Get Your New Trees And Shrubs Off To A Great Start
Very few additions can have as big an impact on a landscape as adding new trees and shrubs. They can make a big impact on your property. It is important to remember that these are young plants and the need a little extra TLC to get them off to a good start. Know what to do, and what not to do, is vital to the survival and long term thriving of your new landscape investments.
Mulch helps to preserve moisture for the young root system and insulates the tender roots from high and low temperature extremes. Keep in mind that mulch should not touch the trunk of the plant and should be no more than three inches deep.
Don’t: Fertilize Right Away
Newly planted trees and shrubs have tender root systems and need time to get established. Fertilizer could shock or even burn the roots. Skip fertilizing for the first year.
Trees and shrubs coming from a nursery are used to regular watering. They will need time to adapt to natural conditions. Although it will depend upon the species planted and your particular climate, a good rule of thumb is to water more frequently during the first few weeks, and then to back off and water deeply once a week for the remainder of the growing season.
Don’t: Prune Without A Plan
Pruning too early can be bad for a young tree. The one exception to this rule is that it is best to correct any structural weaknesses such as crossing branches or acutely angled limbs while the tree is young.
Do: Protect New Plants
New plants are more tender than older ones. They will not recover as quickly from mechanical injury. It is important to protect them from lawn mowers, weed whackers and local wildlife.
Don’t: Ignore Warning Signs
Young plants are tender and sensitive. Warning signs such as yellowing, browning, or wilting leaves are signals that the plant is heading downhill and should not be ignored. Call in your local extension service, professional arborist or landscaper, or your local nursery as soon as possible to help diagnose the problem.
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