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How to Care for a New Tree

The City of Madison provides over 96,000 street trees throughout the city. Trees provide many benefits:

  • Shade
  • Lower air temperatures
  • Reducing cooling costs in summer
  • Improved air and water quality
  • Habitat for birds, wildlife, and insects
  • Fall foliage and neighborhood beauty

New trees require special care in their early development and we rely on residents to care for the terrace tree at your property.

Watering the new tree will help it grow and continue providing benefits for years to come.

Tips for Caring for the New Terrace Tree

  • Water the new terrace tree. It may require up to 10 gallons of water every week, depending on rainfall. The soil should be moist, but not saturated.


  • Mulch provides a good weed barrier and helps retain soil moisture. Add a little mulch each spring or fall to maintain a depth of 3-4 inches. Leave space next to the tree trunk. The mulch should not touch the trunk


  • Avoid damaging the tree with lawnmowers, bicycle locks, and string trimmers. Please report any vehicle or vandalism damage to the Forestry office.


  • Avoid using weed killer near the new tree. Fertilizer is unnecessary the first two years.


  • If the tree is staked, a Forestry crew will return to remove the stakes. Staking is necessary for one complete growing season.


Future Care of the Terrace Tree

The City of Madison Forestry is responsible for pruning and will replace the tree if it dies.