Friday, October 2, 2009

Topping And Pinching - Part Of Evergreen Care

By Mrashall Clewis

The evergreens most commonly used for foundation planting around homes prefer fairly light, well drained soil in which has been incorporated peat moss or other well rotted organic matter. They are relatively shallow rooted and so deep beds need not be dug.

Spreading type evergreens should be planted at least 3 feet away from foundation or walks to give them plenty of growth space.

Frequent watering of both tops and soil is necessary, especially during hot, dry summers. Fertilize in the spring, using a balanced garden fertilizer. Do not overfeed. especially if slow growth is desired.

Dogs should be kept away from evergreens, by use of small fences.

By topping or pinching side growth, evergreens can be trained to desired shapes without too much trouble. Mugho Pine "candles" (the new growth) are commonly cut back to their length in the spring to produce a compact growth. When Pfitzers or other spreading type evergreens grow too long and "leggy", they can be pruned in mid-summer by cutting off the long branches. Make the cut so that it is hidden behind a new, shorter stem and the pruning will not be noticeable.

Conifers and aglaonema maria can greatly enhance the beauty of a home and care should be taken to remove dry, dead branches around the base. Do not prune aglaonema maria around the base of healthy trees, or spaces will appear between the ground level and the level of the first branches.

As with other evergreens, conifers should be protected from dogs.

A number of insect pests attack evergreens and conifers, particularly sucking and boring insects and so, as soon as the first signs of any damage are noticed, a control like malathion should be applied.

Conifers and other evergreens are subject to "winter kill' or wind burn. This commonly occurs when the soil is dry in early winter. Thorough watering to soak the soil well around the roots in late fall or early winter is recommended to help overcome this wind burn never let evergreens go into the winter season dry.

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