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Shrubs, trees and other landscape plants have become essential elements in our yards. Not only do they add structure and color, they also establish desirable focal points. While established shrubs and trees may seem self-sufficient, it’s a fact: healthy landscape plants don’t just happen. Sure, trees and shrubs may be considered low-maintenance, but they’re definitely not no-maintenance.
Fortunately, taking care of landscaping shrubs and trees can be easy, but it certainly does require knowing the basics to ensure your plants reach their full potential. From planting to protecting, here are 5 ways you can care for your shrubs and trees that will pave the way to healthy and successful growth.
When it comes to the initial planting of your landscaping shrubs and trees, when exactly is the best time of year to install new plants?
The answer is somewhat simple: If the soil isn’t frozen, plant away! Ideally, we recommend planting in spring or fall when weather conditions are mild.
Pro Tip: A good rule to follow is to this: avoid planting prior to periods of stressful weather conditions to allow for successful growth.
Easy enough! No matter which method you use to plant your shrubs and trees, water them well after planting, and remember to mulch, mulch, mulch! But more on that later.
Once your new shrubs and trees are firmly planted in the ground, what comes next? That would be a healthy soaking of some cool H2O. The initial watering-in of new plantings ensures that the soil backfill in the planting hole settles in properly around the root ball.
Pro Tip: When irrigating landscape plants use a slow flow of water at low pressure. This allows the soil around the plants to become properly moistened, while other methods result in greater loss of moisture to evaporation.
What about those well-established shrubs and trees? How often do those need watering? Fortunately for water conservation purposes (and your wallet), established plants in your landscape will only need to be watered during periods of extremely dry weather. Wondering what methods to use once the weather starts to heat up.
Click here for tips on how to water your shrubs and trees when the temperatures spike.
Now that you’re an expert in shrub and tree watering methods, bring on the mulch!
Landscape mulch does A LOT for a yard. Not only does it create some serious curb appeal with its clean and tidy appearance, it also helps the soil retain moisture, and suppresses pesky weeds. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this mulch business.
You may be asking yourself, How much mulch do I need and what kind is recommended? A rule of thumb is to remember that mulch should be applied around the base and root zone of plants to a depth of no greater than 3 inches and refreshed annually.
Pro tip: Using organic sources of shredded mulch develops a pleasing weathered appearance and contributes to soil organic matter content.
Now that your shrubs and trees are looking good with a healthy dose of mulch, how do you keep your landscape plants healthy and thriving? Through nutrients and feeding, of course!
Landscape shrubs and trees require nutrients to live and thrive. Without proper nutrients in the soil, they will not reach their full potential. After all, fertilized landscape plants do produce greener, larger leaves, increased flowering and overall plant health and vigor.
Pro tip: The amount of fertilizer that should be applied varies with the age and location of the landscape plants in your yard. Our TruGreen Tree and Shrub Specialists are trained and certified to use the correct method of fertilization for various landscape situations by using both liquid fertilizer injected into the root zone and granular fertilizer to the soil surface. For more information on our root zone fertilization process, click here.
With fertilizing taken care of, what’s left? A strong line of defense from pests and diseases!
Although fertilizing assists plants in growing healthy, sometimes extra help is needed. TruGreen’s tree and shrub program can identify the most serious insect and disease threats to your landscape plants and determine how to best treat them.
On certain varieties of plants, a special application of horticultural oil can be applied to help control difficult types of diseases and insects before damage occurs. When performed at the right time, this plant protection can prevent significant damage to your landscape, keeping it healthy and beautiful for living life outside.
To learn more about horticultural oil, click here.
Now get started!
Get your shrubs and trees started on the right track by consulting a TruGreen PhD-certified specialist who has the expertise to help your shrubs and trees flourish. By putting together a tailored plan, our experts will keep your landscaping plants healthy all season long. To get started, call 1-800-464-0171 or visit our tree and shrub services page.
To learn more about TruGreen’s tree care service, watch the video below!