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Plant Trees, Shrubs, Bulbs Now

Fall is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs, and is the best time to plant hardy bulbs.

The cooler fall temperatures allow trees and shrubs to grow roots down and prepare for winter without the stress of summer heat. They still require additional watering, but not as much as those planted early in the summer. Even after they drop their leaves the plants continue to grow roots until the soil freezes. They are well prepared to grow and flourish next spring and take advantage of spring moisture.

Trees and shrubs purchased now are container grown. They have grown roots in the pot, and the roots are circling around the pot. When planting trees and shrubs, dig a hole AT LEAST 3 times larger diameter than they diameter of the pot they are in. Then, after removing the plant from the pot, take time to physically pull the roots out from the soil so they will grow out in the new planting. If the roots are not pulled out, they will continue to grow in a tight circle and will literally strangle the plant. This is a common reason trees and shrubs grow poorly and die within the first 3 to 7 years after planting.

Place bone meal or super phosphate fertilizer in the bottom of the hole to aid in root development. Water in thoroughly to compact the soil and provide moisture. Water weekly until freezing temperature are common.

The choices are extensive for tree and shrub varieties for the home landscape. Trees such as Honey Locust, American and Little Leaf Linden (Basswood) borer resistant birch cultivars, zone 3 maples, and Ohio Buckeye are a few of the many varieties of trees that grow well in our climate. Plant a variety of varieties for visual appeal as well as avoiding a single disease or pest causing extensive damage in a yard with only one or two tree varieties planted. Visit with nursery staff, city foresters and Extension staff for suggestions for tree varieties for you particular landscape needs.

The variety of shrubs for a home landscape is even more extensive than trees. There are some grown for their flowers such as spirea and lilacs while others such as ninebark and dogwood are grown for the variety of leaf color and texture. Sizes can range from 1 foot tall to over 8 feet tall. There is a shrub that will fit any landscaping need.

Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, and snow drops are all best planted now. Asiatic, Oriental and hybrid lily bulbs are also best planted in the fall. Two of the best inventions for planting bulbs of any kind are the cordless electric drill and bulb augers!!!!! With this combination, holes can be quickly dug for planting bulbs. Once dug, a small amount on bone meal or super phosphate should be placed in the hole, the bulb placed and covered. The bulbs will grow roots this fall and will be ready in the spring to give you beautiful early garden color after a long winter.

Thank You

I will be completing my time as the Horticulture Assistant at the Ward County Extension Office in the near future. I would like to thank Eloise Ogden and The Minot Daily News for printing my weekly horticulture articles. Your support is greatly appreciated!!

I also want to thank my co-workers at the Ward County Extension Office. They are a great group to work with and do their work with professionalism and dedication. They are a great source of information on a wide variety of subjects. Call them for assistance as they will be very willing to assist you in any way they can.

And I would like to thank the people who have called and visited me at the office for having the confidence in me to seek my assistance. And to do it with such pleasant demeanors. Your visits and phone calls were always enjoyable and welcome.

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