(847) 439-2650
(866) 357-2276
Berthold's Flower Barn
434 E. Devon Ave.
Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007

Plant Care Tips

WHY PLANT TREES?

Trees and shrubs provide year-round beauty and add value to our homes. THey attract wildlife, lesson noise pollution nad reduce air pollution by trapping dust and absorbing carbon.

Trees save energy and money!

  • Trees can reduce heating and cooling cost by 5% to 10%.
  • Deciduous trees within 25 feet of East and West windows provide summer shade but let the warm winter sun come through.
  • Open-brnached deciduous trees, such as Kentucky Coffeetree, in the South sides of homes cast cool summer shade and let the cool breezes pass, but in the winter let thewarm sun shine through.
  • Dense evergreens North and Northwest of your house block winter winds.
  • Evergreen shrubs and vines along the West walls reduce summer sun and winter winds.
  • Plant deciduous shrubs and vines on East walls to cast cool summer sahde and let in warm winter sun.

PLANTING TREES AND SHRUBS

Before you plant:

  • Choose plants that are hardy to the arrea: Chicago is in USDA zone 5 (-20).
  • Select the appropriate site for your plant, based on sunlight, soil and moisture.
  • Be sure your space is large enough for the plant at maturity.
  • Check drainage. More plants die from excessive wetness than from lack of water.
  • Check for overhead power lines and don’t forget to call JULIE 1-800-892-0123 to mark any underground utility lines.

Preparing the planting site:

  • The planting hole should be 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball or container.
  • The hole should be no deeper than the rootball or container.
  • Rough up the sides of the planting hole to prevent a sealed bowl effect.

Tree planting tips:

(Container plants)

  • Remove the plant from the container. Remove any dead or damaged root using sharp pruners.
  • Rough up the sides of the root ball with your fingers.
  • Center the plant in the hole. Keep it straight withthe branches pointing in the direction you want them to grow.
  • Start backfilling the planting hole, gently filling around the roots using a mixture of existing topsoil and compost. Mychorrizea is recommended.
  • Water in the plant. A rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week during the growing season, either by gentle rainfall or watering.
  • Place a 3″ layer of composted organic mulch around the plant but leaving a few inches from the stems.

(Balled and burlapped plants B&B)

  • Center the plant in the hole. Keep it straight withthe branches pointing in the direction you want them to grow.
  • Once the plant is in place, cut the twine or rope from around the trunk and pull back the burlap from the top of the root ball.
  • Start backfilling the planting hole, gently filling around the roots using a mixture of existing topsoil and compost. Mychorrizea is recommended.
  • Water in the plant. A rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week during the growing season, either by gentle rainfall or watering.
  • Place a 3″ layer of composted organic mulch around the plant but leaving a few inches from the stems.

MULCHING

Why mulch:

  • Mulch improves soil structure by providing humus as it decays.
  • Mulch also adds aestetic value to the landscape.
  • Mulch also prevents water loss in hot temperatures, and redices temperature variations.
  • Mulch prevents erosion, root compaction and weeds.

How to mulch:

  • Spread the mulch under trees, shrubs and throughout planting beds to a depth of 3″.
  • Pull mulch away from the bases of the tree and shrub trunks and stems, if too close it makes for an inviting area for insects, disease and decay.
  • Mulch should extend to the drip line of the branches or atleast cover a 4-6 foot diameter around the plant.

When to mulch:

  • Mulching in mid spring and again in mid fall are both ideal times to mulch.

WHY USE NATIVE PLANTS

  • When  planted properly, natives have the advantage of being adapted to the Midwest growing conditions: they are vigorous  and hardy, enablling them to survive cold winters and hot, dry summers.
  • Once established, native plants are more adapted to resist the negative effects of insects and disease problems.
  • Using natives in the landscape or in combination with cultivated plants, enhances our natural surroundings.
  • Native plants are also much more readily available in the trade, making it much easier on the consumer to get.

WHEN AND WITH WHAT TO FERTILZE YOUR LAWNS

  • In early spring and again in late fall it is good to use a fertilizer with a high Nitrogen court (the first of three numbers on the bag) this is to promote quick growth and good deep green color.
  • In late spring use a fertilizer with a high Phosphorus count (the second number on the bag) to build strong cells to prepare the turf for summer stress and heavy traffic. Fertilize again in early fall to help the lawn recover from the summer.
  • If laying a new lawn with sod or seed , the high Phosphorus count is best because it is considered a starter fertilizer.
  • In late spring and into the summer it is good to use a fertilizer with a high Potassium count (the third number on the bag) this will help build good root structure.
  • Keep lawn at a 2.5″ to 3″ height.

WINTERIZING NEW TREES AND SHRUBS

Watering: It is important to continue watering newly planted trees and shrubs until the temperatures are consistently cold (usually through November).

Fertilizing: Use fertilzer spikes or a granular fertilizer in the fall to achieve improved growth in the following spring. Do NOT fertilize evergreens. This can encourage new growth that could be damaged by upcoming freezing temperatures. Trees that drop their leaves can be fertilzed until the ground freezes.

Mulching: Applying mulch is one of the best things you can do for your plants. Not only does mulch help conserve moisture around the root ball, but it also helps keep the soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Protect from salt spray: Construct a burlep wall infront of your plants to protect them from any salt spray.

Tree wrap: Wrap tree trunks with a tree wrap to protect the trunk from scalding and cracking.

Wilt-Proof: To protect against damaging dry winter winds, use Wilt Proof or Wilt Stop sprays on braodleaf evergreens (Boxwoods, Hollys, Rhododendrons). Apply before first frost.