Tree Surgery Forest of Dean

Have you ever wondered what is involved in nurturing a new tree into a healthy strong tree? This blog provides an overview of ‘all things tree care’, perfect if you are considering planting new trees in your garden.

Off shopping!

Do your research! Find out about the different types of trees that are available, and feasible for your garden and location. If outdoor space is limited you don’t want to select a tree that will grow to huge proportions and take over. If you need advice on the different types of trees suitable for you and your garden seek expert advice from a tree surgeon. Alternatively ask in a garden centre, use reference books or look on the internet, all wonderful resources should you need help in deciding.

Forward planning

Remember, once you’ve planted a tree the first two to three years of care will have a huge impact on the trees developing strength and shape. Those initial few years will determine the lifespan of the tree.


Be mindful of utility/power lines if you have any close to your garden, and don’t plant larger trees too close to your property. Avoid the potential of your well established trees clashing with power lines, or blocking natural light in the property. After the effort and time spent nurturing your trees it would be a shame if they had to be severely pruned or even removed because of their inappropriate location.

If possible, identify the type of soil in your garden (or location you intend to plant). Most trees will flourish in any soil conditions, but there are a few varieties that require specific types of soil.

TLC = Mulching & Water

A newly planted tree will require mulch to kick-start the growth process. Mulching the soil protects the trees roots from hot and cold temperatures, it retains enough water to keep the roots moist, and it will also prevent weeds from taking root around the trees roots.

New trees will also require watering as soon as they are planted. During the first 2 years (aka the toddler stage!), the tree will be expending lots of energy whilst its roots are developing and establishing in the soil, so regular watering is essential. This is even more-true during the trees first two summers. Moistened woodchip mulch is ideal for new trees. You need to remember that too much water can have a damaging effect, so if the soil around the roots feels moist, save watering for another day.

After these first few years the tree will be well established, able to stand up to all weathers, and be able to take all the nutrients and water from the ground.


Pruning because you have spotted some dead wood can be carried out at any time of year. More intrusive pruning must be carried out at specific times of the year, so as not to hinder the trees growth.
Winter – The ideal time to prune most trees, once we’ve made it past the cold snap. At this time of year the tree is dormant, so a good prune will lead to a burst of energy and growth come spring time.
Summer – With experience, you can prune trees during the summer months if you are aiming to slow down a trees growth. Wait until the seasonal growth period is over before you start.


You’ve planted your trees, nurtured them, successfully reaching the 2 year mark; what next?
Annual pruning is advised, but as your tree may have become rather large this may prove to be a difficult task, you may have times when you believe the tree has become sick, or requires some expert attention to ensure it remains in good health.
At Tree Surgery Forest of Dean no job is deemed too small, so if your trees require pruning, shaping or simply a health check please get in touch and one of our experienced team members will give you the help and advice that you need.

The Importance Of Being A Healthy Tree!

A happy, vibrant, well-nourished tree is a HEALTHY tree!

Whilst wandering around the garden you may not have noticed that a plant or two has seen better days, maybe the flower heads have dropped from one of your Hydrangea, or the neighbours’ cat has been playing in your Fuchsia so it’s no longer the vibrant splash of colour, but a splayed out patch of pinks and greens. This type of garden activity tends to go fairly unnoticed by the homeowner, yet an unhealthy dying tree can quickly become an eyesore.

Is your tree sick?

Different trees will display different symptoms if they are sick, but the common symptom shared by all is if you notice that the tree(s) in your garden have failed to produce leaves at the time of year they usually would. If the bark appears brittle and can be easily knocked off, or if you notice that branches are drying out, drooping or even falling off completely the chances are there is something wrong with the tree. Often the cause can just be the age of the tree, but referring to a tree surgeon for advice will confirm this either way.

Main causes

There are a number of factors to consider if you are trying to identify the reasons behind your unhealthy trees;
Water – Not a lack of (especially in the UK!), but a prolonged surplus of water can diminish shoot growth; rot the base of the trunk, which can eventually lead to the tree dying.

Chemicals – Many of us will douse the garden in herbicides/pesticides should we see a rise in the number of weeds that appear. If you also have trees in the garden ensure the chemicals are kept away from them, or purchase pesticides that are not harmful to them.

Insects – Insects (such as beetles), and certain bacteria’s can lead to irreversible damage to a tree which can lead to premature death.

Squirrels?! – Even the cute garden squirrel can result in an unhealthy tree. Commonly attracted to gardens where the homeowner leaves bird feed out, squirrels will sit in a tree and happily gnaw away bark from the branch. If this happens repeatedly this will weaken the tree and may cause the branch to die and drop off.

Soil – A change in soil depth or compaction can cause series damage to a tree, making it more susceptible to disease and insects. The roots of a tree take water, oxygen and minerals from the soil, so if this stops so will the tree’s nourishment.

Take action

Take a look at your trees outside. If you can spot any differences in appearance, growth, leaf density that is different to the normal cycles of change your tree goes through it is worth calling a professional tree surgeon for advice.
Given enough time a Tree surgeon may be able to save the tree by simply removing the dead sections, or the tree may have to be completely removed. If the tree is showing signs of disease, a tree surgeon should advise on what can be done to salvage the tree, assuming that is possible. If a trees decline can be linked to changes in the environment around it, the soil or water drainage, a tree surgeon can advise on the measures to take in an effort to bring the tree back to full health.