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New Trees Under Shock And Stress

Trees can go into shock or stress when first planted. There are different reasons why certain plants can be temperamental. We all know that even established plants can potentially have problems. There are some basic guidelines to follow.

One of the most important things to remember, any plant you purchase is an investment. Many nurseries or garden centers will give at least a one year warranty on any plant specimen. Take a look at these two plants. They were newly planted and after six months went into shock.

Leaves Curling

Tree Under Stress

Leaves Turned Brown

Tree Didn't Survive

This was a previous client of ours. The first plant was under stress due to weather conditions and potentially soil in-balance. The second plant just happened to be one of those rare unhealthy specimens and we replaced it for the client. Let's go through some simple identification of possible problems with new plants.

Many landscape companies will also give a year warranty on replacement and labor. It is a good idea for you to find out what the warranty is on any landscape or garden purchase. Unfortunately every plant will not survive.

In the past our area had problems with Dogwood trees. It lasted for a year and wasn't limited to one wholesale grower. There was no definite answer to why these particular group of trees were bad. This is rare but sometimes happens. Most growers create a healthy atmosphere for all their plant specimens to grow properly for you.

Question On Cherry Tree And Problem From A Reader

James M, Brooklyn, CT:
Weeping fountain cherry tree about 4 yrs old, transplanted it in mid of April and still no leaves or new flowers. dead or in shock? I put the tree in a new flower bed (mound style) with about 3 yards of screened topsoil. I didn't add any thing to the soil. Should I have? If so what?

Herbee Greenthumb

Hi James, Herbee here.
It sounds like your weeping fountain cherry is in shock. Many specimens once transplanted will go through a stage of shock. Take the steps below and do the scratch test. Let us know how you make out.

If the branches are green, loosen the dirt around the base, and put some organic mushroom compost in the soil. Make sure you water slowly around the base of the tree. The best of luck to you with your weeping cherry, and please share an update.

Let's take another example. You have just planted seven privacy specimens and two of them have leaves that are turning brown. Many clients have called Herbee with this particular situation. One suggestion is to take a small knife and scratch the surface of the trunk or a branch. There should be green showing.

The plant is still alive and is going into a normal shock period after first being planted. Further down on this page you will see a few simple steps to take to help this specimen along. If the area you scratched is brown, the plant is under a little more serious stress. There are a couple things for you to do.

One possibility is a soil problem. Your soil might be lacking some nutrients such as calcium, phosphate, or nitrogen. There may be too much acid in the soil or not enough. It is a good idea if you don't know what your soil PH level is, go ahead and have a small sample tested. Most cities and towns provide a place to have the soil tested. It usually takes about one to two weeks.

Other potential problems are a possible fungus or insect infestation. You will tend to notice these two problems on leaves.

Fungus

Fungus

Notice The Leaves

Tree In Stress, Leaves Turning Color

The orange fungus above is usually on the ground near a tree but also can become attached to the trunk or limbs. Remove the fungus from the trunk with a fungicide. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Cut the branches or limbs that have the fungus on them. Go ahead and treat the rest of the tree with the fungicide. Talk with your nursery or garden center or research a little about your plants weakness before you buy it.

If there are white little spots on the back of the leaves, this is a sign of spider mites or aphids. This can be controlled with proper safe chemicals and a set schedule. The page: Spraying your landscape gardens, trees and lawn to control weeds and insects gives you some basic steps to follow to help in control these nasty elements of nature.

Your leaves on the your plants are turning yellow. This is sometimes a tough question to answer as leaves can turn yellow if the plant is over watered or under watered.

Properly watering your gardens is very important. The picture below shows you a group of trees that are healthy and providing a nice privacy shield.

Follow a watering schedule from the very beginning and maintain that schedule throughout the entire growing season. Another option is to bring a leaf or two to the nursery or garden center.

Most of the time they will be able to identify if there is a nutrient deficiency or possibly a watering issue. Some plant species will go through a traditional shock period and drop some of their leaves.

The Savannah Holly is a good example. For some reason it tends to lose a good amount of its leaves the first couple of months. The Savannah will revitalize itself and in another month or so look healthy.

There are times when weather conditions play a role in an established plant going into stress. Too much rain or drought conditions can cause the most healthiest plant to go into shock. The key to keeping your trees, and shrubs healthy is really very simple. Below are a few good tips to prevent plants from going into shock.


Herbee's Hot Buzz Resource Center






Herbee's List Of Recommendations


  1. The best time to plant is in the spring or fall.

  2. Always properly prepare the soil and ground before doing any landscape project.

  3. Use organic mushroom compost or a good slow nitrogen six month release fertilizer when you plant.

  4. Consider having your soil tested.

  5. Start a proper watering schedule and stay on it.

  6. The best time to prune plants is in the fall when the temperatures start to cool off and some the plants growth begins to slow down for the winter months.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Watering Tips --- Dogwood

Identify Insects And Diseases --- Garden Care



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