Stark Bro's Plant Manual for Purple Robe Locust

Getting Started

Acclimate

Plants grown in a greenhouse must be acclimated carefully before planting or placing them outdoors. This is especially true in hot or sunny locations. Many species should never be grown in full sun. Before purchasing a plant, learn about its sun requirements. Knowing the plants requirements can avoid any damage to the plant by incorrectly giving it the wrong conditions.

If your plant has been grown in a greenhouse, here are a few steps we recommend you follow:

  • After purchasing your plant, place it outside in a sheltered, shady spot or on your back porch.
  • Leave it there for 3-4 hours and gradually increase the time spent outside by 1-2 hours per day.
  • Bring the plants back indoors each night.
  • Water it regularly to keep the plant moist.
  • Occasionally spray the leaves with water.
  • After 2-3 days, move the plants from their shady spot into morning sun, returning them to the shade in the afternoon.
  • After 7 days, the plants should be able to handle the outdoor temperatures, if they stay around 50 degress F.
  • After 7-10 days, your plant is ready to be planted in its permanent location. Try to do this on a cloudy day and be sure to water the plant well.
  • Observe foliage daily. If any type of leaf discoloration occurs, put the plant back into filtered light and attempt this step at a later date.
  • Special care must be taken to avoid burning the leaves.

These are general guide recommendations. Some plants take longer than others to acclimate.

Location

The best way to succeed is to plan before you plant. Let’s discuss location: Do you know where you want to plant your new trees? Avoid many future problems by considering all aspects of the planting spot, such as:

  • Sun and good soil
  • Check out the surroundings
  • Space wisely
  • Leave space for future planting

Sun and Good Soil

Your plant would love a sunny place with well-drained, fertile soil. But it will be quite satisfied with six to eight hours of sunlight. Good drainage is required to keep your plant “happy.” If your soil has high clay content, use our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or add one-third peat to the soil at planting time. We do not recommend planting in heavy, pure clay soils.
If your soil is heavy you might consider removing nearly or all of the planting hole clay and replace it with amended soil to help get your new tree off to a good start.

Surroundings

If you’d like your tree to become a landscaping asset, choose the planting place with this in mind. Imagine it as a full-grown tree and check everything out: Wires overhead? Sidewalk underneath? Does it obstruct something you want to see? Can you keep an eye on it from the house? Will other trees be in the way, allowing for their additional growth in the meantime?
Even a year or two after planting, your tree will be very difficult to transplant. So take the time to plant it in just the right place.

Space Wisely

First-time growers often ask about recommended planting distances from patios, sewer lines, water pipes and so on. Ordinarily, patios will not be a problem because the soil beneath them will be dry and compacted. Therefore, the roots will not grow into this area as much. You might not expect sewer and water lines to be affected since they are buried so deeply. But, since sewer and water lines tend to be wet, roots will grow to them and around them if the tree is planted too close. By planting your trees far enough away from these items, you can avoid this problem.

Space for Future Plantings

Once you’ve found out about fruit growing goodness firsthand, you’ll want to expand your home orchard. It’s important to plan so that the future growth areas will be ready when you are.

Planting

Successfully establishing a young tree in your yard starts with your planting site and method. Once a tree is established, it needs little assistance; but you’ll want to make sure you give your trees the best foundation possible.

Trees require fertile soil for good growth, so before you plant, check your soil nutrients and pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Ideally, your soil pH should be 5.0-6.5. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or poorly drained.

Planting Site

  • Plant your trees in a sunny location.
  • Spacing of your new tree will depend on the type of tree: it could be anywhere from 5 feet for a redbud tree to 60 feet for a maple tree.

Planting Steps

  • Before planting: soak tree roots in a tub or large trash can of water for one to two hours to keep its roots from drying while you dig. Do not soak more than six hours. DO NOT expose roots to freezing temperatures while planting.
  • Dig the hole deep and wide enough so the root system has plenty of room. (Keep the topsoil in a separate pile so you can put it in the bottom of the hole, where it’ll do the most good.)
  • Roots grow better in soil that’s been loosened, so mix in our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium into your pile of topsoil. You can also use dehydrated cow mature, garden compost or peat moss (up to 1/3 concentration).
  • Position the tree at the same depth as it grew in the nursery row or pot.
  • Fill the hole, putting the topsoil back in first. You can avoid creating air pockets by working the soil carefully around the roots and tamping down firmly.

Potted Trees

Stark trees that are grown and shipped in bottomless pots are part of our continuing quest for producing better and stronger trees for the home grower. By following these simple instructions, you will be assured of getting your young tree off to the best possible start.

  • Before planting: When your tree arrives, carefully take it out of the package, making sure not to damage any of the branches. The potted tree has been watered prior to shipment and should arrive moist, but it does need another drink when it arrives at your home. Be sure the container is moist clear through. If you can’t plant your tree immediately upon arrival, keep the pot moist until you can plant it and keep the tree in a sheltered location. DO NOT place your potted tree in a bucket of water. This could cause the roots to rot, and kill your tree.
  • For potted trees, the hole should be twice the size of the pot the tree was shipped in.
  • Your tree is ready for planting as soon as it arrives at your home. Then, simply grasp the sides of the container and carefully slide the tree out. The potting soil should remain intact around the tree’s roots. You will want to keep this soil with the tree and plant it, soil and all, into the prepared hole.
  • Fill the hole with soil and water lightly with a solution of Stark® Tre-Pep® Fertilizer. (If planting in the fall, wait to fertilize until spring for best results.)

Additional Notes

The most important training you’ll be doing in the first few years is keeping the main trunk straight and strong. Most of the permanent branches will be formed in later years.

  • New trees often need staking the first year or two.
  • Unbranched “whip” trees should be pruned back one-third at planting time.
  • Large-size branched trees should be given some planting-time pruning. Remove some of the side branches, leaving only a few evenly balanced wide-angle branches. Remaining limbs should be pruned back by one-third to one-half.

One final point: Please be sure to remove the nametag from your tree. As the tree grows, this small piece of plastic can choke off its circulation, damaging or killing the tree. If you’d like to keep the tag on your tree, retie it loosely with soft twine.

Soil Preparation

Preparing your soil before you plant will greatly improve your plant’s performance and promote healthy, vigorous growth. It is a good idea to have your soil tested to determine if it is lacking in any essential minerals and nutrients. This can be done through your County Extension Office or with one of our digital meters.

The goal of soil preparation is to replenish vital minerals and nutrients, as well as break up and loosen any compacted soil.

When To Prepare Your Soil

Soil preparation can be done at any time that the ground is not too wet or frozen. Your trees may be planted even when temperatures are quite cool. If a hard frost is expected, it is advisable to delay planting for a while until temperatures become more moderate. Generally, as long as your soil is workable, it is fine to plant.

How To Prepare Your Soil

  • Roots grow faster when they’re spread out. Dig the hole deep and wide enough so the root system has plenty of room to easily expand. Keep the topsoil in a separate pile so you can put it in the bottom of the hole, where it’ll do the most good.
  • To loosen the soil, mix dehydrated cow manure, garden compost or peat moss (up to 1/3 concentration) into your pile of topsoil. Make sure the peat moss you get is either baled sphagnum or granular peat. You can also add our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or 2 or more inches of organic material and work in evenly with the existing soil.

Your lawn can provide you with ideal organic materials such as grass clippings and shredded leaves. Not only will the grass and leaves break down to provide soil nutrients, but they will help loosen the soil as well. You can gather these in the fall with spring planting in mind.

Common soil amendments:

  • compost
  • sand
  • manure
  • lime
  • peat moss

Adding organic materials, such as our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium and compost will improve most every soil type. Organic materials bind sandy soil particles so they retain moisture and nutrients better. They also break apart clay and silt particles, so that water can infiltrate and roots can spread.

Soil Types

  • Clay and silt soils are made of very small particles. They feel slick and sticky when wet. Clay and silt hold moisture well, but resist water infiltration, especially when they are dry. Often puddles form on clay or silt soils, and they easily become compacted.
  • Loam soil is a mix of sand, silt or clay, and organic matter. Loam soils are loose and look rich. When squeezed in your fist, moist loam will form a ball, which crumbles when poked with a finger. Loam soils normally absorb water and store moisture well. Loam soils can be sandy or clay based, and will vary in moisture absorption and retention accordingly.
  • Sandy soils contain large particles that are visible to the unaided eye, and are usually light in color. Sand feels coarse when wet or dry, and will not form a ball when squeezed in your fist. Sandy soils stay loose and allow moisture to penetrate easily, but do not retain it for long-term use.

Care & Maintenance

Fertilizing

Fertilizing flowering trees is a great way to enhance the beauty of your landscape. Proper fertilization should be done annually to encourage blooming and increase healthy growth. Shade trees can be fertilized in late fall, after the growing season, or early spring, before growth begins.

When choosing a fertilizer for your flowering or shade trees, you can use either a liquid or powdered form; they provide equal benefits to the trees.

For flowering trees:

  • Apply fertilizer in the early spring.
  • Choose a compound blend, high-phosphorous fertilizer (e.g. 5-30-5), which will serve as a bloom booster for your flowering trees.
  • Always apply fertilizer according to the package directions.
  • If using a powder form, spread the fertilizer at the base of the tree. Water the soil around the tree thoroughly to increase the absorption of the fertilizer.

The amount of fertilizer you should use depends on the age and size of your flowering or shade tree.

Insects and Diseases

Every tree has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your tree encounters. Disease-resistant trees are the best option for easy care; and for all trees, proper maintenance (such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, weeding, and fall cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.

Aphids

They are the size of a pinhead and vary in color depending on the species. Clusters on stems and under leaves, sucking plant juices. Leaves then curl, thicken, yellow and die. Produce large amounts of a liquid waste called “honeydew”. Aphid’s sticky residue becomes a growth media for sooty mold. Dormant Oil will kill eggs, use next dormant season, also during 1/2” green kills newly hatched except Rosy Apple Aphid.

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap

Shade

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Bagworms

Bagworms are the larvae of moths. Brown bags up to 2 inches long and composed of bits of dead foliage, twigs and silk are often seen attached to twigs and inside is a dark brown or black caterpillar. Adult female moth is wingless and the male has wings. Severe infestations can defoliate an entire plant often killing evergreens such as arborvitae and cedar but may only slow the growth of a deciduous plant.

Natural Control

  • Remove and destroy all bags.

Shade

  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Leafrollers

Pale yellow or ‘dirty’ green worms. Leaves are rolled and webbed together where insects feed. Eventually becomes ‘skeletonized’.
Spray is seldom necessary. When detected the caterpillar stage might be complete and spray will be of no benefit. Unless the tree is very small, it will not die.

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)

Locust

Large (up to 1½ inches long) dark bodied insects with wings. Young insects hatch and enter the soil, where they burrow to the roots. Immature locust suck sap from roots and adults may suck sap from young twigs. Female lays eggs in the sapwood of twigs, causing the leaves on damaged twigs to turn brown. Twigs may break and fall to the ground eventually.

Chemical Control

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Mealybugs

Adults are 1/4” long, flat, oval shaped with a white waxy covering. Yellow to orange eggs are laid within an egg sac. Crawlers are yellow to brown in color. Over winters as an egg or very immature young in or near a white, cottony egg sac, under loose bark or in branch crotches, mostly found on north side. Damage is by contamination of fruit clusters with egg sacs, larvae, adults and honeydew, which promotes growth of black sooty mold.

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Shade

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Doramant Spray Oil

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)

Spider Mites

Pinpoint size, many different colors. Found on undersides of leaves. Severe infestations have some silken webbing. Sap feeding causes bronzing of leaves

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap

Shade

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray
  • Remove and destroy heavily infested plant parts.
  • Light infestations wash off with a strong stream of water from your garden hose.

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Whitefly

Adults are tiny, white winged insects found mainly on the underside of leaves. Nymph emerge as white, flat, oval shapes. Larvae are the size of a pinhead. Suck plant juices from leaves causing them to turn yellow, appear to dry or fall off plants.

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap

Shade

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil (larvae)

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Tent Caterpillar

Hairy caterpillars that enclose large areas in webbing and feed on enclosed leaves. Remove web with rake and burn. Caterpillars are pulled out with webs.

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap
  • Prune out and destroy webs when first noticed.
  • Remove and destroy egg masses.

Shade

  • Bonide® Thuricide ® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Total Pest Control
  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Japanese Beetle

Adult is a metallic green beetle. It skeletonizes leaves. Larvae are a grub, which feeds on turf roots. Check turf product labels for timing of control of grubs. This is more of this problem is east of the Mississippi river.

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Elm Leaf Beetles

Adult beetles feed on the leaves leaving small holes.
Larvae usually feed on the underside of leaves and eventually the leaves will dry up and die. Adult beetles are olive green with black stripes along the margin and center of back. Larvae are black when hatched and after feeding become a dull yellow or green.

Chemical Control

Elm

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer
  • Bonide® Total Pest Control

Elm Spanworms

Adult moths are a powdery white with a wingspan of 1-1½ inches. Larvae are about 2 inches long and coloring can be from dull or slate black to light green. They feed on the underside of leaves, causing a shot hole effect.

Natural Control

Shade

  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Chemical Control

Elm

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer
  • Bonide® Total Pest Control

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Prune small twigs that are infested with eggs.

Fall Webworms

Damage the leaves by both feeding and web building. Webworms over-winter within cocoons located in protected places, such as crevices in bark or under debris and fences. Adult moths emerge in summer. They have a wingspan of about 1 1/4” and vary from pure satiny white to white thickly spotted with small dark brown dots. Females lay white masses of 400-500 eggs on the undersides of the leaves. The caterpillars hatch in 10 days and all from the same egg mass live together as a colony. They spin webs that enclose the leaves, usually at the end of a branch, to feed upon them. After they have defoliated a branch, they extend their nest to include additional foliage.
When caterpillars are mature, they leave the nest to seek a place to spin gray cocoons. The mature caterpillars are about 1 1/4” long with a broad dark brown stripe along the back, and yellowish sides thickly peppered with small blackish dots. Each segment is crossed by a row of tubercles with long light brown hairs.

Natural Control

Shade

  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Chemical Control

Elm, Honeysuckle

  • Bonide® Total Pest Control
  • Prune out and destroy webs.

Elm

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Oakworms

Adult moths are yellowish red, with a single white dot on each of the forewings. They lay eggs on the underside of leaves. Larvae are about 2 inches long and have a long, curved horn and feed on the foliage, skeltonizing leaves.

Chemical Control

Oak

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer
  • Bonide® Total Pest Control

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (not for use on large trees)

Thrips

Tiny, slender, fringed wing insects ranging from 1/25 to 1/8” long. Nymphs are pale yellow and highly active and adults are usually black or yellow-brown, but may have red, black or white markings. Feed on large variety of plants by puncturing them and sucking up the contents.

Natural Control

Birch, Oak

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap

Ornamentals

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Chemical Control

Elm, Oak, Birch

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer

Ornamentals

  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer (exposed) (not for use on large trees)
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer (exposed) (not for use on large trees)

Pruning

Pruning is a very important part of proper tree care, but many people find the task overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind:

  • You can have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way (including the “experts”).
  • Pruning provides a pleasant shaping to your shade or flowering trees.

Flowering Trees

Timing

For most trees, late winter or early spring is the ideal time to prune. Prune at an early stage to train a tree to a desired shape or form.

Prune according to when they bloom

Trees and shrubs that flower before the end of June should be pruned immediately after flowering. Flower buds develop during the previous season’s growth, thus, the flowers for the current year’s bloom developed last year and overwintered in the bud. If pruned before spring flowering, the flower buds will be removed, thus eliminating flowering.

Other trees and shrubs, those which flower after the end of June, should be pruned in winter or early spring before new growth starts. These plants develop flower buds during the spring of the flowering season.

Certain plants may be lightly pruned both before and after flowering. This often increases flower and fruit production, and several may produce a second bloom during the year.

Techniques

There are three relatively simple techniques basic to all pruning situations:

Pinching

Pinching is usually done by hand, and this is a good way to control plant size.

Thinning

Thinning completely removes some branches back to a main branch, trunk, or soil line. Do not cut into the branch collar when making a thinning cut back to a trunk or main branch; that is, do not cut so near the trunk that you cut through the area at the base of the limb adjacent to the main trunk, known as the branch collar. Such a cut allows for infection to spread into the part of the plant you wish to keep. Cut only the branch to be removed, about 1/2"-2" from the main trunk (depending on age).

Heading Back

Heading back involves shortening branches back to a good bud or lateral branch. A proper heading back cut should not leave a stub. Make your cut about 1/4" above an active bud or lateral branch.

Weeping Trees

Shaping

Prune carefully in formative years to produce the shape you wish on weepers.

Prune branches to upward facing buds to encourage multiple sprouts and for the new branches to go up before they weep.

You will need a strong central leader; evaluate the tree before making the first pruning. The strong central leader holds the weight of the weeping branches and gives the tree height; pruning in late summer or fall prevents the sap from bleeding too much.

Do not prune to the point of the tree looking like a mushroom. Use sharp pruners and wound dressings if needed. Prune out dead, damaged or diseased wood as soon as possible.

Survival

Continue to prune as tree grows; remove water sprouts and suckers. Do not prune tips of the long weeping branches that touch the ground...add mulch under tree to allow the trailing branches to rest in the mulch and so you are not mowing the grass under the tree.

Never force weepers down...thin from the bottom of the weeping limbs to allow the limbs to drape and allow for air circulation inside the canopy.

Remember winter ice buildup which can split the tree, so earlier fall/winter pruning is all the better. The more limbs for ice to cling to, adds weight to the tree for damage.

Before pruning at any stage, look at the tree and prune the right limbs to support the tree canopy. Keep buds that contain next year’s flowers. Don’t leave too much stub on pruned limbs, which allows for diseases to enter the tree. Best to remove straight limbs that do not appear that they will weep.

Spraying

A proper and consistent spray schedule is important to the survival of your trees. From diseases to pests, many potential issues can be prevented with spraying before they even begin! To reap its benefits, spraying should be done consistently and thoroughly following the guidelines below.

Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.

By Tree

Oak

Early spring (before growth begins)

  • Bonide® Copper Fungicide Spray or Dust for leaf blister (Taphrina).

Dormant bud swell (red group only)

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for taphrina blister, actinopelte leaf spot and anthracnose.

Birch, Elm, Oak

At first sign of insects

  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer for aphids, bagworms, cicadas (locust), exposed thrips, fall cankerworms, inchworms, leaf miners, leaf rollers, locust, mealy bugs, spider mites, whiteflies, gypsy moth, tent caterpillar, Japanese beetles, elm leaf beetles, elm spanworms, fall webworms (elm) and oak worms.

Maple

Preventative: before disease appears

  • Bonide® Copper Fungicide Spray or Dust for leaf spot.

Shade

Early spring (before buds swell)

  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray for San Jose scale, nectria canker, maple gall, leaf blotch and olive scale. Aid in the control of powdery mildew and anthracnose.

Green tip (through the delayed dormant stages)

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil for scale insects, certain aphids, gall, whitefly larvae, mealy bugs, adelgids, scurfy scale and terrapin scale.

Growing season

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil for scale insects, red spider mites, mealy bugs and whitefly larvae.

At first sign of insects

  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) for bagworms, fall webworms, tent caterpillars and elm spanworms.

Crabapple

Spring bud break

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for scab, cedar apple rust and sphaeropsis leaf spot.

Dogwood

Spring bud swell, early bloom

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for anthracnose (Discula Sp.) and septoria leaf spot.

Poplar

Spring bud break

  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for marssonina leaf spot.

Ornamentals

At first sign of insects (not for use on large trees – taller than 10 feet)

  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, caterpillars and thrips.
  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer for locust.
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer for locust.

Combination Winter Spray (Dormant & Deciduous only)

  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray and Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil for San Jose scale, rose scale, oyster shell scale, brown apricot scale, black scale, overwintering insect eggs, many overwintering fungus spores of plant disease.

Watering

Unless you’re in an area where irrigation is usually needed for normal plant growth, you probably won’t need to water after the first two growing years. Until then, follow these guidelines to get your new trees off to a great start.

General Guidelines

  • Keep your newly planted tree well watered the first year or two after planting. If your area receives an inch of rainfall every week or so, you won’t need to use the hose. If rainfall is insufficient, you can give your new tree a good, thorough soaking. The best way to do this is to let your garden hose trickle slowly. This gives the water a chance to soak in instead of running off. You can also use a soaker hose to water several trees at once. Give your tree enough water to soak the ground all around the roots.
  • Although a little depression in the soil aids summer watering, it’s important to bring the soil around the tree up to the level of the surrounding soil for the winter. If not filled in, water could freeze around the trunk and injure the tree.