Glen Ridge

Caring For Your New Tree

To combat the critical loss of street trees 1,000 will be planted in the next 5 years. Their survival, however, will depend upon residents learning the few steps that will make the crucial difference...

Glen Ridge has long been recognized as a Tree City USA but due to old age, disease, and storms; Glen Ridge has been losing its street trees at a critical rate. In response to this crisis, the Shade Tree Commission is acting to counter this loss through an ambitious program of adding 1,000 trees over a 5-year period. These new trees will belong to all residents, but will grow and survive if homeowners properly care for the saplings planted in front of their houses.

MULCHING is vitally important. Proper mulching benefits the tree by insulating its roots from extremes of hot and cold, holding water, forestalling erosion and preventing soil compaction. It also helps to keep power mowers and weed whackers from damaging or killing young trees.

Volcanoes are bad

Shredded bark, pine needles and wood chips are the best mulches to use, while grass, peat moss, fresh organic mulch, rocks and ground rubber are the worst.

But while mulch is good, too much of it is bad:

  • Never use more than 3 or 4 inches of mulch.
  • Never put new mulch on top of old.
  • Never pile mulch against the tree in a pyramid.

A volcano of mulch is a conduit by which mice, insects and fungus can attack a tree. It also encourages girdling root growth.

Instead, mulch should be placed in a donut shape around the base of the tree, keeping it at least 6 inches away from the trunk.

Donuts are good

WATER is key to the sapling's survival during the growing season, from late spring to autumn.

It should be administered lightly, to avoid run-off, and frequently, as a root ball can dry out in just one hot day.

If your tree is equipped with a gator bag (such as the one pictured below), just be sure to fill it every 5 to seven days.

Gator Bag

If you don't have a gator bag, it is best to trickle water from your hose onto the root ball for 15 - 20 minutes twice a week during the heat of summer.