The Do's and Dont's of Tree Care


Do water your trees often, letting soil dry out slightly in between waterings.

Don't water your tree so often that the soil is always muddy or boggy.

A general rule of thumb is if the surrounding lawn is green then the tree likely has water. When establishing young canopy a trip-line system can be useful however we recommended removing this after the first few years to encourage the roots to grow properly and search for water on their own.


Do cut a branch at the point of origin, just outside the branch collar.

Don't cut a branch just anywhere, incorrect pruning is likely to disrupt the tree’s health and structure.

A quick Google search on ‘proper limb pruning’ will give you the relevant information you need to make a cut that fits your needs but also respects the tree. Cutting a limb anywhere besides the point of origin will lead to die-back or witches broom.

Do cut a limb if appropriate and if its 1/3rd the size of the parent stem or bigger.

Don't remove more than 1/3rd of the green healthy living canopy/tissue.

Pruning cuts made in the wrong locations or that are too big are usually considered ‘topping’ or ‘heading’ cuts and will quickly lead to limb die back and even death. Over-pruning can lead to stress and cause sucker growth. Avoid ‘lion tailing’.

Do use a ladder when pruning and harvesting fruit trees.

Don't use a ladder when removing large limbs from trees or whole trees.

Ladders generally don't mix well with tree care. There are exceptions such as when pruning small fruit trees or applying xmas lights, but in general ladders should stay out of the equation as a rule.

Do call an ISA Certified Arborist® if you need service or advice.

Don't do it yourself if its out of your scope, getting injured is not worth it.

Most arborists are friendly and will be willing to answer any of your questions. Feel free to contact us anytime. Don’t try taking on something that is high-risk, getting hurt is just not worth it. On that note be sure you are hiring someone who is qualified to do the job.


Do plant at the proper soil depth.

Don't plant trees in deep or shallow soil.

Trees have above-ground and below-ground structures. Proper planting depth is at the root flare, check that this part of the tree is not covered. In contrast, if too many roots are exposed, it’s planted too high.

Do plant on cool, dormant and overcast periods.

Don't plant or transplant during warm of hot days.

Best time to plant is in fall or early spring. After planting give plenty of water for the following weeks to come. This goes for transplants also. Mother nature always has her way and isn’t always so forgiving. That being said don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t grow.

Do remove any root/trunk bindings such as metal, burlap, and string when planting.

Don't plant your tree in the metal cage, root container, or burlap it came in.

We cannot stress this one enough. All too often we are called years later to rescue trees that have been planted improperly by not removing the root binding and it always results in death. Be sure your landscaping company doesn’t do this either.

Do plant in a though-out area with plenty of room for the tree to mature.

Don't plant under power lines or too close to other structures and trees.

Calling us to remove your tree because it got too big is not valid. Trees are valued in our communities and should be able to reach their full genetic potential without being topped or destroyed. Plan for the future.


Do stake unstable trees for one-two years while planting.

Don't leave stake on for longer than one-two years unchecked or adjusted.

When staking don't allow an indent to form from on the bark from the string or hose used to pull the tree. This is a great way to choke the tree out before it ever has a chance. Be sure to eventually remove the supports to encourage good root structure, they will learn from the wind and adapt accordingly.

Billy Tiedemann

ISA Certified Arborist

License: #UT-4353A

Heber City Tree Advisory


[email protected]

Utah Community Forest Counsil Member

Christian Katris


ISA Utah Chapter Member

Heber City Tree Advisory


[email protected]

Utah Community Forest Counsil Member

Jason Carlston

Arborist Apprentice

ISA Utah Chapter Member


[email protected]

Five Star Customer Service Rating

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

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