Evergreen trees are adored for their year-round foliage and impressive appearance. Care for evergreen trees is quite simple when they are planted in the right place. However, it is still essential to keep in mind what your tree may need in terms of watering and mulching, fertilizing, anti-desiccant applications, and occasional pruning. If you want to ensure that you are providing the best care to your evergreen trees, read on for the essential care tips.
Cultivating Evergreen Trees
It is most important to plant evergreen trees where the potential for their drying out in winter is minimal. Evergreen tree needles have a waxy coating that helps conserve water, but winter sun and wind can quickly dry the needles and remove moisture, referred to as desiccation.
Evergreens prefer full sun in the summer and shade in the winter. It can often be possible to fulfill both of those requirements by planting these trees on the north side of your property. Planting them in well-drained and acidic soil conditions is best.
Soil moisture must be maintained for evergreen trees to endure winter or drought conditions. Mulching with wood chips or shredded bark within the dripline slows evaporation from the soil. You can mix some organic matter with the mulch to add extra nutrients to the soil.
Evergreen trees don’t require as much fertilizer as deciduous trees. However, if new growth is slow or the color and size of the needles are not typical for the species, fertilizing can help. In those instances, use a complete fertilizer with more nitrogen than phosphorus or potassium. After summer, only a slow-release fertilizer should be used. Do not fertilize in drought conditions but continue to water regularly.
Desiccation can frequently occur over the winter. Persistent winter winds, lower humidity levels, low soil moisture levels, and frozen soil contribute to evergreen damage due to desiccation. At Scientific Plant Service, we provide anti-desiccant spray applications to help evergreen trees manage their moisture levels on their own and withstand any potential winter damage.
Care for evergreen trees occasionally requires corrective pruning. This type of pruning is necessary to remove dead, disease, or damaged branches or to establish a leader, the vertical stem at the top. Evergreen trees often have dominant leaders, but if there are two, remove one.
If you need to prune an evergreen, prune outside of the branch collar to prevent decay from reaching the trunk. You should also avoid pruning in late summer and early fall, so you don’t stimulate new growth before winter.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!