Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I water my new landscape?
It's important not to confuse the symptoms of over and underwatering. Overwatering causes the roots to rot, both cause plant death, but an underwatered plant will have brown, crisp leaves while an overwatered plant's leaves are usually yellow and wilted.
I often hear that you should water your trees and shrubs in the winter, is this true and why?
During northeast Oklahoma winters, the soil dries out to a point of detriment to the plant. This is especially a concern with evergreens as they still transpire even during the winter months. On days when the weather is mild and warm or windy, transpiration is even greater. This is an even greater concern when you are dealing with a newly transplanted tree. A new tree has a very limited root structure; therefore the available moisture for the root structure is also very limited. A once a month deep soaking would be advisable for all your trees, especially the evergreens.
When is the best time of year to plant trees?
It is best to plant trees in the fall when they enter a stage of dormancy. Trees slow their growth functions in the fall and winter. This lasts until spring when the warm weather and warm soil trigger renewed growth. During dormancy, no growth occurs in the upper branches and attention is given to growing a stronger root system. This stronger root system will better support foliage growth in the spring.
What should I do to protect my landscape during the fall and winter months?
Deep Root Fertilization of ornamental trees and shrubs - fertilization helps plants survive drought conditions, thrive better during stress and maintain health and vigor. Fall is the time of year to focus on enhanced shrub care programs to help your landscape plantings survive the challenges of winter.
Lawn Care: It's a common misconception that grass stops growing in the fall. During the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter, which means that during and just before fall is the best time to reseed and fertilize. Feeding the lawn early in autumn will give the roots a boost before winter arrives. A second round of fertilizer toward the end of fall will keep your yard winterized and strong during the extreme weather. Fall is also the best time to treat your lawn with herbicide to keep unwanted weeds from popping up in the spring.
Prune Trees: Late winter is a good time of year to perform structural and corrective pruning on fruit trees, evergreens and ornamentals that bloom from June onwards.
Leaf Removal: Don't let fallen leaves remain on the lawn all winter. Either mow leaves back into the lawn, collect them to be used as a weed suppressing and water conserving mulch, or compost them for use next spring and summer to improve the soil. Leaves left on the lawn can cause disease problems if a thick layer keeps the grass too wet and dark.
Mulch: Mulch is a standard form of winter protection for many shallow-rooted plants. While in summer it is effective in retaining soil moisture, preventing erosion, and controlling weeds, in winter it acts as insulation for the soil and plant roots. Failure to mulch landscape plants and evergreen shrubs may lead to serious winter root injury.