Tree & Shrub Tips

Use contact tab above if you need recommendations not listed below

Indian Hawthorns are prone to Entomosporum Leaf Spot which can completely defoliate the plants. Fungicide helps but you can help control it by:

Raking or blowing fallen leaves from under plants and bagging and sending to the landfill ASAP or burning will help the disease from “re-infecting” the plants. 

There are several varieties that are resistant to leaf spot disease and should be planted if you plant any. 

Also, don’t water more than 1 or 2 days each week (or don’t water unless needed). Increase air flow around plants by trimming limbs or removing plants if plants are overcrowded.

Canna Lilies:

We highly recommend cutting Cana Lilies to the ground and removing all mulch around them, in January or February to remove insect infested plant material. You must remove those leaves and mulch away from your property to keep the insects from re-infesting the plants over and over. The Canna Lily Roller is a caterpillar that ruins the blooms and foliage. If you notice damaged “rolled leaves” on your Canna Lilies in the summer, prune off damaged leaves and send to the landfill asap.

Plant correctly: One of the biggest problems we see in landscapes in our area, is shrubs that are planted too deep. The problem is, the heavy clay soil in most of the landscapes in this area, causes very poor drainage. In heavy clay soil, plants should be planted in “raised beds” to improve drainage. Even with most raised beds, we recommend planting with about 1/2 of the root ball of your trees/shrubs ABOVE soil level. Then mound the soil up to the top of that root ball. This method will provide the best drainage in heavy clay soil. Holes dug in heavy clay soil, can hold water up to 24 hours (or longer) after rain or irrigation has stopped. and when plants are planted “level” with the ground, the soil mix that came with plant acts like a sponge, and holds the water even longer. Plants get oxygen through the roots, so when they are planted too deep or in easily saturated soil, they are harmed. Plants are weakened when they go through wet periods over and over and basically drown and sometimes can’t recover. Usually it just results in weak and thin plants. The above planting method will help compensate for poor soil conditions. If you have plants that are planted too deep, you may be able to “raise” them and make them much healthier. To do this, you need to use a shovel to “cut” the roots a certain distance away from the trunk of the tree or shrub. Cut and loosen the root ball enough to raise the plant up or lean it over so you can put enough soil in the hole to raise it up enough to correct the problem. Please call or click contact on the website for specific advice concerning your property.

The below recommendations vary year to year depending on the weather, specific plants, and other conditions at your property.

Sample Calendar for Planting, pruning, and other recommendations

December-January: 

  • Prune roses at this time. Remove dead and weak canes. Properly dispose of clippings.
  • Prune Crape myrtles and Altheas.
  • Trim Nandinas.
  • Prune evergreens for shape and size as early in the month as possible.
  • Cut English Ivy back very hard. It will come back very nicely in the spring.
  • Trim Mondo Grass and Liriope with lawn mower set on highest setting (6 inches). You can also use a string trimmer to trim. This will allow new growth to be visible which is more desirable. Dispose of trimmings.
  • Set out trees and shrubs.
January-February:
  • This is an ideal time to set out Dogwoods. Planting site should be well drained and plants should be planted shallowly. Dogwood prefers acid soil.
  • Broad-leaved Evergreens such as Magnolia, Holly, and Photinia can be set out at this time.
  • Plant new roses, or move old roses soon after February 15.
  • Prune evergreens for size and shape.Cut out dead wood of flowering shrubs. Dispose of clippings to prevent disease or insect spread.
  • Prune Hydrangeas during the last week in the month.
  • Home Accent

    • Winter blooming shrubs can be forced to bloom indoors by cutting stems when buds begin to swell and placed in water indoors. Warmer temperatures will stimulate blooming. Place sprays of Forsythia, Flowering Quince, Oriental Magnolia, or fruit trees in a vase in a sunny window.

February-March:

  • Plant new roses before March 15.
  • Broad-leaved Evergreens such as Magnolia and Holly can be set out at this time.
  • Divide Mondo Grass and Liriope.Divide Cannas, Chrysanthemums, Coreopsis, Phlox, and Obedient Plant.
  • Flowering shrubs may be moved at this time. Larger shrubs should be moved with a ball of dirt and smaller shrubs may be moved bare-rooted.
  • This is the best month to move Crape myrtles.
  • Plant Gladiolus throughout this month for continuous bloom.Plant Hostas.
  • Caladiums can be started in outdoor containers as soon as weather warms.

March-April:

  • Plant summer and fall blooming bulbs: Callas, Cannas, Dahlias, Gladiolus, and Gloriosa Lilies.
  • Remove any freeze damaged and dead wood.
  • Prune Azaleas during or after blooming. Remove faded flowers from Kurume Azaleas.
  • Prune flowering shrubs after they finish blooming. If pruning can be done while the shrub is flowering, the trimmed off parts can be brought indoors for floral displays.

April-May:

  • This is the last month to prune Azaleas and Camellias as new buds are formed in June.
  • Gardenias can be pruned by bringing a bouquet inside to beautify the house.
  • Cutting bouquets regularly will keep your plants pruned and prolong the blooming season. Cut in early morning or late afternoon and put into water immediately.
  • Remove seedpods from bulbs and irises, they sap the plants strength.
  • Prune Oleander after blooming ends.Pinch Dahlias and Mums to assure a compact growth habit.
  • Remove blackberry fruiting canes after harvest. Prune new canes to encourage side branching.
  • Faded flowers should be removed from Daisy, Daylily, and other summer flowers.
  • Prune out dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs.

October-November

  • DO NOT PRUNE Spring flowering shrubs such as Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Mock Orange, Spirea, and Flowering Quince because flowers buds are already forming.
  • Delay pruning of most trees and shrubs until February since any new growth stimulated by pruning may be killed by a sudden freeze.

November-December:

  • This is a good time to move Japanese Magnolias.
  • Plant many types of bare root trees: fruit, nut or citrus.
  • Plant dormant shrubs: Azalea, Camellia, Nandina, Wax Ligustrium, Indian Hawthorne, Pyracantha, Mock orange, Hydrangea, Flowering Quince, and Spirea.
  • Prune fruit trees and shade trees to remove damaged wood.
  • Cut off tops of brown perennials, leave roots in the soil.
  • Do not prune spring flowering shrubs.
  • Ferns will come back from the ground, cut back brown fronds.
  • Cut Mistletoe out of trees.
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