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Pruning and Fertilizing Newly Planted Trees and Shrubs

We planted quite a few shrubs and a couple of trees last fall. When should we start fertilizing and pruning? We want to keep them healthy and help them grow.

Water and mulch are the keys to keeping your plants healthy. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist. You will water more often if your soil is rocky or sandy or during hot weather. Those with slow draining clay soil will water less often. Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of shredded bark or woodchip mulch on the soil surrounding these plants. Don’t pile the mulch around the trunk or stems. Keep pruning to a minimum the first few years. Remove damaged, crossing or hazardous branches. Wait a year to fertilize. This allows the plants to focus energy on establishing roots instead of putting on an abundance of top growth.


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