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beauty with remarkable depth

Specials on trees and shrubs? Here’s how to spot a plant enemy when you see one

Specials on trees and shrubs? Here’s how to spot a plant enemy when you see one:
Whether they shade our homes, provide food, fragrance, beauty, or, in some cases, medicinal benefits, plants as a whole are very beneficial to us. You can go to any nursery and garden center, or order from catalogues and have access to thousands of different plants. The only problem is that some trees and shrubs can cause problems down the road for any property owner not aware of these plant time-bombs. If the plant label says it grows fast, and does well in any soil, run the other way! These types of plants are usually short lived, and weak wooded, which means they drop a lot of branches even if you sneeze on them. The ideal time to plant trees and shrubs is after the first frost (we’ll talk more about that in next month’s blog).
Some trees you want to stay away from that I still see being offered for sale are:
  • Willow trees, which have all the negative attributes mentioned above, and seek out water like Lindsay Lohan looking for a party–that means that they will seek out your irrigation system pipes, water pipes and even septic fields.
  • Silver maples should also be avoided, and uplift walkways, driveways, and patios if they are planted too closely to them. 
  • River Birch are great for parks, and along river banks, but constantly lose dead branches, and seek water sources as well.
  • Sweet Gum trees: Yes, I have seen them for sale, and all I can say is that if you buy one, then I have some land in Florida I can sell you.

Some shrubs that should be avoided are:
  • Eleagnus, which can grow very wild if they are not pruned heavily. We have some at Springmoor, but we prune two to three times a year, and keep up with the volunteer seedlings that the birds spread. I would avoid all euonymus varieties such as silver king, golden, and Manhattan. They do well for a few years, and one morning you wake up and all of the leaves are gone. Euonymus are like prime rib to scale insects, which rob the plant of sap. You can spray for them, but who has the time?
  • Gray twig dogwood: If you plant this in your landscape, you will soon find it growing everywhere else. Gray twigs send roots out in all directions, which eventually sprout more gray twigs.

October Gardening To-Do list:
  • Plant fall bulbs such as:  daffodils, crocus, tulips, and hyacinths
  • Plant fall annuals such as pansies, ornamental kale, ornamentalcabbage, and snap dragons. 
  • Dead head spent perennials, and put in compost pile.
  • Start a compost pile if you haven’t got one.
  • Divide perennials, and plant the divisions in bare garden spots or give perennial divisions to your friends.

October Featured Focal Plants:
Confederate rose

  • Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutalblis) growing up to twelve feet tall.  This perennial sits unnoticed all season long until October.  With its pink, rose-like flowers bloom against a clear Autumn sky.
  • Fall blooming Camellia (Sasanqua camellia) comes in a variety of colors from white, all shades of pink and dark red.  Sasanquas are great evergreen shrubs which grow well in shady areas. 
To learn more about Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh, N.C., check out our website, or follow us on Facebook.