We know its frosty outside and we are all wanting to be scooped under a blanket in front of the fire, but it is also the perfect time to be planting your root ball hedging and to continue planting bare roots too. Make sure you are protecting these with rabbit guards and we also advise that you stick a few extra layers on when heading outside!
For the deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges in your garden, this dormant season is the time to start pruning and renovating as it is easier to see what you are doing when the branches have no leaves. Suitable examples are: Fagus (beech), Corylus (hazel).
Ensure any pruning of Acer and Betula is completed before the end of the year to avoid bleeding of sap from cuts. Exceptions to this are evergreens and tender plants as these are best left until spring. Prunus species like ornamental cherries for example are vulnerable to silver leaf disease when pruned in autumn or winter, so should also be left until the spring. Info taken from RHS.com
Christmas Tree Care
Prevent premature needle drop on your Christmas tree by choosing a pine (Pinus) or fir (Abies) tree instead of the traditional Norway spruce (Picea abies); these hold their needles for longer. You should also avoid placing your tree near sources of heat such as a fire or radiator.
Cut trees will last longer if stood in a bucket of water or a stand with a reservoir. Saw off the bottom 5-7.5cm (2-3in) of trunk to allow the tree to drink freely. Info taken from RHS.com
Take note of the most colourful dogwoods (Cornus), Salix and white-stemmed Rubus shrubs when visiting gardens open to the public, or in garden centres, and consider planting them yourself, for a winter display.
You can protect your trees and shrubs from frost by packing the branches with straw or bracken, and securing this with fleece and ties. Check the tree ties and stakes and replace, tighten, slacken or remove as necessary. Remove weeds from around the bases of young trees.
If there is snow in your area, then you may need to brush it off the branches of conifers, climbers and light-limbed shrubs and trees. Heavy snowfall can splay branches, break limbs and spoil the shape of the tree.
Info taken from RHS.com
Remember to feed birds regularly to help them through the winter months and refrain from tidying too much in the garden to leave shelter for other wildlife. Piles of leaves or logs make a great shelter.
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