Think Before You Plant

Things to consider before planting tree(s)/shrub(s).

Your trees are for a lifetime. We tend to become attached and sentimental about them. Selecting the best plant(s) to begin with, planting in the proper location and giving proper care will help ensure a long and healthy life for your plant(s).

Before you buy your tree make sure your choosing the right one. If it has a specific purpose make sure you choose wisely. Is it for shade, privacy or windbreak? Is there enough room for it to grow? Will it get into power lines, a sidewalk or foundation? Is it in a shady area or full -sun?

Some trees are extremely messy, producing fruit (cherries, ornamental plums), pods (aspen), whirlybirds (maples) or drops small branches (willows).    Are they prone to insects like aphids & bronze birch borer, or to  disease? These are some of the questions you want to keep in mind when you are shopping for your tree.

At the nursery, look for plants with healthy roots and good color. Don’t accept a plant with a broken root ball, circling roots or if they appear to be root bound. Soil and roots should be bound tightly. Carefully remove the pot or burlap and gently spread out roots. Always give your plant a good watering immediately after it is planted.

Putting mulch down around your new tree will help insulate roots from heat and cold, retain moisture in the soil, reduce weeds and provides a buffer from mower and line- trimming damage (which happens to be one of the top 10 ways to kill a tree). Be sure not to put mulch down too heavy as it can interfere with the trees ability to breathe and exchange gases. Also keep mulch away from the trunk of the tree. If it pushes up against the trunk the mulch can retain moisture and that can promote disease development.

Overwatering is a common mistake, especially with drip systems. After the tree is established water deeply as needed, generally a slow drip, soaking the soil 8 to 12 inches and allowing the area to dry out between watering, as you would with a houseplant. Watering everyday over a period of time your tree could develop surface roots, root rot or what is referred to as “wet feet”. This can cause damage and possibly kill your trees or plants.

Make sure you know the proper time of year to prune your tree. Its is a good idea to start shaping your tree and pruning out any crossover or rubbing branches while it is still young.

These are just some of the problems that we see when we are on landscapes. Many of them could be avoided.

If you have any questions regarding your landscaping please give us a call.