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December Newsletter

Monday, December 7th, 2015


Hope everyone has had a great year as we wind down 2015 and welcome in 2016.  December is a time to be with family and friends and to reflect on past memories. All of us at Gibbs are so appreciative of the opportunity to work with you and your families and sharing your landscapes with us.  We take extreme pride in maintaining the landscape at your homes.

This month the crews will continue to remove leaves and try to get everything clean and ready for pine straw or mulch applications. Please let us know if you have needs or desires to have the mulch or straw in before the holidays. Mulch and straw help protect plant’s roots and looks great. It is very important to be installed prior to freezing temperatures. Pansies and Violas are a bit green right now due to the lack of sunshine. We need more days of bright sunshine and we will start seeing blooms of color again. We will be installing tulips and daffodils this month. Daffodils are a great bulb that will re bloom each year and are deer and squirrel resistant. Our fescue turf will receive another round of high nitrogen in January while warm season turf are going dormant. We are finishing up a great pre emergent round on the warm season turf this month. Fescue seed can be added to bare spots in the lawns as we have had a great deal of seed washing due to the heavy rains. Dormant pruning will be underway soon and shrubs will be pruned through the winter months. We will be thinning and making corrective interior cuts and in some cases performing a heavier dormant prune where needed. Heavier pruning will be discussed prior to commencement

A couple of notes on some plant issues that are of growing concern of ours and the entire east coast. Rose Rosette Virus on roses is being found in more and more landscapes. There is no cure or real prevention of the virus. We will alert you if we find Rose Rosette in your landscape and we can make a joint decision on rectification.

Boxwood issues are showing again and have been the last two years due to wet periods. Boxwoods in the winter will show signs of stress if exposed to full sun and windy conditions. This yellowing or orange coloring is the result of sun scald and can lead to damaged tissue which in turn weakens the overall plant. Boxwoods that are protected from the winter winds usually will not take on this effect. The overall wet soil conditions and extended periods of moisture within the Boxwoods interior stems and branches have contributed to two fungal problems. Root rot of fine root hairs and Volutella blight on stems have been prevalent these last two to three years. Well drained soil and filtered sunlight is the best start we can give for our Boxwoods.

All of us at Gibbs Landscape Wish You Happy Holidays and Very Happy New Year!

Shape Up Your Shrubs and Trees

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Shrub PruningA common question that many homeowners ask is “When is the best time to prune ornamental trees and shrubs?” The answer depends on the individual plant and whether you are pruning to maintain health and vigor, control the size and shape or to encourage flowering or fruiting.

Winter is a great time to prune and thin out many of your shrubs and trees in the South. To encourage the most flowers with summer blooming trees and shrubs that bloom on current seasons growth, such as Crape myrtles, lindens and certain hydrangeas like PG types (Hydrangea paniculata selections), prune these in late winter or early spring, before the leaves emerge or, in summer, after they bloom. The best time to prune spring blooming shrubs and trees like azaleas and crabapples is after they bloom in springtime. Wait to prune roses until buds begin to swell, usually late February to March, depending on the variety and weather conditions in your garden.

With established deciduous trees, January is a good time to perform annual maintenance pruning. Not only is the structure of the tree visible (the trunk and branching), making it easier to see where you need to prune, without foliage there will be much less debris to clean up. Below are a few tips for pruning in general:

*Use sharp tools, making sure to oil and sharpen blades each season.
*Use a quality pair of bypass pruners (with scissor-like action) instead of anvil pruners. These make clean cuts and cause less damage to bark and branches.
*If you are pruning branches larger than ½ inch in diameter, use loppers or a small folding hand saw, which makes it easy to access tight areas.
*Pole pruners (most have a cutting blade and a saw) are effective for reaching tall limbs.

What and How to Prune
*For large trees, hire a professional.
*Remove any dead, diseased, broken or dying limbs at any time.
*Remove limbs that grow down towards the ground and get in the way of clearance.
*Cut dying branches back to green wood.
*When removing diseased branches or stems, make your cuts a few inches below the diseased area.
*Remove branches that grow back into the tree or shrub or rub and cross other branches. This will help reduce potential sites for disease or insect problems.

Tree Pruning*Remove suckers (vigorous shoots which are usually at the base of the trunk and come from underground roots) as they emerge. Remove water sprouts too. These usually grow along the main branches of trees. Not only are they unsightly, they can starve trees of much needed nutrients.

*If shrubs are sheared (tips are cut back) on a regular basis (this is common with certain hollies), new growth occurs near the tips of branches and sunlight can’t penetrate the dense foliage. Because of this, the interior branches may become sparse and leggy. This is when thinning is a good idea. Use hand pruners to selectively remove branches back to a lateral branch. As a rule-of-thumb, remove only 1/3 of the shrub at a time. Not only will you reduce the size of your shrub but it will have renewed vigor.
Please let us know if we can help you with your pruning needs.