How to Best Care for A New Tree

At Wheatland Trees, we are proud to grow the best trees for the Calgary climate. To ensure years of enjoyment, we have prepared the following guide on how to care for a new tree.


It usually takes about 2 years for a tree to establish itself in its new surroundings. During those first 2 years, it is vital the tree is supported by supplemental watering.

Do you have a watering plan? Has it taken in the fact that trees need different amounts according to the season? Have you considered watering bags? Did you know lawn irrigation is not sufficient for a tree?

After planting, the trees should be watered once per week. During the whole month of September, water only once to help harden off for the winter. However, if the tree was planted in September, more watering is required. Water trees thoroughly in October to ensure they have adequate moisture within the root zone for the winter. If during the winter months there are prolonged Chinooks of a week or more, water the trees to prevent dehydration. This is especially important on evergreen trees from December onwards.

The following trees will not survive if over watered:

  • Amur Cherry
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Crabapple
  • Mountain Ash
  • Spruce

When watering, water the trees until the root ball is saturated. Allow the soil at the top of the root ball to dry before watering again to saturate. Make a saucer to hold the water roughly level with the outside branches to catch rain water. Trees like a wet / dry cycle.

Fertilizing and Pruning

Trees do need regular feeding and pruning to ensure their survival. A little bit each year keeps the tree happy and healthy.

Have you considered the size you wish the tree to be at maturity? Could there be property boundary concerns in 10 years? Have you considered the effects of a weather related event such as flooding, hail or ice storm?

To ensure a healthy vigorous tree, we recommend you fertilize three times a year. This is very important to establish the trees and then keep them in a healthy condition.

First Application

May 15 or after planting (11-51-0)

This application is high in Phosphorus (middle number) to help establish root growth.

Second Application

July 1 (10-30-10)

The introduction of potassium (the last number) helps prepare the trees for winter. It helps thicken the tree's cell walls, and increase food reserves in the roots to help prepare for winter.

Third Application

August 15 (0-0-60)

This fertilizer has only potassium (last number), and can be used up to September 15.

Note that some garden centres may have fertilizers that are slightly different. Close substitutions are acceptable.

Pest Control

Mother Nature is wonderful. A healthy tree is often naturally pest resistant.

Do you inspect your trees regularly? Do you know what to look for? Do you have a propensity to chemicals or do you like a natural alternative?

Your pest control agency can usually recommend the best course of action.

Please feel free to call the Tree Hotline if you have any questions or concerns.