Shrub Care

Shrub Care

Choosing Shrubs

Choosing the right shrub or ornamental tree for your landscape can get confusing. Selecting plants for your landscape based solely on appearance isn’t always a recipe for health and vigor. However, there are choices that can be are both beautiful and hardy.

A few key factors to take into account are:

  • Hardiness zone Not all plants flourish in all parts of the country. Familiarize yourself with plants native to your region and hardiness zone.
  • Soil status Your arborist can perform a soil test to ensure the proper conditions are present and assist with choosing a location with adequate sunlight and drainage.
  • Sun light and direction Does the shrub need full sun? Partial shade?
  • Drainage and watering How much water will the plant need, and how does your property handle rain?

While this may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of resources to assist you. SavATree arborists have great recommendations for installing the right plants in locations where they will be able to thrive for years to come.

Selecting the right shrubs creates a healthy, energy-efficient landscape with year-round beauty. Of course, monitoring and maintenance will still need to be performed to keep your property disease and pest free.

Shrub and Ornamental Maintenance

Shrub Care Service

Your shrubs and landscape are going to need care in order to flourish. To prevent pathogen spread and create conditions that are less favorable for pests and infestations, there are cultural practices that you can follow.

Preventative practices include:

  • Appropriate site selection
  • Proper planting
  • Removal of undesirable plants
  • Using diverse species on your landscape
  • Raised beds
  • Burlapping to protect against extreme conditions
  • Mulching
  • Timely pruning

Adjusting water and nutrition to your landscape depending on seasonal and weather variations helps too. These vital components can’t always be guaranteed naturally and may change periodically, but plants need consistency.

Putting sprinklers on a timer and making adjustments based on weather forecasts can not only ensure that your plants get adequate water but save you money. Testing your soil for nutrient levels and pH, meanwhile, will allow you to customize amendments for your landscape.

Common Diseases on Shrubs and Ornamental Plants

Diseased Leaves Boxwood blight caused by the fungus, Cylindricladium pseduonaviculatum, can affect all species in the genus Buxus, although some cultivars are more susceptible than others. Foliar lesions will appear first, lesions on stems appear soon after. When the infection becomes severe, the plant will drop its leaves causing stress and eventual death.
Diseased Needles Needle, tip, or twig blights occur on arborvitae, cypress and juniper species turning tips of twigs and ends of needles brown or grey. Black, pimple-like fungal fruiting structures may develop on needle surfaces. These blights can be caused by fungi in the genera Phompsis, Diplodia or Coryneum.
Shrub Service Pachysandra volutella blight, a leaf blight caused by Volutella pachysandricola, targets Japanese pachysandra. Infected stems will become dark brown and black and die. In very wet conditions orangish-pink fungal spores will colonize the surface of dead stems. Brown and tan spots will develop on pachysandra leaves and eventually spread over the entire leaf. Concentric line patterns may be visible.

Common Pests in Shrubs

Shrub Protection The boxwood psyllid is a common pest of ornamental boxwoods and is capable of infesting all species. They only produce one generation per year; insects overwinter laying orangish eggs in between bud scales. Nymphs hatch early in the season and a white, waxy substance thought to protect them can cover the plant and can be detrimental to plant health. The psyllid’s feeding will result in cupping of this year’s foliage. White, powdery residue may be visible on young leaves and shoots.
Leaf Issues Lacebug insects affect susceptible evergreen species such as rhododendrons, azaleas and Andromeda. Damage from previous seasons will appear as yellow stippling on the underside of leaves and mold-colonized honeydew on stems. If lacebugs were present the preceding season, they may become an issue again.
Pine Needles Spider mites are common pests with a broad spectrum of targets; fruit trees, vines, berries, vegetables and ornamental shrubs; both needled and broad-leaved. Spidermites hatch out early in the growing season but remain active for a long time. Damage from spidermites appears as yellowed stippling on foliage occurring in large patches on trees.

Have questions about your shrubs? Get in touch to schedule a complimentary consultation with our certified shrub care professionals.