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ISA Certified Arborists
Serving North County since 1983
Tree and Shrub Care
Trees and shrubs add value and curb appeal when it comes to your North County San Diego Landscape. Evergreens and drought tolerant plants can enhance your landscape. It can be quite simple to add these features, and if you include a drip system, then the maintenance is quite low. You can also take a look at our gallery of Drought Tolerant & Drought Resistant trees for a more water-wise landscape.
How to Choose the Right Tree or Shrub
There are some things to keep in mind when planning your design and considering installing trees and shrubs. Consider the area that you want to put your trees and shrubs by answering the following questions:
- Does it need full sun, full shade or a mix of both?
- Will it be planted in the lawn?
- Is it deciduous (will leaves fall in the winter)?
- What kind of water needs does it have?
- How often does it need to be trimmed?
- Do you want flowers, fruit, colorful leaves?
These are just a few questions to consider when looking to add a tree or shrub to your landscape. Our Certified Arborist, Paul Rider is available for landscape consultations; which can help you prepare for the actual needs and appropriate placement of your trees.
How to Properly Care for Your Trees
Trees and shrubs should be watered every 10 to 14 days. Ideally, the soil should be moistened to a depth of 3 feet over the root area. Evaporation can be kept to a minimum by maintaining mulch around the base of the plant. Fruit trees will require a consistent watering schedule to avoid drought stress. Drought stress will keep fruit from growing to its full size and can reduce the fruit’s flavor. Don’t forget to thin fruit when necessary to prevent branches from breaking. Do not fertilize your trees and shrubs during the hot summer season.
Water deep and water long. That doesn’t mean you have to water five times a week. Typically a good long soak with a soaker hose around the perimeter, and in the case of trees, at the edge of the tree’s canopy, at least once every two weeks is the best way to keep your trees and shrubs watered. Most people think they should be watering at the trunk, but by doing this, you may be encouraging root rot.
The root system extends beyond the canopy looking for moisture. To keep your plants and trees healthy at this time, make sure to water to a depth of 18 to 24 inches. The best way to do this is to use a soaker hose. These hoses have small holes along the entire length. They let water out nice and slow, which gives it time to seep down into the ground where the roots are. The benefits of this type of watering are good strong roots and healthy plants with beautiful leaves, stems, and blooms.
The best way to remember when to water is to put it on your calendar, then when you start watering set your timer. About 1-2 hours of slow watering is about all you need to do unless it’s a huge tree. If you are watering trees, put the hose around the perimeter of the tree about 2 feet from the trunk. Slowly move the hose out to the outer portion of the canopy. Remember that the root system extends all the way out to the edge of the canopy. Shrubs also need to be watered around the drip line but for a lot less time. Most shrubs are on timers with bubblers or drip, which work the same way the soaker hoses do. If your shrubs are looking droopy make sure your drip system is working correctly especially as temperatures start to rise.
Important Things to Consider when Trimming Your Trees
There are four key factors to consider when getting ready to trim your trees.
In San Diego’s windy climate, it's important to trim off any dead or broken branches. Examine your tree branches periodically to see if you have these issues with your trees or even your shrubs. It's easier to spot when the leaves haven't fallen if you have a deciduous tree.
Pests and Disease
If you have an evergreen, be sure to check for insects and branches that are not putting out new growth. These may need a professional trimming or a tree application. Our Certified Arborist can treat trees with various fertilizers and products to encourage healthy production and treat common diseases and afflictions. Additionally, as Licensed Pest Control Applicators, we can manage your trees for pests and insects; preventative measures are always best.
Many people believe that it's healthy to cut off all the major branches to just nubs, this is known more commonly as topping the tree. In reality, you are damaging the tree when you top a tree this way. What is better for it is to trim crossing or rubbing branches, clearing out some branches in the center to allow for more air flow which is a great way to prevent our strong winds from knocking the tree over.
Trimming is also about beauty. It's like getting a haircut, keeping the ends neat and clean. You want to be sure to trim branches in a way that enhances the tree. If you have low growing branches or perhaps growing down instead of up, a professional Tree Service company with a Certified Arborist can guide the growth of the tree or shrub by strategically planning the pruning.