Tree & Shrubs
Trees and Shrubs in
A Survival Guide for Victory!
Ifs, Ands, or Buts About it!
gardens can be an endless challenge, but the beauty of success is very
rewarding. Plants are much less hardy when we try to over-winter them above
ground. Most plants require some extra T.L.C when growing
in containers, and still tend to be short lived. You have to consider the
possibility that trees and shrubs planted in containers may need to be replaced
as often as every 1-5 years. There are four primary issues that make it
difficult to grow trees and shrubs in containers:
Limited container size means less room for soil, which results in less room for
root development, and a greater chance that plants will become root bound.
The limited soil mass and exposure of the container can cause drastic changes
in soil temperature throughout the season. These temperature changes can stress
your container plants.
Excessive heat, high wind, and a decreased soil mass will result in faster
moisture loss for your container plants. You must water them regularly.
Rainfall alone is not sufficient.
Despite the need for supplemental watering, your container plants cannot be
sitting in water. Make sure your containers have adequate drainage.
preparing to purchase materials for a container garden, check the exposure of
the area where you want to put your containers. How much sun does it get? What
direction does it face? It is also helpful to take pictures and measurements of
the space and/or draw a diagram. Having this information will simplify the
buying process and help you make better decisions when purchasing your plants
Mystery of Containers
Statuary Department carries many different kinds of containers in a variety of
sizes, shapes, and materials. Resin containers are very popular because they
are light weight and long lasting. Iron, cement, and cast stone containers are
also great, but they can be very heavy and difficult to move. These heavier
containers can be a great choice for high rise buildings where intense winds
can be problematic. The additional weight helps to stabilize the container
during windstorms. When planting trees and shrubs above ground, bigger
containers are always better. The larger container size allows for greater root
growth. Remember: plants may eventually outgrow the container. Lastly, make sure the containers you
purchase have drainage holes. If there are no drainage holes in the container,
ask if they can be drilled for you.
planting trees and shrubs, the root flare (the area where the roots first start
to emerge from the base of the plant) should be at or slightly above the soil line.
The soil line should be 2-4” below the rim of the container. To start, add a
1-3” layer of rock/gravel to the bottom of the container. The rocks will help
improve drainage. Fill about ¾ of the container with a high grade potting soil.
Make a funnel in the center by pushing some of the soil up against the sides of
the container. Remove the plant from the grower’s pot, break up the root ball,
and spread apart the roots. Settle the plant in the center of the container,
add enough soil to cover the exposed roots, and push down firmly to secure the
plant in place. Water the plant immediately after you finish planting it. While
you water for the first time, watch the bottom of the container and make sure
the water is draining properly. There is no “formula” to determine how often
you need to water your container plants. Every location and container is
different. Check the soil moisture every 24-48 hours. If it is dry, water the
plant until the soil is fully saturated. Following this schedule for the first
4-6 weeks after planting should give you a better understanding of how often
the plant needs water. Please remember that varying weather conditions will
affect how often you need to water your container plants.
trees and shrubs in containers can be difficult, but there are steps you can
take to protect your container plants during the winter. Layering insulation
(such as burlap or landscape fabric) around the container can help protect the
plant’s root system from extreme cold. Grouping your container plants together
(with the hardiest plants on the perimeter) can also help protect them. Repeated
temperature swings, such as freeze and thaw cycles during early spring, can “trick”
your plant into budding/leafing out early. Buds and leaves are not as cold
hardy as the woody parts of the plant and may be damaged by spring freezes.
Keeping the insulation in place until we have consistent day and night
temperatures above 50º F can help prevent premature bud break. Just because
it’s cold, it doesn’t mean you can stop watering. Your plants need moisture
during the winter, especially broadleaf and needled evergreens. The best
solution is to put ice cubes on top of the soil in the container. The ice will
slowly melt during warmer daytime temperatures, providing essential moisture. You
will need to add more ice throughout the winter as it melts.
to unfavorable growing conditions, Gethsemane Garden Center does not offer any
kind of warranty or guarantee on trees and shrubs that are planted in
containers, raised beds, or parkways.
Click Here to see our list of Conifers avaliable