Ask Danny | Ep. 26: When to Plant and When to Prune

#Danny #26When #Plant #Prune

Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford and ISA certified arborist Billy Allen
On this episode of Ask Danny, arborist Billy Allen gives his skilled recommendations on planting and pruning. (3 Echoes Content material Studio)

On this episode of Ask Danny, arborist Billy Allen gives his skilled recommendations on planting and pruning.

Billy is an ISA Licensed Arborist, AUFA Licensed City Forester, an ALNLA Licensed Panorama Skilled, and lots of extra.

He’s the proprietor and operator of Prime Notch Tree Care, the place he gives providers akin to residential and business pruning and/or elimination in addition to consulting providers for pre-construction preservation of bushes, illness analysis and remedy, and well being and structural assessments. He additionally gives plant well being care providers akin to tree fertilizing, pesticide utility, and soil compaction mitigation. 

Gloved hands planting a tree in soil
Arborists say the most effective time to plant a tree is when it goes into dormancy. (KatarzynaBialasiewicz, Getty Photos Professional)

When to Plant

What’s the most effective time of the yr to plant?

Billy: For the most effective time to plant a tree, the overwhelming majority of the time it’s going to be because the tree goes into dormancy — late fall, early winter. Once you’re planting a tree, you’re going to lose quite a lot of roots, so that you need the warmth stress on the plant to be as little as it presumably may be. 

The exception could be citrus bushes. You wish to plant these after the final frost of the springtime as a result of a very good freeze may be detrimental to them. 

The largest drawback I see individuals do when planting has to do with depth. Deeper shouldn’t be higher. Give it some thought this fashion: Who crops a tree within the forest? The reply is nobody. A seed falls on prime of the bottom, natural materials covers it up, and it sprouts.

You need the topmost root of that plant, whether or not it’s a tree or shrub, to be at or simply above grade. If in case you have quite a lot of clay within the soil, incorporate one thing into the soil to mitigate that very positive materials. You wish to until out three to 4 occasions past the scale of the foundation ball and put together that soil so it’s extra advantageous for the roots to develop out. 

Man pruning shrub/bush with pruning shears
You may prune any time of yr so long as you’re doing it accurately. (prathan chorruangsak, Canva)

When to Prune

When’s the most effective time to prune a tree?

Billy: You may prune any time of yr so long as you’re doing it accurately. I see quite a lot of incorrect pruning, particularly on crepe myrtles, azaleas and reside oak bushes. 

It’s essential to make the cuts on the proper spot and never defoliate the plant greater than what must be executed in a rising season must be thought of. For those who do this, you’ll be able to prune three hundred and sixty five days a yr. 

For those who’re going to do aggressive pruning, like with crepe myrtles, it’s essential to do it throughout the dormant season. 

With flowering crops, there are such a lot of issues you must contemplate, however there’s a factor known as the Might rule. In case your crops are blooming earlier than Might, prune them simply after they bloom. This contains camellias and azaleas. For crops that bloom after Might, prune them throughout the dormant season. 

After you’ve made your pruning cuts, don’t put sealant on it. The therapeutic course of happens chemically contained in the tree.

It’s truly walling off that space of lifeless tissue and retaining that decay confined to that exact space. What you do to the skin has no bearing. 

Dying tree next to green trees against a blue skyline
A tree’s well being can fail for a lot of causes, akin to lack of water, nutrient deficiency, pest infestations, and illnesses. (HendrikDB, Getty Photos)

Tree Well being

How do you guarantee a wholesome tree/shrub? 

Billy: It actually has loads to do with the preliminary institution of the plant, how that plant grows and thrives from the preliminary installment ahead. 

My recommendation as an arborist is to verify the soil is prepped accurately and comply with the spacing tips. 

What are some causes for a tree’s failing well being? 

Billy: Regarding tree well being, the primary factor I see is root harm, particularly in mature bushes. Whether or not it’s compaction, reducing of roots, grade adjustments, or adjustments within the course of the stream of water, all of these issues will negatively impression a tree.

Mature bushes are loads much less tolerant than smaller bushes while you’re speaking about caring for his or her roots. 

How a lot harm can a tree’s root system take earlier than it begins to hurt the tree?

Billy: It’s subjective. Folks ask me on a regular basis “how a lot of those roots can I lose and nonetheless preserve the tree?” The reply is, I can’t let you know. 

The best solution to clarify it’s to think about a dinner plate. The dinner plate is all the feeder roots of the tree. Then think about a wine glass with a stem. The pedestal of that stem is the structural root plate of the tree. You may lose quite a lot of the dinner plate and the tree continues to be structurally sound.

Healthwise, it is determined by how a lot of the dinner plate you lose as to how the tree will survive shifting ahead, and that may be a very troublesome query to reply.

I counsel having a certified arborist take a look at the tree and provide you with an evaluation as a result of each web site goes to be completely different and each tree goes to be completely different.

My common reply is save as a lot as you’ll be able to.  

Wildflower bed around an old walnut tree
A flower mattress round a tree is an effective way so as to add a splash of colour to your yard, however make sure the soil doesn’t smother the tree’s roots. (HoleInTheBucket, Getty Photos)

Backyard Beds Round Timber

What are your ideas on placing a raised backyard mattress across the trunk of a tree?

Billy: You don’t wish to pile filth up across the tree in any type. There are some tolerance ranges there, relying on what sort of soil you’re working with.

Sand is extra porous so you will get away with extra sand on prime of the foundation than you’ll be able to clay.

It’s all about air infiltration right down to the feeder roots. These need to have oxygen and in case you pile a bunch of filth on prime, they’ll suffocate after which the tree will decline. 

Maintain the foundation flare (the place the primary primary roots connect to the trunk) uncovered. Once you see bushes that appear to be a pencil approaching out of the bottom, meaning the foundation flare is buried. 

The place to Discover an Arborist

An arborists inspects the foliage on a tree
An arborist might help diagnose any issues {that a} tree might have and supply recommendation on how you can finest take care of it. (welcomia, Canva)

There’s a science behind what we do. With out understanding how to do this, it’s inconceivable to realize correct upkeep or well being methods. Go to to discover a native arborist.

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