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Newly Installed Trees and Shrubs
Perennials | Evergreen Shrubs | Trees | Deciduous Shrubs

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, you may 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 it needs.

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 to Top)

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 will find 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)

Weed Control:
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.

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Phlox, 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 in 3-5 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. Deadline 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 break off.

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. If overgrown, do not hesitate to cut back hard.

Canna 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.

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Evergreen Shrubs

Alberta 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 in the spring.

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 a delicacy. In extremely cold winter winds, leaves may turn brown on margins, however they will bounce back with new growth in the spring.

Rhododendron 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 are visible.

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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.

Weeping 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.

Dogwoods– Keep 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 disease called anthracnose. Please call us if you notice these symptoms.

Japanese 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 during dry times the first 2 years to ensure good establishment and dark color. May want to wrap in burlap during extreme winter temperatures. 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 form webs 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 your garden 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.

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Deciduous Shrubs

Forsythia – Easy care plants that don’t require much time. If you would like to prune to specified shape, make 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 winter to 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 spring.

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 is 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 fungicide spray. The best time to fertilize is in the Fall. Mulch heavily in the winter for added protection.

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