Tree and Shrub Calendar

January & February

You want to protect plants from winter winds that dry out the leaves of the plants, by applying burlap. If it is a dry winter, remember to water your plants.


Prune out any dead stems from winter damage. I spray dormant oil on certain trees and shrubs at this time to reduce egg hatching of harmful insects, and to control insects, such as psyllid on boxwoods that will cup the leaves of the boxwoods.


Disease control needs to be applied at this time to reduce diseases such as black spot and apple scab, which is difficult to control later in the year. Insecticide also needs to be applied at this time to reduce harmful sucking insects such as lace bugs on azaleas.


Bagworms hatch out in May, which are not to be confused with tent caterpillars. Tent caterpillars are the white bags that you see in cherry trees along the interstate, or in your apple trees you see in your lawn. Bagworms hatch out in May and start feeding on plants such as arborvitae. One bag may contain from 500-1,000 eggs.

June - August

At this time many insects, including the Japanese Beetles, are eating trees and shrubs. You want to reduce the Japanese Beetles as much as you can, because they lay eggs in the lawn that will hatch out to be grubs in September. Starting in June, and through the summer months, it is vital to apply adequate water to your trees and shrubs. This helps fight off insects and disease.


This is when you usually see harmful caterpillars. Close inspection of your plants is advised because a shrub can be destroyed by only a few caterpillars. Some caterpillars may sting you, so be careful if you are trying to remove them by hand.


This is when I apply oil again, to reduce egg hatching of harmful insects for the following year.

November – December

I apply fertilizer to you trees and shrubs at this time. I cannot apply this too early for fear of pushing out new growth, because frost may damage the tender leaves. I surface feed plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons, and deep root feed trees at this time.