Caring For Your Tree


Water your tree once a week in the dry months and in between rain storms in the winter during the first three years. You may need to water more frequently in warmer weather.

Young trees require ten gallons of water once a week—that’s two five-gallon buckets or a low-pressure soak with the garden hose for 20-30 minutes. 


Keep the area around your tree free of weeds and grass. They compete with the tree for water and nutrients. Use a hand tool to remove grass and weeds within a 4-foot square around the base of the tree. 

Do not use weed eaters or mowers to trim grass or weeds around your tree. They can damage bark on the tree trunk, interfering with the tree’s nutrition and circulation, and may cause the tree to die.


Place mulch around the base of your tree to control weeds and conserve water.  Apply mulch 2-4 inches deep, and extend 18-24 inches in each direction. Mulch should be replaced once a year in the spring.

Do not place mulch against the trunk of the tree. It can cause decay of the bark at the base of the tree. 


Illustration Credit: Madison Tree Care & Landscaping


Do not use fertilizer to feed your tree.  If you want to feed your tree, click the link below for more information.


Do not prune your street tree! Young trees need all their foliage for the first few years to become established.


Trees may face other challenges such as whiteflies, aphids, scale and sooty mold. They can also show signs of windburn, soil compaction and/or water not reaching the roots. Click the link below for more information.

Learn more about caring for your new tree


Contact the City of Richmond Parks & Landscaping Division at 

510-231-3001 or email Richmond Trees at

For more information: