Desert Companion
Enter the photo contest
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
APRIL 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
Best of the City

Departments
All things to all people
Culture
Dining
Editor's Note
End Note
Essay
History
Science
Take 5
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
Turn up the volume! "Today we walked the space again, conceiving all the layout; it's going to be such a strong show," VAST Space...   
April 19. 7p. Do you love watching “Whose Line is it, Anyway?” Come see Las Vegas’ hottest improv troupe perform such games,...   
April 15-20. 7:30p; Apr 19-20, 2p. The beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the...   
  0

Tree AdviceHOW YOUR GARDEN GROWS

Take this tree advice

Shopping for a tree? A little detective work get you a happy, healthy tree that’s much more likely to thrive in your garden. Here are some tips.

Bigger isn’t better. Don’t buy too large a tree in too small a container. It may seem like a good deal, but it likely has a condition called girdling roots, or pot-bound; the roots have grown into a circle around the edge of the pot. If the condition is uncorrected, the tree may choke itself to death or snap off at the base years after planting.

The thick of it. Look for trees with thick trunks for their height and lower foliage along the trunk. Lower foliage feeds and strengthens the trunk directly. It also helps prevent trunk sunburn, which can devastate a tree’s health.

In too deep? The tree should also be planted at the right depth in the container. A tree planted too deep can often already have developed disease on the trunk tissue. To see if it’s planted at the right depth, wiggle it in the can or box. If the trunk is pivoting down below the soil, kind of “wallowing” around in the soil, it’s likely planted too deep. The wiggle test also helps determine if the tree has the girdling root condition. If, upon wiggling the tree, you see a heaving plate of soil in a smaller circle, or a distinct curved line where the soil is separating, that tree is likely girdled.

Like ’em young. Younger trees establish more quickly, take off faster and are healthier and bigger in the long run. My preferred size for new trees is 15-gallon, and if I can find a 5-gallon specimen, I’ll often opt for that. Trees that are smaller at planting time often end up larger than their bigger-planted cousins in a relatively short time — and you pay less in money and labor.

 

Power plantPRO TIP

Power plant

I’ve always said that one of the keys to successful gardening is to put a plant where it wants to be, give it room to grow — then sit back and enjoy a glass of wine. It’s a little more complicated than that, though. Once you’ve decided on the right plant for the right place, proper planting techniques will help assure a long-lived, healthy plant.

Oversize the planting hole. The planting hole should be twice the diameter of the container of the plant at the top, and the same size as the diameter at the bottom. But don’t dig any deeper than the depth of the soil in the pot. The planting hole will have a sloping edge, which helps encourage root development into the surrounding soil.

Amend the soils. Non-desert species often dislike our alkaline soils. To amend the soil, add the following to the pile of dirt from the hole: 1) Well-decomposed organic matter (it should look like dark, rich soil), at a rate of about 15 percent compared to the pile of backfill. 2) bone meal, 3) soil sulfur pellets (dissolved in water), 4) a good pre-plant fertilizer like Gro-Power Flower-n-Bloom 3-12-12.

Handle with care. Handle the root ball gently when removing it from the container. Gently push with long strokes with the ball of your hand on the sides of the container to loosen it, then push up from the bottom of the pot to break it loose. For smaller plants, kneading the edge of the root ball helps break the roots loose and will encourage them to grow into the surrounding soil. For larger, woody plants, use hand pruners to cut the root ball out with vertical slices about an inch deep about every five or six inches around the pot.

 

Stake well-doneA well-done stake

Newly planted trees often require staking to get them off to a good start, promoting root development and supporting weak trunks. The stake that comes with your tree is called the nursery stake or transport stake, and it should be removed the day it’s planted. These stakes are right up against the trunk and can cause injury in the long term by rubbing against the tree’s trunk tissue.

If staking is required, purchase “lodge-pole” stakes. Use two or three stakes per tree, set deep into the soil, outside of the tree’s root ball. Use a flexible tie material that is not too thin, so that it doesn’t cut into the trunk tissue.

Don’t stake your tree too firmly. It should be able to move in the wind. This movement encourages the trunk to grow stronger. The rule of thumb from the International Society of Arboriculture is that trees should not be left staked more than one year.

Along with staking, protect your new tree from sunburn, which can devastate the tree. Protect an exposed trunk with a water-based white paint, or a product like Easy Gardener Jobes Tree Wrap. It stretches and expands with the trunk and provides great initial protection. Remove it entirely after two or three summers have passed.


Comments





























































 
Family
Show me your Desert Companion
Call the Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys who stop foreclosures. 702-818-3888
Play the desert companion video

DC Scene
Recent Posts
4/18/14  
Don't fence them in
4/18/14  
Fractured reality
4/17/14  
Music maker shares a taste of her talent
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion