August 15, 2022 Oftentimes, homeowners wait until a tree is showing signs of disease before prioritizing its care. However, proactively caring for trees and shrubs can prevent these challenges before they occur. If you want to maintain a healthy, happy landscape, implement the following tips from our team of professional tree arborists. Landscaping Basics 101 Contrary to popular belief, proper tree and shrub care begins prior to planting. To get started, the first steps involve research, investigation, and planning to ensure the plant can thrive and grow. First, identify your plant’s purpose. Trees and shrubs can serve many different purposes such as providing shade, minimizing energy costs, adding beauty, enhancing privacy, and more. Determine the suitability of different plant species based on desired benefits to best achieve end goals. Next, investigate your yard’s conditions. Different plants require different conditions to thrive such as hardiness, sun exposure, and soil. Therefore, it is essential to choose plants according to the local environment. Once the region’s environmental conditions have been identified, research which plants will be accustomed to the area. Good plant care starts with a healthy plant. The next step is to select a tree or shrub that is healthy to begin with, prior to planting. For example, healthy plants: Possess vibrant foliage color and full-sized leaves Feature bright, healthy bark and good trunk taper Display thick, abundant growth patterns Appear to be thick and sturdy without signs of distress Once all the preparation is done, it is time to install the tree or shrub. Proper installation is vital to plant health as incorrect techniques can be detrimental. Different species of trees and shrubs require different planting processes, but here are some general tips: Dig a hole that is 2-3 times as wide as the root ball The hole should also be 2-3 inches less than the height of the root ball Place the root ball on top of undisturbed soil Leave the backfill unaltered to promote the native soil Burlap or twine can be used to stabilize the plant Maintenance Essentials Mulch enables plants to grow and flourish by providing rich nutrients but must be done correctly to avoid plant damage. The mulching process consists of picking the right type of mulch and proper application. In general, apply mulch around the plant rather than directly against it. Also, layers of mulch should be no more than three inches thick. Tree and shrub hydration is vital for plants to be able to thrive, but it is equally important to avoid overwatering or underwatering. If a tree or shrub has green leaves that are easily breakable, it is likely victim of overwatering. If a plant is wilting or appearing discolored, it likely needs more water. In addition, pruning trees and shrubs can boost plant aesthetics and health but must be done correctly to avoid damage. It is important to note that it is typically best to prune plants during the dormant winter months unless the plant has broken or weak branches. Tips And Advice Lastly, here are some final tips and pieces of advice from our team of professional arborists: Native trees and shrubs are better due to their ability to thrive and support ecosystems in their respective regions Planting shrubs beneath trees helps to loosen compact soil and increase air and water flow Maintain the unique, preferred growing conditions of trees and shrubs to ensure long and healthy lives Hire a professional At Front Range Arborists, we’re the pros for a reason! Our team is equipped with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to fulfill all your landscape needs. For more tips, give us a call or fill out our free online form today!