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Selection & Care

Purchasing/Planting/Transplanting Reduce Fruit on Flowering Crabs
Selecting & Spacing Trees Watering

Purchasing/ Planting/ Transplanting

When is a good time to buy trees and shrubs for the landscape?

My feeling is that a person is better off not to buy new plants until you are ready to plant them. Develop the landscape plan before purchasing the plants.

Where is the best place to buy trees and shrubs?

My recommendation would be to get plant material locally whenever possible. A local nursery or garden center is more likely to have plants adapted to this area and can answer questions or concerns on the spot. You can also see what you are buying.

What size trees should a person buy?

For both practical and economic reasons, buy medium sized trees. They recover quicker from transplanting shock and become established quicker than larger trees. Actually they will catch up to the larger trees fairly quickly.

How successful is it to have larger trees moved in with a tree mover?

It can be quite successful, but make sure that the mover is large enough for the tree you want to move. Also make sure to stake large trees after moving them into your landscape.

Is fall a good time to plant trees and shrubs?

Yes, many trees and shrubs can be successfully planted or transplanted in the fall.

What are some things we should do to help fall planted materials survive?

Disturb the roots as little as possible, water them in well after planting, prune to compensate for any root loss which may have occurred and mulch just before the ground freezes.

Can evergreens be moved in the fall?

Yes, evergreens can be successfully moved in early fall but special care must be taken not to disturb the root system. Moving with a large tree mover can be especially successful. Evergreens must be watered in very well just before the ground freezes.

Are there any plants which shouldn't be moved in the fall?

Trees which are hard to establish or are borderline in hardiness shouldn't be moved until spring. 

Reducing Fruit on Flowering Crabapples

Can anything be done to keep the flowering crabs from having so many fruits?

As far as chemicals there is nothing legal that I am aware of at this time.  Sometimes a high pressured water hose will have the power to knock the petals off early in the spring when they first appear.

Selecting/ Spacing Trees

What should be considered when selecting a shade tree for the yard?

Select a tree that will fit the size and type of home you have. The small and medium sized trees tend to be more in scale with single story homes. Whereas large shade trees look better with large 2 story homes.

Where should the shade tree be planted in the yard?

As a general rule, the most important spot to put a shade tree is south to west of the home. This will provide shade during the hottest part of the day.

How close to the home should trees be planted?

Large trees such as ash, hackberries, maples, lindens and oaks should be kept at least 20' from the foundation. Medium sized trees such as buckeyes, honeylocust and little leaf linden - 15-20 feet away and small trees such as flowering crabs, mountain ash and Canada red cherry - 10 feet from the foundation.

Do tree roots actually crack the foundation?

No, the wetting and drying of the clay soil causes the initial cracks. After these have developed, tree roots will grow into the cracks for moisture.


Should evergreen trees and shrubs be watered before winter?

Yes, they should be watered if they are dry or growing in a dry location. It is especially important that they be watered in well just before the ground freezes. This is important to reduce the possibility of winter browning.

Do the non-evergreen trees and shrubs need watering?

Usually established trees don't need to be watered at this time. Plants which are newly planted either this spring or fall will benefit from a watering. We must be careful not to over water and prevent the plants from getting ready for winter.

Todd Weinmann, Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: (701) 241-5707

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