Young trees and shrubs require slightly more management initially than do established
plants because of their foliage hydration requirements. Newly planted trees
and shrubs will require supplemental watering at least 3X
per week during the
first summer. This is because they have had their water absorbing roots cut
back and are now attempting to grow into the surrounding soil.
Water in the evening (after 8pm) soaking the soil near the plant for at least
one hour three times per week. Do not, do not, do not water lightly. Light
watering causes the roots to “reach” upward toward the water
and become more vulnerable to drying. Plan on spacing your watering out to
every other night if possible to provide even moisture. Beginning
in August, you may cut back to 2X per week and toward the end of September,
stop watering altogether. You will not have to water the second year unless
a severe drought warrants so. When watering, a general rule to follow is
the larger the root ball of the plant or taller the plant, the more water
Two years from the date of initial installation, plan on adding a complete
slow release fertilizer (10-10-10) to help enhance color and growth. Apply
the fertilizer around the base of the plant past the foliage; not right next
to the trunk. As a rule of thumb for trees, apply approximately two cups
of fertilizer around the plant every two years until the plant is eight feet
or higher. Fertilization will not need to be applied after a plant reaches
ten feet tall. Shrubs can continue to be fertilized every two years. Apply
only one cup of fertilizer around the base of a four foot plant. (Back
Pruning can be done after the second year. Prune so to tighten the plant not to shape it into a controlled mass. Remove only enough material to make the
plant look more formal. Do not over-prune unless you have experience. Consult
a landscape professional or call us for more information on techniques and
timing. Note: A general rule to follow is if the plant blooms after June,
it should be pruned in late winter or early spring. If it blooms before June,
it is best to prune right after flowering, otherwise you will be cutting
off next year’s flowers.
Dark double shredded bark mulch provides a protective barrier from excessive
moisture loss and helps to reduce weed germination. It also provides a uniform
finished appearance. Plan on re-mulching every two years to keep the plants
healthy and presentable. Three inches of mulch applied evenly will be adequate.
Note: During times of hot, humid weather where the dew is heavy in the morning,
freshly applied mulch will sometimes develop a fungus called Physarium or “dog
vomit” due to similarity in appearance. They appear as yellow/brown
patches that eventually dry and turn to a white powdery mass. You do not
need to be alarmed as these nuisances are nothing more than that. They do
no damage other than looking bad. The only way to remove them is to either
rake them in or physically scoop them up and take them to a compost pile.
We recommend you protect any new shrubs the first few winters form harsh wind
that has a tendency to burn and desiccate the plant. Broadleaf
evergreens such as Holly, Boxwood, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons are at greatest risk of
wind and cold damage. By simply wrapping the plant in burlap, you will achieve
the protection you are looking for.
Another winter pest is the hungry critters we call deer that are becoming
more and more a concern. Especially when the ground is snow covered, deer
anything green to nibble on. A heavy burlap wrap will work as defense or you
may choose to have your plants sprayed with a material that causes irritation
to the animal’s gums when they eat. There are several products out that
claim to provide protection, but only a few truly work. If you would like information
on these products please contact us. The best not only do the job, but are
nearly invisible, harmless to pets and need to be applied at temperatures greater
than 40 degrees. (Back to Top)
For pre-emergent control, meaning control methods to prevent
weeds form ever germinating, I suggest using Preen. This can
be found in any garden center. It is very easy to apply and
is safe for use around almost everything. Read the label carefully
to check which annual flowers may be affected. That is the only
concern. Other than that, it is a very easy way to save you
a lot of time and energy keeping your gardens looking nice.
If you find the control is wearing off as you approach the middle
of the growing season, feel free to apply it again.
Unfortunately, no preventive weed control is 100%. So when
you do have weeds come up, the best method is to spot treat
with Round-Up. If using the concentrate, mix to a 2% ratio.
This will kill anything it touches, so be very careful
what you hit with it. Use caution when spraying on a windy day, for
even the drift from the chemical is enough to damage your shrubs.
Lavander & Rudbeckia– These
perennials will die back at the end of the year. Phlox
need no care at all while
for lavander and rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan), you can either
prune back dead growth then or in early spring before leaves
appear and roots begin to push. Flower cuttings from lavander
are excellent as they will fill the house with a soothing
aroma for well over a week. All will benefit from division
years which should be done in the Spring.
Hosta, Astilbe, Daylilies, Coral Bells, Coreopsis & Blanket
Flower – Extremely easy-care plants. Hosta may sometimes
be susceptible to slug or snail damage. To monitor, look
for small holes in the leaves. Mollicides are available at
garden centers for control methods if pests become a nuisance.
is a very reputable mollicide product. However take caution
to keep it out of reach from children and pets.
All plants may be cut back to ground once the frost hits
and leaves begin to brown. Old flower stalks should be cut back
or deadheaded to promote further blossoming. All will benefit
from division in 3-5 years which should be done in the Fall.
Grasses – Best to leave be throughout the winter months
and prune back to 6” in the spring unless you experience
wind or snow damage that causes the grass to fall over or
Clematis – Wait for stems to increase in size and slowly
take the end of the plant and start training it up the trellis.
Regularly fertilize and do not be alarmed if it does not flower
for the first few years. It is simply spending it’s energy
on growing rather than flowering. If and when pruning is
necessary, cut back one- third of the plant right after flowering.
do not hesitate to cut back hard.
Lily – Summer flowering bulb that produces a tropical
like leaf and flower excellent for hummingbirds. Be sure to
water them as they are in a dry location under the overhang.
Most important to shear off brown foliage after the frost and
dig up remaining tuber root. Store in cool dry location over
winter and re-plant in Mid – May.
Spruce – The most common problem associated with
Alberta’s is an insect called Spider Mite. This is a tiny
critter that causes the needles to turn brown and fall off.
You will see the damage most clearly in the late summer and
fall, however it is in the spring and early summer when you
want to monitor for them. To do so, take a white piece of paper,
hold it next to the plant, brush your hand up and down the needles
causing any existing bugs to drop on the paper. If you see more
than 10, then it will be necessary to use control methods. To
prevent the mites from establishing themselves, periodically
take a hose and spray down the plant –inside and out,
very thoroughly. If you still have damage occur, purchase
an insecticidal soap from any garden center and apply it
Holly – Cuttings
can be pruned off in the winter to use as decorations in
the house. Do not be alarmed if you do not
experience a heavy berry crop the first few years. Be on
the lookout for deer damage throughout the winter. It is
In extremely cold winter winds, leaves may turn brown on
margins, however they will bounce back with new growth
in the spring.
Japonica, Mountain Laurel, & Azalea – Do
not water extremely heavy as it is susceptible to root rot.
If leaves begin to turn yellow, fertilize with any complete
10-10-10 mixture or even better Mir-Acid Fertilizer. Leaves
with brown margins may be common in spring as it is a result
from winter wind damage. Do not be alarmed unless entire
plant shows stress. Prune after flowering.
Boxwood – Hardy
evergreen that will tolerate close pruning. Best to do
so in late Fall. Feel free to shape anyway you like.
Arborvitae – If
any pruning is necessary, doing so in the winter is best,
although the plant will tolerate light trimming
any time of the year. Remove any dead, brown branches that
Magnolia: Be on the lookout for scale damage. Symptoms include
dying leaves and black sooty mold covering the branches. The
best treatment is to apply dormant oil during the insects nymph
stage around late August.
Cherry– Keep well watered during dry spells for
the first 3 years. It is especially important with this tree
that you trim off any dead branches and ones that try to
grow vertically. When pruning, do so immediately after flowering.
well watered during dry spells for the first 3 years. Trim
off any dead branches that appear. On native
dogwoods, Cornus florida; be on the watch for dieback and
discolored leaves as this is a sign of a serious fungal
anthracnose. Please call us if you notice these symptoms.
Maple – In general, likes to be left alone.
Designed to grow in free flowing environment. A very unique
plant with a hefty price tag, so monitor closely. Consistently
check for any holes in the leaves caused by insects or the
leaves curling up caused by dryness. Fertilize and water
times the first 2 years to ensure good establishment and
dark color. May want to wrap in burlap during extreme winter
If pruning is necessary , do so during winter.
Crabapple – Similar
to rose bushes, crabapples can require a little extra care,
but their showy display is always worth
it. Susceptible to a wide array of insects and diseases.
The most common insect is tent caterpillar, which will
in the tree and come out in the day to feed. The best attack
is to physically remove these webs in early morning when
the insects are inside. You can also set traps found at
center at the base of the tree. Crabapple likes to be pruned
annually to remove suckers and vertical/crossing branches
that sap energy from the tree.
Forsythia – Easy care plants that don’t
require much time. If you would like to prune to specified
sure to do so within 2 weeks after they flower or else you
will trimming off the flowers for next year.
Lilacs – Sometimes susceptible to powdery mildew….
a gray/white substance on leaves. It will not kill the plant
unless it is really bad. Most often caused by poor air circulation.
Can be treated with a fungicidal soap found in your local
garden center. It helps to clean up around the area before
remove the fungus from the area. Plants can be renewed by
cutting out old branches each year. Prune after flowering.
Spirea – Problem
free plants. Very hardy, able to tolerate a variety of
conditions. Certain types will grow fast and benefit
from heavy pruning. The best time to prune is in the early
Rose – Very delicate plant to grow…requires
constant attention to achieve the best results. The hard
work is always
worth it though. Always prune out dead or old shoots. The
best time to do so is in early spring around the time Forsythia
in bloom. Never prune too heavy. Black spot is the most common
of many problems associated with roses. If you notice, immediately
remove lower leaves infected with it. If problem persists,
contact your local garden center to get the appropriate
The best time to fertilize is in the Fall. Mulch heavily
in the winter for added protection.