Grow Tips

Tree & Shrub Care

Caring for Your Trees

Just like your lawn, trees need feeding to thrive. If planted in the lawn, the tree will benefit from the same fertilizer you apply to the grass.

If you use a lawn fertilizer that contains herbicides for broadleaf weeds, this additive can damage or even kill trees. Tree spikes and injection feeding are other methods for fertilizing a tree. When planting a young tree, leave a mulch ring three to ten feet in diameter (depending on tree size) around the base of the tree. Grass that grows too close can actually be harmful to young trees. Mulch helps to insulate the soil, retain moisture, keep out weeds, prevent soil compaction and reduce lawn mower damage.

Pruning Your Trees

If you have a tree you want to control, you can either prune the branches effectively yourself or bring in a tree and shrub care professional. Cutting back main branches to stubs or “topping” trees is actually self-defeating because the limbs generally grow back higher than before and are ugly, bushy and weak. Topping also weakens the health of a tree because it opens the tree to insects and disease and drastically reduces its ability to make food. Proper pruning can help trees thrive. For a beneficial change, pruning should be gradual in order to protect the health of the tree. Never remove more than one quarter of the tree’s crown in a single season. Winter is the best time to prune trees and rose bushes. If you prune before they bud, it encourages new growth and fruit production. Don’t be afraid to thin the branches – the plant will ultimately produce better quality blooms or fruit, rather than a multitude of weaker blooms.

Improving Your Yard and Landscape

Love your lawn but also want trees? Plant a shade-tolerant grass and mow high – a longer blade gives grass the ability to trap light and survive. For even more light, prune your trees. With an established lawn, choose species of trees that cast filtered shade to prevent future problems. Trees not only beautify your yard and increase your property value, but also help you save energy. The cooling properties created by their shade can help lower your air conditioning needs.