Science, Tech, Math › Animals & Nature Essential Tree Care Tips - Keep Your Tree Healthy Ways to Growing a Healthy Tree Share Flipboard Email Print Animals & Nature Forestry Arboriculture Tree Identification Basics Tree Structure & Physiology The Science Of Growing Trees Conifer Species Individual Hardwood Species Pests, Diseases, and Wildfires Tree Planting and Reforestation Amphibians Birds Habitat Profiles Mammals Reptiles Wildlife Conservation Insects Marine Life Dinosaurs Evolution View More By Steve Nix Forestry Expert B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia Steve Nix is a natural resources consultant and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters. our editorial process Steve Nix Updated January 29, 2020 There are certain things a tree owner must know to keep trees healthy and in the very best condition. Read these tree care essentials for a basic overview of keeping a tree healthy over its natural and predicted biological life span. 01 of 08 Limit Staking Your Tree (Claire Higgins/Getty Images) Tree staking is never done with the intention of harming a tree. Staking is usually done with love and with a desire to promote root and trunk growth and protect a young tree from harm. What some tree planters do not understand is, rather than helping a tree develop root and trunk growth, improper tree staking replaces a supportive trunk and root system with an artificial support that causes the tree to put its resources into growing taller but not growing wider. 02 of 08 Transplant Your Tree Gardener transplanting young cherry tree (Prunus) into new position, September. (Richard Clark/Getty Images) Tree owners often need to move or transplant trees from a nursery or within the yard. Yard trees may have been planted too thickly or threaten to outgrow available space. Size is a critical factor in transplanting. The larger a tree, the more difficult it is to transplant. 03 of 08 Protect a Tree's CRZ Critical Root Zone. (Athens-Clarke County Community Tree Program, Georgia) Before starting a mulching project, become familiar the critical root zone (CRZ) or tree protection zone. This zone is generally defined as the area under a tree and out to its dripline. Improving conditions in this protection zone will also result in major health benefits to a tree. 04 of 08 Mulch Your Tree (James Arnold/Getty Images) Mulching is the most beneficial thing a home owner can do for the health of a young tree. Mulches are materials placed on the soil surface to improve soil structure, oxygen levels, temperature and moisture availability. Properly applied, mulch can give landscapes a handsome, well-groomed appearance. 05 of 08 Fertilize Your Tree Compost. (ERNESTO BENAVIDES/Getty Images) Ideally, growing trees should be fertilized throughout the year. The greatest amounts should be applied during the early spring and summer months. Several light applications a year are preferred as the tree gets older. 06 of 08 Prune Your Tree (Jupiterimages/Getty Images) Pruning is essential in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable form. Here are several methods showing you how to prune your trees. 07 of 08 Prevent Ice and Snow Damage to Trees (Oleksandra Korobova/Getty Images) Brittle tree species normally take the brunt of heavy icing after a winter storm. Many of the elms, most true poplars, silver maples, birches, willows and hack-berries are tree species that simply can't handle the weight of the ice slurry coating limbs. Learn how to select and manage trees to withstand ice and snow. 08 of 08 Winterize Your Tree (Wikimedia Commons) Trees in fall are beginning their dormant phase. Trees may seem to be inactive but the fact is they need to be winterized - protected and cared for to remain healthy, free from diseases and insects.