Newly Planted Tree Care Tips

Wondering what to do after planting a new tree? Below are some tips after the tree is in the ground. For the last 35 years, Denver Digs Trees has been a significant force in expanding the City’s urban forest by providing more than 60,000 free and low-cost trees to Denver residents. Trees beautify our neighborhoods, improve air and water quality, enhance property values, and lower utility costs. The following newly planted tree care tips will keep them healthy.


We recommend following the schedule below for the first three years. To water, place a trickling hose at the base of the trunk for about 30 minutes. Please be sure not to overwater the trees.

  • April-May: Once every 2 weeks
  • June-August: Once each week
  • September-October: Once every 2 weeks
  • October-March: During the winter water once a month when the temperature is above 50 degrees.

Between waterings, do the following:

  • Stick your finger in the soil beneath the canopy of the tree.
  • If the soil is moist, do not water.
  • If dry, water your tree.


Denver’s weather is unpredictable, and our hot western sun can be brutal. Adding three inches of mulch in a three-foot-wide ring at the base of a newly planted tree conserves moisture, prevents weeds, and keeps mowers away from the trunk. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the tree’s root flare.


In late fall, when it starts to get cold, wrap the tree from its base up to its lowest branches to protect a young tree’s thin bark from Sunscald and polar plunges. Be sure to take the wrap off in April so the bark can breathe.


Denver Digs Trees no longer recommends staking unless the tree does not stand straight on its own. Homeowners who decide to stake should remove them after the first year to encourage strong root system growth and trunk stability. 


Pruning trees early to create a single dominant leader sets the foundation for healthy growth and lowers tree maintenance costs over the tree’s life. During the first three years, cut out broken and dead branches and remove any shoots growing out of the tree’s base. Remove any limbs that cross and rub against one another.

Denver Digs Trees starts taking applications for low-cost trees at the first of each year. Get on their mailing list by clicking here. Homeowners who need assistance caring for their newly planted trees should call 303-871-9121 or click here to fill out a service request form.