Towering trees, colorful blooms, vibrant leaves, and neatly trimmed shrubbery…all that’s missing is the white picket fence! When admiring a lawn, our eyes are immediately drawn to the ornamental plants on display. Trees and shrubs provide excellent curb appeal and serve as beautiful focal points in yards.
One of the advantages of trees and shrubs is that they're considered low maintenance. However, even low maintenance plants still need a little green thumb attention now and then.
Whether you're planting new ornamentals or need guidance maintaining established trees and shrubs, these tips will help keep your plants vibrant and healthy.
Planting new trees and shrubs
If you’ve decided it’s time to add some more plant décor to your yard’s floor, then we applaud your decision! Not only does planting new trees and shrubs benefit the environment, but it also dramatically boosts your curb appeal. Whether you're adding one, two, or ten trees or shrubs, there are three main building blocks for success.
The first consideration is when to plant your new ornamental plants. Plant new trees and shrubs when the weather is mild, like spring or fall. Early fall is ideal for planting in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (DFW). Don't add new plants right before severe weather seasons like the peak of summer or winter. And it should go without saying that you should never attempt to plant in frozen soil.
After you have finished planting, you should be aware that newly planted trees and shrubs require more frequent watering than established trees and shrubs. These new plants will also need to be watered deeply enough to penetrate into the root zone to help the root ball settle into the soil.
Start off your watering routine by watering your lovely new ornamentals right at planting time. After that, deeply water them daily for the first 2 weeks. Then water them 3 times a week for the following 10 weeks. You should continue to water your new trees and shrubs weekly till the roots are established (which could take several months).
The final consideration for your new plants is to always add mulch! This may seem like an insignificant detail, but that couldn't be further from the truth. To learn why mulch is actually crucial, read on.
Always add mulch
Not only does mulch significantly improve the look of your landscape, but it is also incredibly beneficial to your plants. You should always add mulch around the base of your ornamentals, especially trees and shrubs. Your mulch layer should be 2-3 inches thick. Any thicker and it could lead to fungal and disease issues in the root system.
Mulch is great for plants because it reduces the amount of water that evaporates away, helping your soil retain moisture.
This means less plant watering for you and proper moisture for your plants. Another great benefit of mulch is that it blocks sunlight from reaching the soil. Why is that beneficial, you're wondering? Any unwanted weed seeds nesting in your soil will require sunlight to germinate and sprout up, and with the sunlight denied, weeds are much less likely to be able to grow there.
Watering trees and shrubs
It is crucial to remember that newly planted trees and shrubs need to be watered often. Deep frequent watering is necessary to help the root ball settle into the soil. Depending on the shrubs or trees you've selected to plant, it can take several months or even a couple of years for the plant's root system to be considered established.
Once the plants have an established root system, watering will be much more hands-off. Established trees and shrubs should receive enough water from rainfall and your yard's general irrigation. There is no need to specifically water established ornamentals unless there is a severe drought. You should water all of your plants in extremely dry weather.
Fertilizing is key
Fertilizing provides essential nutrients to increase flowering and improve overall health and growth in trees and shrubs. Your best option for proper fertilization and best results is to hire a lawn care service.
Treat trees and shrubs with a root zone fertilization in the spring and fall before the harsh summer and winter seasons. This is especially important for winter plant survival in the DFW area.
Your plants will need adequate nutrients before freezing conditions and dormancy set in. During a root zone fertilizer treatment, the fertilizer product is injected directly into the root zone.
This method allows for complete absorption into the root system and is much more effective than do-it-yourself methods such as fertilizer spikes or root feeders. This significantly improves spring green and enhances blooms. A root zone fertilizer treatment will also increase resistance to insects and disease.
To learn more, read our blog on the importance of deep root fertilization.
Insect, disease, and weed control
Insect, disease, and weed issues can significantly damage your trees and shrubs if not properly prevented or treated. Your best option is to hire a lawn care service to treat and monitor your plants for potential problems.
A tree and shrub care service will provide you with all the treatments, tips, and TLC that your ornamentals will need year-round. You should have a service apply dormant oil in the winter to prevent harmful pests that can be difficult to treat in spring and summer.
In late spring, have a service check and treat your ornamentals for active fungus and insects. During the summer, your service will keep an eye out for fungal diseases. Then in the fall, be sure to have a preventative insect control treatment.
Learn more about common diseases and pests that affect trees and shrubs to keep your trees and shrubs healthy.
Tree and Shrub Care with Gecko Green
If you’re tired of back-breaking work, losing precious weekend time, or disappointing results, Gecko Green has the solution. Our tree and shrub care in DFW relieves you of the burden and responsibility it takes for proper maintenance and upkeep. Our specialists treat your yard like it’s their own, so you can be sure that your trees and shrubs are receiving the best care possible.
Designed to nurture every yard's unique elements, our yearly Tree and Shrub Care Program in DFW is comprehensive and individualized.
Our experienced professional teams have extensive agronomical knowledge, and with our continual inspections, we make sure that potential pests and risks are caught before any damage is done to your trees and shrubs.