STSL - How We Do

Follow these basic tree care tips to ensure that the trees you plant grow and mature:



Got mulch? You can use less water and improve the health of your trees and plants by using a layer of mulch, three to four inches deep, around your trees. Instead of having your “yard waste” hauled away, you can mulch by simply allowing fallen leaves and other plant matter to stay on the ground.
Here's how to mulch:

1.Make or obtain mulch

To make your own: When you prune trees, you can chip the non-diseased branches into mulch using a chipper or your own pruning tools. Chippers will work on branches up to 3 inches in diameter. You can purchase or rent one from home improvement stores or equipment rental businesses.

Do not use grass clippings as mulch around plants. They smother the soil and do not allow oxygen to get into the soil. Compost your grass clippings instead.

Under existing trees and shrubs, allow the leaves and branches to fall and stay on the soil. Do not rake them up and throw them away, unless they are diseased.

2. Remove weeds

Remove weeds from around the base of the tree before mulching.

3. Break up the soil

If the soil surface is highly compacted, break up the surface using a metal rake or shovel before mulching.

4. Place the mulch

Place a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the tree. Keep the mulch at least 2 inches away from the base of the tree. If possible, mulch all the way out to the dripline (the dripline is the area that reaches out from the trunk and extends to the end of the branches). Be sure to mulch over the berm if you've created one around your tree.


Different trees need different amounts of water. But here are some general watering guidelines for a freshly planted 15-gallon tree:

If you created a berm around your tree, fill the basin created by it with water and let it soak into the ground. Continue to fill the basin with water until it has received about 15 gallons of water.

Watering schedule (15 gallons at each watering for a 15-gallon tree):

  • Month 1: twice a week
  • Months 2–3: once a week
  • Months 4–7: once every two weeks
  • Months 8–12: once every three to four weeks
  • Years 2–5: once every four to six weeks

However, always check the soil for moisture about four inches down before watering. If it’s really wet, don’t water, even though the schedule says to.

Water slowly. When water stops soaking in, the soil has become saturated and reached its water-holding capacity. You’re done with that watering session!