While there are not a lot of things you can do around the landscape in winter, you can prune your deciduous trees. Cross branching, storm damage and general form of your trees can be more easily seen at this time of the year. Debris clean up is also easier as there are no leaves to deal with.
It is critical that you prune your valuable oak trees only in the winter months when there is no insect activity. Oak trees are susceptible to various fungal diseases. These diseases are primarily transmitted by insects (particularly “Picnic Beetles”) that are attracted to the sap in branch or pruning wounds. The resulting Oak Wilt disease can in many cases can be lethal to the tree. As added insurance against infection, we paint the prune site with outdoor rated latex paint.
Please feel free to contact us with any tree care or landscape questions.
Willow Springs Nursery is happy to announce our registration with MonarchWatch.org as a participant in the Monarch Butterfly Waystation program. Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Monarch populations have declined as much as 90%. This is primarily due to habitat loss. Monarch caterpillars feed only on milkweed plants. These plants have been nearly swept from the landscape due to herbicide use in and around croplands and other habitats.
We all can help to reestablish this beautiful and valuable creature. It is easy to do. Almost all of us have some place in the garden or yard where we can establish a Waystation. All that is required is planting the correct flowers that will attract and sustain the Monarchs. Willow Springs Nursery has the flowers and expertise to insure your Waystation will be a success. Feel free to contact Willow Springs and MonarchWatch.org for more information on this important effort.
It has been a long winter. But, spring has now arrived and it’s a great time to review the early season care requirements of your plants.
Late April and early May is the best time to fertilize all of your evergreens. Evergreens trees do all of their above ground growing in the month of May. Granular fertilizers work well but a water soluble fertilizer allows for a faster uptake. We like an “Acid Special” type fertilizer. It’s has the added benefit of helping to change the pH of the soil. This is highly desirable for evergreen plants.
Examine your rose plants for any rodent damage or winter killed canes. Prune the dead canes from the plant and cut back the plant to a pleasing shape. The first Rose food feeding should be done this month. Roses are heavy bloomers and require additional food for continued performance. We recommend a balanced fertilizer with a systemic insecticide (just in case some aphids decide to visit your rose bed this summer).
Check your shrubs for any tip die back from this winter’s cold. Prune any dead material from the plant. Clean any old leaves from inside the plant as they may harbor dormant fungal spores. Spring feeding should be done in early May with a water soluble fertilizer. Hydrangeas, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Oaks and blueberries need an acidic soil environment for optimal health. Aluminum Sulphate granules, applied in early May is an economical way to insure these plants thrive throughout the season.
Your perennials will start to wake up as soon as the soil warms. Examine the plants for renewed growth and clean up any residual husks or dead material from the plant. For ornamental grasses, as soon as you see new growth, cut last year’s stalks away. Start your perennial plant feeding with timed – release fertilizer or a water soluble drench.