SILVER SAGE FOLLOW UP GUIDE. Planting-Watering-Trees

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1 SILVER SAGE FOLLOW UP GUIDE We at Silver Sage have developed this guide to assist homeowners (and contractors) with a successful planting, establishment and follow up care for newly installed plants. Its purpose is to educate and inform, but equally important, it should serve to help ease your mind about the investment you ve just made in your landscape. All plants, whether they are trees, shrubs, or perennials go through a transplant shock period before they begin to slowly establish. Being able to recognize what is normal will greatly increase your chances of success with your planting project. Too many times, new tree owners see a discolored leaf or some branch dieback and react hastily and improperly to their specific situation, making the situation worse. Please take the time to read through the guide. It explains what you might encounter after planting. If you have additional questions don t hesitate to give us a call. Thank You! The Silver Sage Team :) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: Should I leave the burlap and basket on when planting? Planting-Watering-Trees A: Yes, Leave everything intact until you get the plant exactly how and where you want it. The burlap is a natural product which will disintegrate easily. Remove at least the top half of the basket. The bottom of the basket is steel, and will also breakdown, even adding iron to the soil. Q: Should I cut the twine off my ball after planting? A: Even though the twine used on most balling of trees is a natural product which will break down/rot with time, we recommend it be cut away from the trunk area, and the burlap pulled away if it is up against the trunk. Q: How big should I make the hole when planting? A: Your hole should be at least 12 wider than the ball, and depending on how big the ball, depth should be where the ball is sticking out of the soil by at roughly 3-4. Plant it high, they never die Plant it low, you never know Q: How often should I water my tree? A: Generally speaking; one good watering a week is sufficient if no long soaking rain has come. (see below for more details) Q: When, how and what should I use to feed my tree? A: Root Stimulator is a great product that should be used at the time of planting and continued for one year for every caliper inch of tree planted. For example, a 2 inch tree should be treated with root stimulator for 2 years to re-establish the root to shoot ratio. Once the tree is established, It s important to feed the tree with an organic slow release fertilizer or fertilizer specially formulated for woody plants and trees.

2 Q: Can I put mulch or rock around my tree after it is planted? A: Yes, this is an excellent idea, and is encouraged. Placing mulch or rock around the trees after planting helps in a couple ways. It will help keep moisture in and weeds out. Reminder: Do not place mulch/rock up around the trunks of your tree; keep it away by about 3. This is more important with the use of mulch, because mulch stays moist, and wood against wood can cause rotting, and become an excellent inviting spot for insect and/or disease. Rock will allow some air movement, but it is still a good idea to keep these products away from the trunks. Q: Should I be concerned if my tree drops a lot of leaves shortly after planting? A: No, this is no cause for alarm and is quite normal. Trees that are first planted are going into a second state of shock. The first state is when they are abruptly dug and their roots are severed and the second is when they are planted. They just don t know what the heck is going on. Depending on the tree you purchase and plant, some shock is more severe. In 99% of the cases your tree will be just fine.

3 WATERING 101. Q: What is meant by a trickle of water? A: A trickle is defined as the precise point when droplets cease and a continuous stream of water flows out of a hose to the ground when holding the hose end level / 1 off the ground. Always check moisture before watering. Move the mulch / stone aside, and dig down about 5 to see if soil is moist if it is not, then it is time to water. WELL DRAINED SOILS (usually not the case in Colorado) Temperatures below 90 F Hose water your caliper trees at a trickle for 20 min. once weekly Hose water your trees over 5.00 caliper at a trickle for 40 min. once weekly Temperatures over 90 F Hose water your caliper trees at a trickle for 20 min. twice weekly Hose water your trees over 5.00 caliper at a trickle for 40 min. twice weekly POORLY DRAINED SOILS (CLAY, the predominant soil of Colorado) Temperatures below 90 F Hose water your caliper trees at a trickle for 10 min. once weekly Hose water your trees over 5.00 caliper at a trickle for 20 min. once weekly Temperatures over 90 F Hose water your caliper trees at a trickle for 10 min. twice weekly Hose water your trees over 5.00 caliper at a trickle for 20 min. twice weekly

4 WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT SPRING (Common Trees) Birch: These trees are best transplanted in spring. Watering is critical to have good success. Because they like moisture, watering 2x weekly is not too much. It is common to loose branching over the winter months. So expect to see some if not many small branches that do not leaf out. Do not trim too quickly in spring, wait until mid-may, and any dead will be visible. Your tree can look somewhat bare in appearance after all those dead branches are cut off, but don t worry, it s a fast growing tree, and will recover just fine. Cherry: Flowering cherry transplant rather easily. They are moderate in growth rate per year. Pruning should be done after flowers fade. Trim suckers at any time that grow up from the ground around the trunk. If you have a top grafted tree, you will want to prune any growth that appears below the graft line. Crabapples: These flowering trees take well to transplanting and few branches will be lost to winter. If you notice branches that did not leaf out in spring, feel free to prune them as needed. They will fill out nicely. Two fungus/disease can plague crabapple. (See back page for information and control) Hawthorn: These trees take well to transplanting. Few branches die over winter. It is important to be aware of Disease/Fungus that can affect the foliage of Hawthorns. (See back page for Disease/Fungus information and control) Honeylocust: These trees are sensitive to transplanting, with few to many branches being lost over winter. Trim dead branches in mid-may that have not leafed out. Honeylocust are considered fast growing trees, and should recover nicely. Linden: These trees transplant easier when they are young. The heads/crowns are not large until several years of growing have taken place. Do not expect much growth out of them for several years. Few branches will die over winter, and foliage will be on the small side until this tree has set good root again. Magnolia: Magnolia take fine to transplanting, and you should see little if any dead branches in spring. Late frost however can affect flowering. After a late frost in spring, buds will turn black and drop from the tree. All you can do is hope next year that Mother Nature isn t as cruel. Maple: Most maple transplant fine, and you can expect little dieback on branches the following spring. The foliage will not be of normal size for at least 3-4 years after planting. These trees can appear somewhat sparse for this period of time. Being patient will bring great rewards, for the maple is one of the most beautiful shade trees known. Some types are very slow growing; such as Crimson King and Sugar. Newer varieties of red maples are considered fast growing, but still have strong wood. These varieties include: Autumn Blaze, Autumn Flame, Celebration Pear: Flowering pear are rather fast growing trees and require no pruning to keep their shape. They transplant well, and will reestablish themselves quickly. Redbud: Eastern redbud trees can be a little touchy when transplanting. Do not over water them. (See Watering 101). Once established, they will provide years of beauty. They are one of the longest flowering trees. Pruning can safely be done in early summer. Oak: Oaks are not known to transplant very well, especially if they have a small ball on them. All nut trees have a large tap root (big central), and when it is severed, it can shock this tree quite a bit. You can expect to see dead branches in spring. Trim in mid-may any that have died over winter. This may make your oak look somewhat bare for a few years, but it should recover fine, and give you years of beauty.

5 Pine, Fir & Spruce: These evergreens do well in transplanting, and few branches die during winter. It will be extremely important to water these well before the ground freezes in late fall. Watering in late fall will put moisture into the needles for winter, and keep them soft and pliable, with no winter moisture loss.

6 MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q: Why did the bark split vertically on my tree, and an open wound is visible? A: Trees with thinner bark are most affected. Bark splitting will usually be seen on the south and/or west side of the tree which becomes much warmer than the air during the day, but cools rapidly after sunset. This rapid change in temperature causes the layers to separate and show an open wound. Do not worry, your tree will heal itself. The edges of the open wound will start to round off, and the wound will (after a couple years) close shut. Do not apply any type of sealer to this wound, as this will hinder healing. Do not pull at the loose bark. You may cut it off the hanging pieces with a utility knife, just around the wound. We suggest you wrap the trunk of your tree with a paper tree wrap in a spiral fashion during the winter months. A good rule of thumb is to wrap the trunks around Thanksgiving and remove it around Easter. Q: Why doesn t my tree look as full with leaves, even though it was planted last season? A: Your trees are reestablishing for the first couple of years after being planted. They have had their roots cut and will need time to readjust and get over the shock of loosing part of their feet. This also affects the size of the leaves and fullness of the canopy. A good rule of thumb about tree reestablishment is that for every inch of caliper, that is how many years it will take for your tree to send out a strong root system again. During this readjustment period, you can experience the following; leaves which are not full size, premature coloring of the leaves which sometimes can occur as early as August, this can also lead to leaf scorch, light branch die-back and an overall sickly look. Have patience, your tree is working very hard to make a new root system. Watering will be most important in this reestablishment period. A deep watering once a week if there is no soaking rain will help the root system greatly. You will want to keep this regime up for at least the first 5 years, after which, water will be needed if we experience drought conditions only. Q: My tree doesn t have the fall color display that I hoped it would, what happened? A: Most people think that the cool weather is what changes the foliage of our deciduous trees. Cooler temperatures will help with the intensity of the color, but the environment plays a big part in fall coloring. To understand things better, you need to first understand that your trees and shrubs have a short period of time in which to have growth happen. Think about how long our growing season really is, and you will be able to better understand what we mean. For most of our trees and shrubs the annual growth generally stops about mid to late June. Your next years buds will set at this time, and not wake up until they have a chilling period followed by a warm period. The coloring of trees and shrubs is part of the growth process. Leaves, during the growing season will manufacture new chlorophyll to replace what was lost. It is similar to items you leave in the sun too long; they fade. When the days become shorter and the nights have gotten longer the transportation of chlorophyll into the leaves slow down and eventually stops. This can happen in a very short period of time. This is when you will start to see coloring of your foliage. Other factors involved in fall coloring include temperature, sunlight, and soil moisture. Sunny days followed by cold nights, will influence coloring. So an early cold snap can mean leaves drop off the tree before fall color is intense. Irregular or inconsistent watering can trigger leaves to not change color well or drop before they have a chance to change in color. Each and every year can bring slight changes in coloring of foliage, because, each and every year our climate is slightly different.

7 Q: When can I safely prune my newly planted tree? A: Your newly planted tree will need all the leaves it can keep for a few years in order to make photosynthesis happen, thereby helping to feed and rebuild a strong root system. It is not uncommon for trees to have some branch die-back, and these dead branches can be trimmed at any time, but wait until the whole tree has leafed out first. Some trees can be a little pokey in pushing out their leaves in spring. You can also do a scratch test on the branch to see if it is still alive. Gently scratch the surface of the bark (it should peel off easily), if your branch is still alive it will show the color green underneath and if it is dead, it will show the color brown. Trim off the dead, always cutting at an angle and about a ¼ above a bud. Other pruning after establishment can be done safely in late fall or early winter on deciduous trees. Q: I was told that my tree is virtually seedless. What does this mean? A: Please understand that this does not mean completely seedless. It will produce some seed, but not in great abundance. Some years your tree will produce more seed than other years. Recent introductions of some varieties are producing less and less seeds. Ask your nursery professional about these if seed or fruit bearing trees are not for you. EVERGREEN QUESTIONS Q: The evergreen I purchased is turning brown in the center near the trunk, should I be worried? A: Your evergreens are doing what comes naturally to them, which is known as an interior shed. This will generally start happening in late August, and continue until late September. It is also not uncommon for them to do it earlier or soon after transplanting. This browned foliage will fall to the ground with time. Or you can do what is called finger-combing; this is where you would help this process along by using your fingers to gently pull off the brown foliage. This is not necessary, but some homeowners prefer doing this for aesthetic reasons. We also suggest you give your new tree a root stimulator in spring. This is a liquid fertilizer with a B1 additive. The root stimulator will help promote new fibrous roots, which are the true work horses of any plant.

8 SHRUB QUESTIONS Q: I just planted my deciduous shrub and watered it well after planting, but the leaves are wilting or dropping off. What did I do wrong? A: First you will want to understand that a plant growing in a pot, has been in this pot for a few years, and the root system was confined. When you purchase a plant in a pot and remove the pot you should score into the soil vertically about 1 deep in several places and even score an X on the bottom before installing it into landscape. This will let the roots know that they are free to move outward, and yes, you will be cutting through some roots, but this will not harm the plant. If you do not score into the soil, the plant will continue to think it is still confined to that shape of the pot, and roots will continue to circle around themselves, and this can eventually lead to choking themselves to death or slow reestablishment. As far as the wilting goes, this is not uncommon and is attributed to transplant shock. Many plants will drop a number of leaves or wilt for a time until they settle in their new location. Water deeply once or twice a week if we do not have soaking rain. You will want to keep this up for the first couple of seasons. Fertilizing can be done lightly for the first couple of years with a root stimulator. This will help produce a strong fibrous root system, and thereby produce strong healthy leaves and/or flowers. Q: When can I safely trim my newly planted shrubs? A: A good general rule for trimming is if it blooms in the spring, trim right after flowers fade, since new growth which follows also sets flower buds for the following year, and if you trim at any other time you will be trimming off next years flowers. Your shrub may not need any trimming, but cutting off the dead flowers (which can turn into seed) will give more energy to the plant. Seed production takes a lot out of a plant, so taking these off will definitely aid it. If your shrub blooms in the summer, it is safe to trim in late fall or early spring before new leaves emerge. If you have Spirea, doing a light shearing after the first flush of flowers will help produce a second or third flush of flowers, along with new foliage. Evergreen shrubs should be trimmed after the new flush of growth has started to harden off or starting to darken in color.

9 MY LEAVES HAVE SPOTS! Fungus and Disease Information and Control Crabapples, Hawthorns and Plum Trees can be affected by fungus and disease. These disease and fungus problems can be controlled with a fungicide sprayed at the proper times. One important thing to remember about spraying.. TIMING IS EVERYTHING Fungicide: Spring rains keep fungus and disease actively growing. Foliage can t dry long enough to keep this problem at bay. Some fungus/disease are airborne and travels from one tree to another, and from one yard to another. Symptoms can seem to appear overnight, they actually don t but it seems that way. You will start seeing spots on your leaves in colors of yellow, brown, red or orange. The first spraying takes place in early spring, when buds are just plumping on the trees, but before any leaves appear. The second spraying will take place just after the flowers finish blooming. The following sprays should be at approx. 14 day intervals. This method should be kept up until at least July. Most fungus will not kill your trees, but if you aren t spraying, the trees can defoliate by the end of June. Some years you can see more severe cases then other years. SOMETHINGS BUGGING ME Keeping insects away from your precious trees is pretty easy. The first thing we recommend is walking around your landscape on a weekly basis. Pay attention to the leaves of your plants; are they changing color? Are there holes appearing in the leaves? Many insects hide on the undersides of the leaves, and suck the juices right out of the leaves. While others have ferocious appetites, and will munch/chew on the leaves. Some insects feed at night, while others feed during the day. Finding the right insecticide will be essential to controlling these nasty critters. Some insecticides come in a liquid which can be sprayed on the foliage, or in powder form that can be dusted on the plant. Some powders however can be mixed with water to make a spray. Read your labels! If an insecticide calls for 1½ tsp. To be used with a gallon of water, DON T think more is better. Using the wrong formulation can cause the chemical to inactivate itself in some cases, or worse, the plants you are spraying can be burnt from the application rate being overdone. Also remember that chemicals, when diluted are only good for 24 hrs.. So don t keep them mixed and expect to use the rest later. Be sure you spray the undersides of the leaves as some insects hide there, and the tops of the leaves. The chemical will just start to drip off the leaves, That s when you know you have put enough on.

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