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3 min read

4 Reasons Your New Tree or Shrub Died

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While many homeowners may purchase a .99cent box of marigolds without much thought, purchasing trees and shrubs often comes with a lot of consideration. Not only because they typically represent a larger financial investment, but often shrubs and trees are planted to last a long time and to serve a specific function whether it’s aesthetics or strategic shade.

When a tree or shrub dies, many homeowners can be stumped on what they did wrong. The very first things that should be considered is whether the plant was purchased healthy and from a reputable dealer. Perhaps it came with some kind of warranty. If you’ve bought a discount tree or one that’s visibly damaged, the odds are already stacked against its survival.

Trees or shrubs that die within the first year often suffer from one of four problems.

Failure to Root

While this may be obvious, the causes for a plant failing to root properly may not be. Trees and shrubs are susceptible to drought conditions in their first two years and must be well watered. However, if mulch is piled around the roots too thick or the plant is watered too often, root rot will likely cause the plant to fail.

The bigger the plant, the more likely it is to suffer. Unless you’re planting a tree for immediate shade, you’re better off planting a smaller specimen and letting it properly establish itself.

New trees or shrubs, especially woody shrubs, which are planted too deep will struggle. Only lightly submerge the top thick roots beneath the soil. If you think you’ve planted too deep, remove some of the soil from around the base of the tree or shrub.

When you planted the new tree or shrub, did you remove it from the plastic container or unwrap the root ball? Some plants fail to penetrate these barriers and the root ball becomes compacted. How compacted was the soil immediately surrounding the tree or shrub root? You can alleviate this somewhat by carefully loosening the soil around the roots with a garden fork.

Poor Growing Conditions

A plant in the wrong place will fail, sometimes rather quickly. Poor soil, inadequate light, too much or too little moisture in the soil will all spell failure in short order.

Weather Damage

Choose a plant that likes the specific growing conditions available in the spot where you want to plant. Some trees are hardy and will adapt, others require very specific conditions to thrive.

It’s always wise to acclimate a new plant or shrub before planting it. If it has spent its entire life inside a wind sheltered green house, planting it in the wide open may cause damage to the plant. Some gardeners like to stake a new tree so the wind doesn’t toss it around for the first couple of seasons to make sure the roots have a good chance to grow and branches don’t get damaged.

If the plant has failed to root well in its first season, it will be especially vulnerable to extreme weather.

Lack of Proper Feeding

This point may be the most important factor in the success of your trees and shrubs. Providing proper nutrients to your trees and shrubs help protect the plant and also accelerate their growth and potential. With our DeepFeed care program, we inject fertilizer directly into the soil in multiple locations, as close to the root zone as possible. This process nourishes and feeds the soil, creating a robust and healthy root system. DeepFeed is a two visit program that includes a summer and fall application to help ensure your trees and shrubs flourish this year.

Nutri-Lawn Vancouver are proud to offer tree and shrub care including deep-root feeding. We know you’ve made an investment in your property and we want to help you protect that investment. Our Deep Feed deep root feeding service nourishes and feeds the soil to create an optimal growing environment. Contact the lawn care and landscaping experts at Nutri-Lawn Vancouver to learn more about this valuable service.

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