Taking Care of Your New Landscape!

Watering

The most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your new landscape plants is to water them.  Expect to water your new planting weekly during the first year of growth, unless its rains enough to wet the top six inches of soil.
   1) Avoid frequent, shallow watering, which will encourage roots to grow near the soil surface, up and around the tree and possibly girdling it.   Instead, water slowly, allowing the water to seep deeply into the ground.  The easiest way to do this for a tree is to set the hose on the ground near the perimeter of the root ball and allow the water to trickle slowly for 15-20 minutes.  In similar fashion,  water around the perimeter of the root ball in three other spots.  Total watering time for a medium to large tree should be around an hour.
   2) For large landscaped areas, it may be easier to have soaker hoses installed, rather than by hand watering.  The true advantage of soaker hoses, besides the convenience, is that they put water where it is needed—directly in the root zone with very little lost to evaporation.
   3) Water more frequently during hot weather (90` +) or if very dry (Humidity < 50%) or if breezy (Winds 10+ mph).

Fertilizing

Do not fertilize your new plants in the first year unless instructed to do so.  In the second and third years, a light application of a general, slow-release fertilizer may be applied in the spring. Maintaining a mulch circle around trees will help prevent injury from lawn equipment and will help conserve moisture. Remove tree stakes after the first year to year-and-a-half.

Pruning

1) Do not prune in the first year except to remove dead or broken branches.  In subsequent years, you may prune to encourage more uniform growth.  Removing low branches will make lawn care easier.   Never remove more than 1/3 of a plant's foliage in any given year. In general, it is best to avoid using wound dressing on pruning cuts.
2) With flowering trees and shrubs, timing your pruning is critical to enjoying your plant's bloom.  For spring bloomers (bloom time before mid-June), pruning should be done soon after flowering up until mid-July.  At that point, your plant will be setting next year's flower buds, and any pruning will result in a loss of flowers next year.  For summer bloomers, pruning may be done in early spring, as most summer bloomers set flower buds on current season's growth.