A Guide to Tree Service: What Care Does Your Tree Need for Each Stage of Its Life?

Have you ever considered that the trees in your yard may need different types of care depending on the stage of their life cycle that they’re currently in? If you want your trees to thrive and flourish into old age, then it’s critical to provide the right kind of tree care at the right stages. Check out our comprehensive guide to tree service and care throughout the different stages of your trees’ lives.

What is a Typical Tree Life Cycle?

Just like any other living thing, trees cycle through various stages of their lives. There are seven touchpoints in a tree’s life cycle:

  • Conception (seed)
  • Birth (sprout)
  • Infancy (seedling)
  • Juvenile (sapling)
  • Adult (mature)
  • Elderly (decline)
  • Death (rotting log)

We’re walking you through them to help you best provide the right type of tree care for each stage.

Caring for Your Trees


During the seed stage of your tree’s life, tree service should be minimal. You’ll want to keep the seed away from direct sun exposure and plant it as soon as possible. Water tree seeds until they’re moist but not soaking wet, and don’t expose the seeds to freezing temperatures (i.e., don’t plant them in the winter).


Once the tree seed sprouts and roots begin to stretch down while the sprout grows up to reach the sunlight, it’s in the sprout stage. Keep the soil moist (but again, not soaking wet) and ensure that the sprout gets both enough sun and shade (too much sun can kill it).


To care for tree seedlings, first keep them protected – too much sun or wind can kill them. Seedlings should be watered deeply once a week. Make sure each seedling has enough space to grow, weed around them regularly, and when the seedlings are a bit taller, mulch around them to help retain moisture in the soil. You should also start monitoring for insect, disease, and animal damage in your tree care.

Related: Why You Should Use a Licensed Tree Expert


Tree saplings also require routine deep watering to ensure growth and vitality. It’s recommended that you stake the tree as part of your tree care if the tree seems unstable, and remove the stake after one year. Other elements of tree service in this stage include mulching (but not against the trunk – this can cause disease) and pruning. You should prune away broken or dead branches, as well as secondary leaders, the limbs that compete to become the main trunk of the tree.


Caring for mature trees doesn’t have to be complicated. Tree service at this stage of life should include routine pruning to remove dead or diseased branches and regular watering to ensure health. This is the stage of tree age where they start to grow more slowly, so be sure to avoid pruning too deeply – the slow regrowth can lead to disease. Also, be on the lookout for insect damage and poor soil conditions which can present themselves in the form of leaf drops and dead branches.


Elderly trees grow even more slowly than mature trees and may need a little bit more tree care to live out their last stage of life. Mulch can help ensure the soil stays moist and that there’s less soil erosion. You should also routinely water your tree and consider fertilizer – regular soil conditions may not be enough to sustain it through its end of life. You’ll still need to prune as part of your tree service but do so carefully. Incorrect or excessive pruning can stress the tree and leave it more susceptible to disease and damage, shortening its lifespan.


If you think that your tree is dead or dying, you should call in a professional tree service to weigh your options. You may be able to treat and revive the tree, but if it’s untreatable or already dead, your best bet is tree removal. A professional tree service can help you safely and efficiently remove the dead tree as well as give you advice on which new tree to plant in its place for the best results.

Let Hometown Tree Experts Help You Care for Your Trees

If you believe your tree needs some tender loving care, look no further than Hometown Tree. Our dedicated team is committed to providing tree services tailored to your needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today for a consultation, and let us ensure the health and vitality of the trees on your property. Your trees deserve the best, and we’re here to deliver it.