Trees and Shrubs – April

  • As the weather warms and new growth begins do not forget to water newly planted trees. They need weekly watering throughout their first summer if rainfall is lacking
  • Mulch can be applied in early spring to get a start on maintaining the warm weather weeds. Be careful not to pile mulch against the trunks of trees. You may often see the “volcano” shaped pile of mulch around trees – this is not a good practice and can harm or kill trees.
  • Instead of mounding mulch against the trunk, apply a 3”-4” layer out to the dripline but taper it down near the trunk.
    • For tips on mulching, visit:
      • Can too much mulch kill plants?  Chatham Gardener post
      • Mulching trees and shrubs- NC State Extension
      • More on mulching from NC State Extension
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs soon after they finish blooming.
  • Spring blooming shrubs can be kept perennially young by pruning a portion of the oldest branches every year, about a third of the branches on fast growing shrubs and about a fifth on slower growing shrubs.
  • Shrubs in our area that are in bloom or have interesting fruit, bark or foliage during this month include:
    • Viburnum
    • Azalea
    • Rhododendron
    • Calycanthus  Sweetshrub