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Time to prune!

Late February through March is a great time to prune plants that are overgrown, plants that might flower more, and plants that could need just a little shaping.  Now, just because it’s a good time to prune this month does not mean you won’t have  to pay attention to your plants in the summer.

Sometimes you might just forget about the plants that seem to be blooming and growing very well, and the next thing you know, you have a shrub that has been let go for to long.  Whether  its old hollies, azaleas, or any other shrub in the landscape, chances are you have a few that need to be brought back to a  managable size.  This is called rejuvenation.  This type of pruning will allow you to come in and basically cut the shrub back to 6 or 12 inches from the ground.  Pruning this drastically will allow for the shrub to force out new shoots and will allow it to become more dense and easier to manage.

Pruning can also help promote some plants  to flower more throughout their respective blooming seasons.  Butterfly Bushes and Rose of Sharon are just a few examples of shrubs that  flower on new growth.  So now would be a good time to go  in and give these shrubs a healthy pruning, clipping off of last years growth.  However, you do need to be careful  not to prune Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias and some Hydrangeas because these plants will flower on last years growth;  after they have bloomed in the spring, feel free to clean them up.

Last, everyone has a personal preference on the shape or height of a plant, wherever it might be in the landscape.  Just remember this is the time of year that if you need to go in and cut some shrubs around the windows or along the driveway, go ahead and prune them back with a nice pair of  sharp hand pruners and for larger limbs the long handled pruners.  Now I know that sometimes pruning with the electric shears can be a very fast and easy job,  it could make pruning harder through the year.  It will allow the plants to be thicker on the outside, but nothing but sticks on the inside.  A good way to control that is to selectively prune around the shrub making sure there is parts of the plant that the sun can penitrate to the inside allowing for a fuller plant throughout.  Remember, you can get out there and prune till your heart desires or you can call Stone Creek Landscaping for free estimates and an analysis of your landscape.

Good luck and happy prunning!

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Azaleas in February, really?…Really.

While these iconic southern shrubs that we love here in Georgia aren’t blooming yet, it’s not to late to think about their placement in the landscape.  For example, one of my customers in Marietta, has about six azaleas that, overtime, have become overtaken by some bamboo that the property owner has grown fond of; so they need to moved.  Fall and early winter are good times to transplant azaleas but, as long as unusually warm weather in February has not pushed out the new buds, transplanting will not harm your spring flowers.

Follow these easy steps to transplant.  First, with a sharp shovel dig a new hole about one foot wider and one foot deeper than the root ball of the azalea you are going to transplant.  Second,  using your shovel, cut nearly vertical incisions in the soil at least 12 inches and no more than 2 feet deep at  the drip line of the plant, now continue around the plant with your shovel and begin to pry the plant out.  Third, with the dirt you have removed from the hole along with a soil conditioner and a root stimulator, mix together and add to the bottom of the hole. Next gently set the plant in place  and fill with the remaining dirt.  Before you go packing away with that shovel of yours be sure to add plenty of water around the whole plant to force out  any air pockets that might be trapped around the roots.

Now, with all that being said, you can be a brave one and try and tackle this project yourself, or you can call Stone Creek Landscaping and we would be more than happy to help you with this project or any of your other landscape needs.  Until we meet again, happy transplanting!

Stone Creek Landscaping is located in Marietta, Georgia and serves the north Metro Atlanta Area

To Prune or Not to Prune

Often times, when February rolls around, we see professional landscapers all over town hitting the streets with their clippers and their saws hacking away at all the Crape Myrtles.  In fact we are so used to seeing this year after year that many homeowners have started doing the same thing, because they thought it was the right thing to do; after all the pros are doing it.

Well, the truth is some of the big landscape companies “invented” this practice years ago to generate revenue and to keep their crews busy during the winter months. Believe it or not Crepe Myrtles don’t even have to be pruned at all!

Now, with that being said sometimes you may not have the room to let one of these hardy shrubs run wild, or maybe you like the appearance of  a well manicured tree.  Whatever the case may be, there is a better way to prune these trees.

Natural Prunning:

This is going to be the simplest pruning method and give the most “natural” appearance. The main things we want to be concerned with are branches that are inward growing, crossing or rubbing against other branches and dead branches. Careful pruning with a sharp cutter will eliminate these problems and leave you with a healthy, happy and natural looking Crape Myrtle.

Formal Prunning:

As the name implies the method of pruning is going to leave you with a much more refined and tidy looking tree.  When pruning using this method, think shearing a hedge, you want to cut the tips back after a fork in the branch. Again, with this style of pruning you would also want to look for things like dead or crossed and rubbing branches and remove them.

With a little TLC, your Crepe Myrtles will look their best this summer. If you have any questions or would like Stone Creek Landscaping to do you pruning for you, please  don’t hesitate to call.

Hello world!

Thats right. Hello world! Here we are, Stone Creek Landcaping making great strides to update the way we comunicate with our customers and everyone else out there who wants to know a thing or two about landscaping. My plan is to use this site to bring you regualar updates and news regarding your landscape, specific to our Metro Atlanta micro-climate.  So tell your friends and check back often to learn what you need to do to keep your entire landcape looking its best. If you ever have questions or concerns feel free to contact me for a consulation. Im always willing to help with as little or as much of your landcape as you need.