That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you plant a shrub in the winter may have ready to put one in your landscape come December. However, just like there’s a correct way to plant trees, there’s a proper time to plant as well. In some instances, winter is right on time. Though other times, planting in winter will harm your tree over time.
Here is some information on how to tell if it’s alright to plant in winter or if you should wait another season.
What You Must Know About Planting Shrubs and Trees in the Winter
Young plant roots need a well-watered, warm environment to establish themselves. This is why fresh new roots and frosty soil don’t mix. With frozen ground, tree roots don’t get the water they need to have a good start.
If you live in an area with no freezing winters or your area is known for having warm winters, you may be able to plant in during the winter season.
Trees You Can Plant in Winter
The only trees you must not plant in the wintertime are evergreens. Unlike deciduous shrubs and trees, evergreens keep their foliage in the winter. It’s challenging for them to maintain their needles’ moisture levels and establish their roots with a reduced water supply in winter. Other tree types are typically fair game, but only if the dirt isn’t ice-covered and won’t freeze for at least four weeks after planting.
That’s why if you reside in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, or any place the earth doesn’t freeze, winter planting isn’t just okay. It’s recommended. In these conditions, planting in winter gives new trees the phase they need to develop roots before dry, hot weather begins.
If you’re looking for some advice, below is some information on the best time to plant shrubs according to where you live and what you’re planting. You can always check with your local Rochester tree care and stump removal business for planting suggestions too.
Plant Shrubs or Trees the Right Way
The key to a new tree successfully growing in the winter is to plant it when the earth is cool. Using a soil thermometer, put the thermometer into the soil for a couple of days. If the soil steadily measures above 50° F, it’s okay to plant your shrub or tree. But, if the ground is too cold, plant during the upcoming spring or fall season.
Holly bushes make a gorgeous winter plant, with tiny red berries delivering aesthetic appeal in a cold and bleak season. While holly makes a festive holiday decoration, gardeners must perform a more vital pruning of this bush than collecting greens for a table display. When you know how to prune holly bushes, you keep the plant healthy and cosmetically attractive.
When to Prune
A common question is when to trim a holly bush plant. Most folks can prune a holly bush when the plant is dormant in the wintertime. December is an excellent time for pruning holly bushes. Trimming holly bushes aids in giving them a neat appearance and keeping them in shape. However, not all types of holly bushes are pruned at the same time. It is vital to know when to prune the different varieties of holly bushes.
Otherwise, you could unintentionally get pricked by holly leaves. Examine your holly bush for diseased, dead, or damaged limbs. Dead wood will be hollow to the touch. Damaged and diseased wood will have nicks and cuts as well as being physically marred with discolored timber.
How to Prune
Mix a solution of water and bleach in a bucket. Dip your pruning shears into the solution, then cut away the rotten wood. Cut off these branches at their intersection with the main branch or trunk. Use pruners for tiny cuts and lopping shears for thicker limbs that are difficult to cut with the small pruners.
Clean your pruners between cuts. Throw away all dead and infected wood in a garbage bin, then sterilize all your gardening equipment and wipe them dry with a towel. Get rid of the bleach solution. It’s okay to perform a DIY holly bush trim job. However, if you need tree cutting or stump grinding service, you should call a professional stump service company.
Thin out packed areas of the canopy to encourage air circulation, which keeps your holly healthy. Use pruners to take off weak limbs and branches that push up against other branches. Chop all the growth off at the base.
Take off downward-growing or low-growing branches from the holly bush by cutting them off at the bottom. Don’t cut into the swollen tissue or the collar on the trunk that indicates the branch intersection with the trunk.
Evergreen shrubs can be used as an anchor, screen, or focal point in a mixed border or landscape. Learning how to identify your evergreen shrub is the first step in making sure it’s the right one for the growing conditions.
There are three fundamental kinds of evergreen shrub leaves: scale-like, awl-shaped, and needle-like. After you identify the right leaf-shape category of your evergreen shrub, you can narrow down the evergreen shrub types.
Customary types of evergreen shrubs are yews, firs, junipers, Siberian cypress, hemlock, Douglas fir, spruce, false cypress, pine, and arborvitae. When distinguishing evergreen shrub leaves, you can match the leaves with pictures in tree care and stump removal guidebook.
Decide the Right Leaf-Shape
Distinguish awl-shaped evergreen leaves by their thin, long formation. Scale- and needle-shaped leaves are more significant than awl-shaped leaves and reach outward from the center stems.
Search for evergreen shrub leaves with a host of needles that flourish uniformly from the center leaf stem. These are referred to as needle evergreen leaves.
Pinpoint the evergreen shrub leaves by its scales that develop away from the center leaf stem in uneven lengths. Scale-like evergreen leaves possess a coarse triangular shape.
Classify the Evergreen Shrub
Feel the foliage to characterize the right type of evergreen with awl-like leaves. If the foliage is piercing to the touch, it’s a juniper. If the foliage is flexible and soft, it’s a Siberian cypress.
Examine the needles’ length, growth habit, and coloring to detect the needle-leaf evergreen shrub type. If the needles are entirely green, flat, and ¾- to 1-inch long, the shrub is a yew. If the needle possesses two white bands down the length of its bottom, is around ½-inch and is united to the branch by a tiny stem, it's hemlock. Pinpoint pines by needles that grow in bundles of two, three, or five and spruces based on their square needles.
Look at the specific shape and size of scale-like leaves to identify the evergreen shrub type. Arborvitae shrubs have flat fan-shaped and tiny leaves that grow to only 1/16 to 1/8 inch in size. Imitation cypress types have less flat and bigger scale-like leaves.
If you need help identifying trees and shrubs in your landscaping or need stump services, contact a local professional stump removal service today!
Is that pretty little holly next to the front door now threatening to grab your arm as you walk by? This is the best time to transplant trees and shrubs in the winter from one part of your landscape to the other.
Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
Transplanting shrubs and trees can be an overwhelming task. You might be frightened that you could kill your plant in the process. Here’s what you need to know: the plant isn’t doing you any good in its present location. Otherwise, you probably would not be thinking about moving it.
You aim to have it gone. Though, if you’re going to get rid of it, you may as well use it somewhere else. If it lives, consider it a blessing.
Let’s come up with some ideas to make your transplant a success. Here are some tips:
The objective is to keep as much of the soil intact with the roots as you can. Have a piece of plastic, burlap, or tarp ready to put the root ball in. Try to raise the plant out of the ground from the underside instead of pulling by the branches. Have the new hole already dug so that you can put your tree or bush in it quickly.
You should dig a hole at least twice the size of the rootball and around the same depth. When you are replanting, tamp the soil around the rootball as you go along, so you don’t have pockets of air and pockets of water. If you dig and discover that the tree is dead, call a tree and stump removal company to get rid of it correctly.
Mulch covers the soil and helps it retain water, stay frost-free, and keep nutrients. There are several different mulch types, each one with a somewhat different function. Cedar and pine mulches are both wood-chip mulches. However, the difference between pine and cedar mulch are significant, as they benefit the soil differently and have to be used in separate sections of your landscape.
Advantages of Mulch
Mulch comes in several forms, acting as a defensive layer for both the plant's roots and the soil. A few inches of mulch placed on the ground before the first frost will shield your plants' roots and guarantee that they live through the winter. Also, wood mulch breaks down and reloads the soil's nutrients that the plants use to thrive and flourish every year. A generous amount of mulch around your trees also deters weed growth.
Pine is a soft wood that breaks down easier than hard wood. This means that the soft wood mulch created won’t last as long as a hard wood mulch made with cedar. Pine mulch is best used in places that have a good number of plant turn-over, are replanted every year, or in spots with a considerable amount of plants where the plants are taking in a significant number of nutrients.
Cedar mulch is a hardwood mulch that doesn’t break down quickly. It is best used on plants that grow gradually and in spots where there isn’t a lot of plants turn over. Cedar mulch is typically used around grown trees and shrubs. Also, cedar mulch is suitable for lining your garden paths, since it won't break down when you step on it. Cedar mulch lasts a very long time.
How to Use
Wood mulch is best used in autumn to safeguard your plants from frost and heavy rain. It shields the soil and halts a snap freeze from destroying the roots of your plants. You must cover all unplanted and exposed ground with around two inches of mulch. You can get organic, fresh mulch from any Rochester stump grinding business.
Pine is an acidic wood. Even though it breaks down gradually, it could still affect the pH balance of your soil. Therefore, be careful not to apply it around any plants that are sensitive to acidic soils.
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