New Parkway Tree

If you have just had a new parkway tree planted, congratulations! Please help the Village of Palatine to nurture and promote the growth of this new addition to our urban forest by following these care instructions:

WateringJapanese Lilac Tree

Watering is the key to a new tree’s survival. Too much water will drown a tree and too little water will dry it up. During a normal season, a tree should receive about one inch of water per week. Watering need only be done during the months of May through September and only if adequate rainfall does not occur. It is important to keep your tree watered for the first three years after planting.

To see if your tree needs watering, check the soil by digging a small hole about three inches deep. If the soil is dry and crumbly, the tree needs additional water. If the soil is moist and sticks together, no water is needed. If water drips from the soil, there is too much water. If this occurs, remove the mulch layer from around the base of the tree to allow the soil to dry.


Mulch, the layer of wood chips that is placed on the soil after the tree is planted, is your young tree’s best friend. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, prevents weed and grass intrusion, and protects the trunk from lawn mower damage. Please keep the new tree mulched for the first four years of its life at its new location. Mulch should not be more than three inches deep and should not make contact with the bark of the tree, which can cause the bark to rot from being constantly wet. A fresh covering of mulch one inch deep may be added each year. Occasionally check for matting of the mulch and mix it up if needed. Free mulch is available for pickup from the Village's Smith Street holding site (550 N. Smith Street), or may be purchased at any nursery or garden center.


Avoid fertilizing the new parkway tree for the first two years, since fertilizers often do more harm than good by burning the tree's re-establishing root hairs. If you believe the tree needs to be fertilized, call the Forestry Division and we will be glad to advise you.


Please do not prune your newly planted parkway tree for the first three years. New trees need all of the energy production which comes from the leaves in order to regenerate a new root system. Pruning reduces the leaf canopy, thereby inhibiting root reproduction. Call the Forestry Division if you feel the tree needs to be pruned and we will evaluate the tree.

Questions & Further Information

If you have any questions regarding the care of your new parkway tree, please contact the Forestry Division at (847) 705-5200.