Show Your Trees You Care

How To Care For A Volunteer Tree Seedling

While most trees in your landscape are there due to design, you may occasionally find a volunteer tree seedling (one that grew there naturally) that you'd like to keep rather than weeding it out. Here are a few steps on what to do next and how to take care of the tree seedling.

1. Identify the tree

Before you can tell what the seedling needs, you'll have to figure out what type of tree it is. Different types of trees can have dramatically different needs. In addition, you'll want to make sure it's not a nuisance tree that you'd rather dispose of now instead of nurturing.

Often, even a young tree can be identified by its leaves. Your tree care professionals can help you identify the tree if you're having trouble. Since the tree came from a seed, it's most likely some type of tree that grows in the area (either a native or landscape tree). However, trees can also grow from seeds that come from dropped or composted fruits such as apples.

2. Make sure it's situated correctly

One great thing about a seedling tree is that since they're so young, these trees are much easier to move around than an older tree. You can ask your tree service contractor whether the spot is a good one for a tree. If the spot is unsuitable (say because it's too close to underground pipes or overhead power lines), your tree care professional can dig the seedling up and move it to a better situation.

3. Keep reasonable expectations in mind

Don't expect a seedling tree to throw much shade anytime soon. A tree grown from seed may take several years longer to reach mature size than those that you buy at a nursery. This additional time needed can apply to flowers and fruit as well.

In addition to giving the tree plenty of time to establish itself, you need to keep in mind that the tree may have certain limitations when compared to a tree chosen at a nursery. For instance:

4. Consult tree service professionals about pruning and watering

A seedling tree may need a little extra time before regular pruning starts, so check with your tree service contractor about when to schedule pruning. In addition, depending on the type of tree and whether or not it's native to the area, your tree service professional may recommend different levels of supplemental watering and fertilizing.

These steps can help you care for a volunteer tree seedling you've decided to keep in your yard. A local tree service contractor can help you take care of your seedling.