hazards on your property, such as cracks in tree trunks or major limbs, hollow or decayed trees, limbs extending over a roof, or trees near power lines.

Take measures to prevent damage.

After assessing possible hazards to your property,

  • Consider measures to limit potential damage.
  • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged limbs.
  • Inspect leaning trees and consider removing those with large cavities.
  • Prune branches that are too close to your house and over the street.
  • Check your gutters, and remove any debris to prevent water damage.
  • For any work in and around your home, consider calling a professional.
  • Always reach out to a professional to assess and remove anything near utility lines.

Never attempt to do this yourself.

After The Storm

More people incur injuries after a storm than during one. Storm-damaged trees present unique challenges and dangers. Put safety first. Evaluate what you can handle and what’s for a professional — a professional should take anything, not on the ground. Some things could threaten your life, such as large broken or hanging limbs where chainsaw work is needed or branches too close to a utility line. Never approach or attempt to move downed utility lines and report limbs close to or touching utility lines immediately.

Always wear proper attire and protective equipment if you’re skilled enough to do the work yourself. This protective attire includes boots, gloves, glasses, chainsaw protective pants, a helmet system, and hearing protection. Never operate a chainsaw from a ladder, roof, in a tree, or while standing on any other insecure surface — leave these jobs for the pros.

Evaluate damage

Following a storm, we can attend to emergencies like fallen trees, large branches on the ground, broken branches, and hanging limbs. Our emergency services are available 24/7, so we can help you when disasters happen.

The National Storm Damage Center estimates that falling trees and broken branches cause over $1 million in property damage yearly. Although there is no “hurricane-proof” solution for your yard, there are things you can do right now to minimize your risk.

You may not have to remove a storm-damaged tree. Inspect your trees to see if they’re healthy despite storm damage. If at least 50% of the tree’s crown is still intact, and the remaining branches can form a new branch structure, then there is a good chance you can save the tree.

Repair minor damage & debris

Remove any broken branches, stubs, or jagged remains of limbs. You should prune smaller branches at the point where they join larger ones. Don’t worry if the tree’s appearance is not perfect.

It’s important to have an assessment done before storms hit. Call Long Island Lumberjack at (631) 212-8250 to schedule a walk-through of your property. Our professionals will be able to set your mind at ease that your trees are as safe as possible for the coming season.

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Choosing The Right Size Trees For A Beautiful Landscape

Here at Long Island Lumberjack, we’re often asked whether it’s better to plant a larger tree or a smaller one, especially if you want it to make an immediate impact on your landscape. In this article, we will explain how to choose the best size tree to plant and why. Specifically, you will learn:

  • How to measure or describe tree size (there are different ways and they mean different things)
  • What size trees are available
  • How to choose the right-sized tree for your garden or property

Many homeowners, especially condo owners and those with Homeowner Associations (HOAs), face unique challenges with which trees they can or should plant. Choosing the “right” tree at the nursery can be a daunting task. Read on to learn what you need to know before picking out the perfect tree for your yard or garden.

How Big Of A Tree Should I Buy?

When you decide to plant a new tree, consider:

  • How big your tree will be in its prime (to be sure it will fit where you want to plant it); and
  • How big your tree will be when you initially plant it

Many of us think that purchasing a bigger tree is better because we’re getting more for our money. But with a tree, this isn’t always true. When you’re looking for a new garden tree, you should first be looking for anatomical quality and form, not so much size and cost. It is probable that the tree you plant will remain long after you’re gone, so it’s essential to ensure its health and structural soundness.

After that, start looking at sizes and prices. If you are on a limited budget or if you don’t know the cost of different trees of various sizes, check out a local nursery to get an idea. Better yet, call a professional for some advice. Dave here at Long Island Lumberjack is a tree specialist who can answer questions you might have regarding the size of the tree you wish to plant, as well as the price range. Remember, too, that when you purchase a tree from a nursery, you’re buying that tree’s history. That history can include years of watering, pruning, fertilizing, and transplanting, as well as its transportation from growing ground to the retail nursery.

How Are Trees Sized And What Does Caliper Mean?

When growers and nursery owners evaluate trees, it is by their trunk diameter and their height. There is no ratio that all trees must adhere to, but there is an acceptable range. The trunk and branches of the tree must support its height as it grows, so both measurements are of equal importance. “Caliper” refers to the diameter of a tree’s trunk at a certain height from its trunk base. The standard measurement for this is the diameter at breast height or DBH. DBH is an oddly general measurement that assumes everyone’s breast is exactly 4.5 feet from ground level. By setting a standard height, tree growers, lumberjacks, and anyone else working with trees can consistently evaluate them.

The third part of this measurement triangle is the root spread. A tree needs a large enough root ball to anchor it securely (and take up enough water and nutrients to sustain the tree). The larger a tree grows above ground, the larger the root ball should be. And, therefore, the larger the container it needs to be grown in.

Standard Tree Container Sizes

  1. Potted or “Containerized” Trees–Small trees or saplings come in 5-gallon black nursery pots (sometimes even smaller, depending on the type of tree). The largest container you’ll see trees sold in is 25 gallons, and that’s about the maximum size anyone can handle on their own. If you plan to plant the tree yourself, we recommend buying a containerized tree.
  2. Balled and Burlapped (B&B) Trees–Trees also come with the roots balled up and wrapped in burlap. “Balled and burlapped” (B&B) trees typically require professional installation because of their larger size and heavier weight.
  3. Boxed Trees–Bigger trees that cause a large root ball are, mostly, made available in a unique wooden box. Any three-inch caliper tree or larger, for example, will probably be in a 36″ inch box, as this box size gives enough room for the tree’s root ball development. Buying and planting a boxed tree is a job best left to a professional!

How Big A Tree Can I Buy And Plant?

You can plant trees of almost any size, but a good rule of thumb is the larger the tree, the more complicated it is to transport, plant, establish in a new garden, and maintain. This is for several reasons, including the difficulty of planting a large tree, and the stress on a tree from being transplanted. Your priorities for your new tree will determine what size it should be.

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Large Tree

Plant a large, mature tree if:

  • You want immediate impact in your garden
  • Screening a view or you need more privacy
  • You need more shade in your yard but don’t want to build a shade structure.
  • You want to match a new tree to your existing trees.

There are some downsides to buying a larger tree. For example:

  • The larger the tree, the higher the cost.
  • Bigger trees are more difficult to transport and plant.
  • You will have fewer varieties to choose from.
  • Larger trees establish more slowly

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Smaller Tree

Planting a small tree may be the best option if:

  • You have a limited budget
  • You will plant the tree in a small garden, patio, or container.
  • You want to transport and plant the tree yourself
  • You plan to plant multiple trees (you’ll get more individual small trees for the same cost as one large tree)
  • You’re looking for a specific species or cultivar

The only real downside to choosing a young or smaller tree is that you’ll have to wait awhile for it to make a meaningful impact on your landscape. But if you’re willing to wait or have a longer-term vision for your garden design, buying smaller trees can help you gain two benefits –more variety (think of mixed home orchard or a colorful range of spring-flowering trees), and more structure in your landscape design if you repeat multiples of one type of tree.

Why Planting A Smaller Tree May Be The Best Option

Particularly for condo owners, the most important element when you’re choosing which size tree to buy is its growth rate after planting.

Pro Tip: While an enormous tree will give you spectacular results from the moment it’s planted, a younger, smaller tree planted at the same time may end up surpassing it by growing taller, faster. Young trees:

  • Recover more quickly from transplant shock than an older, larger tree. This means they will increase their energy stores faster and use those resources to grow up and out.
  • Establish and extend their root systems. The larger and more extensive a root system, the more water and nutrients a tree’s roots can locate and use for growth.
  • Will grow faster, and reach a greater height and spread, faster than an older tree. Young trees quickly jump into “growing mode” after transplanting and will increase in height and crown spread faster than more mature trees.

So, while you may be impatient for a filled-in, “finished” landscape, taking a slightly longer view and considering the benefits of planting a smaller tree is worthwhile. With trees, size can matter – inversely!