1. Water them
Until their roots are well established, young trees and shrubs need a lot of water. When they are bigger, you have to water them deeply so that the water reaches the roots. If there is not enough rainfall, put a seeping pipe around the base or allow the water to run slowly from a regular pipe for a few hours.
2. Strike them
The mulch of shredded bark or wood chips holds water and removes weeds. Great for keeping trees and shrubs away from garden tools, which could damage them. Spread it at the base of the tree 15 cm from the trunk making sure it is 5 to 10 cm thick.
3. Prevent sunstroke
Sunstroke can hurt young shrubs and thin-skinned trees. It occurs in winter when the weather is mild and the sun’s rays activate dormant cells under the bark. At night, when the temperature drops, the cells are destroyed and the tree is damaged. To prevent this problem, when winter arrives, wrap the trunks of the young trees with two layers of aluminum foil or protective tape.
4. Be careful with the trimmer!
To avoid accidentally damaging the base or trunk, cut a cardboard tube in half lengthwise and attach the two halves around the trunk. A perforated plastic pipe will also do the trick.
5. Size carefully
As a rule, we should prune respecting the natural shape of the plant; unless it’s a hedge or a tree used as a topiary, do not just cut it. Cut at the height of an outward-facing bud or cut the entire stem at the base.
6. Correct the problems
If a young tree fails, trim 15% of its foliage: this will help it to reduce the stress on the roots. Make sure it is well irrigated and straw with compost. Wrap the trunk with protective paper to limit evaporation.
Newly transplanted trees and shrubs may require a stake guard until the roots have resumed. Push three stakes into the ground around the tree and hold the trunk with ribbons. Use an old split garden hose or old tube to protect the bark from direct contact with the metal wires.
8. Protect the trunk
Mice, rabbits and other animals readily feed on the bark of young trees and shrubs, especially in winter. An effective and cheap way to protect them is to wrap the trunks of a double layer of aluminum foil late in the fall. Remember to remove it in the spring.