Tree & Shrub Information

FERTILIZING - PESTS - PRUNING - WINTER STRESS - DISEASES

FERTILIZING

Like all living things, Trees and Shrubs also need food and nutrients to grow.  Well fertilized trees and shrubs will grow vigorously, look greener and healthier while producing more flowers.

TREE & SHRUB PESTS

Being vigilant and proactive with your trees and shrubs will help you reduce these problems and protect your plant’s health and beauty.  Nature’s Select offers a wide array of pest control and tree & shrub care to help you keep your trees and shrubs in top shape.

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PRUNING

Spring is the optimum time for pruning for many types of plants.  Cut back summer-blooming plants during the Winter or early Spring before new growth appears.  Do not prune plants that bloom in the Spring as you could remove next Spring’s flowers.  Prune these plants after the blooms fall off in the Spring.  In the late Spring, prune back new growth in conifer plants but avoid cutting beyond new foliage.

WINTER STRESS

Be sure that your trees and shrubs are properly mulched to help maintain temperature and soil moisture.  Root tissues don’t fare well to temperatures much below freezing and can be killed or severely injured.  The presence of mulch, leaf litter, or snow cover can help insulate most soils sufficiently to prevent soil temperatures from falling too far below freezing.

Heavy snow and ice storms can cause damage by bending and breaking branches.  To protect plants from limb breakage prior to winter, tie the branches together loosely with strips of cloth or coated twine.

Be sure to water your trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, during dry periods until the ground freezes.

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DISEASES

There are plenty of diseases that affect trees and shrubs.  If you suspect that your plant is infected by some sort of disease, Nature’s Select Tree & Shrub team can be of service to you.  Here are just a few common diseases.
 
Powdery Mildew – is a common disease for ornamental plants caused by fungi.  Powdery mildew appears as a dusty white to gray coating over leaf surfaces or other plant parts.  This disease rarely causes serious damage but can discolor leaves, disfigure shoots and deform flowers.  In most cases, this fungal growth can be partially removed by rubbing the leaves together.  Powdery Mildew will begin as discrete, usually circular, powdery white spots.  These spots will expand, producing a continuous matt of mildew.  Infected plants often turn yellow, and may even blacken from infection.
Houseplants commonly affected are African Violets and Begonias.  Outdoors, there are a variety of plants that can be affected, but most often Lilacs, Phlox, some Rose varieties and fruit trees seem to be most susceptible.
 
Leaf Spot – is a disease cause by bacteria.  Leaf Spot is most active under hot, humid conditions.  The leaf spots first appear as water-soaked spots but then turn reddish-brown to black in color that are somewhat circular in shape.  Yellow margins usually appear around the spots.
 

Phytophthora Root Rot – is almost always the result of over-watering, root damage or prior drought stress.  Phythophthora Root Rot is a very difficult to control fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants in North Carolina.  Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Dogwoods, Hemlocks, Japanese Hollys, and Junipers are just a few of the plants affected.
 
This disease is most active in warm soil temperatures with high soil moisture.  Plants under stress from drought, defoliation, low soil aeration, and other stress agents are most prone.

Symptoms of root rot vary depending on the plant species.  Symptoms include a reduction in shoot growth like small leaves, thinning of the crown, twig and branch dieback and eventually death.  Diseased roots are reddish brown and brittle.  Watering does little to restore the leaf.  On Rhododendrons, leaves rapidly wilt, droop and eventually die.
 
Botrytis Blight – or gray mold is a fungal disease and is one of the most common diseases in greenhouse crops, including Azaleas, Begonias, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Petunias and Rhododendrons. This disease causes water-soaked tan, brown or gray spots or streaks to appear on the flower petals, leaves, buds and stems.  Most common are translucent or grayish spots.  Flowers can be deformed.
 
This disease is most active during wet or humid weather conditions.  Flowers are especially susceptible under cool, wet conditions with high humidity.  Leaf wetness periods of more than 4 hours aid in infection.

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