How to Plant Evergreens!

First off what are evergreens. As the name suggests evergreens are trees, shrubs or plants that do not drop their leaves (needles) in the fall and thus provide year-round color and beauty in our gardens and yards. Here in my neck of the woods and the rest of the colder region landscapes evergreens are most popular as they add extra interest to yards and gardens once the seasonal flowers (annuals) die off or go dormant (perennials).

Although called evergreens they come in many varieties besides just green. Some new and some not so new like silver, blue, brown or gold. (mind you if I have a choice I would not choose brown or gold as that somehow seems to defeat the purpose of planting evergreens). Planting several evergreens together of different shade, shape and type will guarantee a splash of color in any yard or garden.

Selecting the right location.

Selecting the right location is just as important for evergreens as it is for all other plants or trees. Most importantly evergreens of any type need to have well-drained soil and good sun. That does not mean you can not plant your evergreens in a clay soil or on the north side and in the shade of the house. It just means that you will have to amend the soil and you will have to choose a tree that likes the shade otherwise your evergreens will eventually develop root rot and die a slow and painful death.

Consider space availablility!

There are so many varieties of evergreens that it would take quite a few articles to describe them all and also the care that they all individually would need. So make sure you talk to the people at the nursery to find out all the particulars for the tree, shrub or plant of your choice.

Take the juniper for example, there are at least 67 species of junipers alone. Some come in globe, cone or pyramid shapes, some are low spreading shrubs and others grow almost a foot per year up to 90-120 feet tall. That is why it's important to keep in mind how much space is available.

Fall is generally the best time to plant evergreens because they are going into their dormant phase soon. Also when planting in the fall (before the ground is too cold) the tree, shrub or evergreen plant will have some time to settle into its new home. However even early spring just shortly after the ground is coming un-thawed and the perma-frost is gone is still a good time too.

Planting in the heat of the summer is not a great idea it's like playing Russian roulette only 20-30 % of the trees will survive. As with all the plants but especially with the evergreens. Rather than having to deal with just settling its roots into its new surroundings it will need to fight to supply water and nutrients to its limbs, leaves or needles. Even if the evergreen survives chances are that part of the root system will die off and it either will stay stunted or it will just take a few years to die off.

Buying from a local reputable nursery makes the best sense as the trees or plants are localized to the climate etc. There are all kinds of deals available over the internet that sound like fabulous bargains but believe me in the long run you won't save money as the survival rate is much lower on any plant matter that is shipped with bare roots (as almost all of them are shipped that way now-a-days, to keep the shipping cost to a minimum etc.).

Lets plant our evergreen tree shrub or plant!

You decided on the perfect specimen, the perfect spot, you figured out the soil and have all the amendments on hand....now lets get that beauty into the ground.

  • You will need to dig a hole that is two and a half times as wide as the size of the nursery container, and at least 6-8" inches deeper. (this will loosen the dirt all around the root ball and the little fine rootles will have an easier time spreading.)
  • Collect the removed soil in a wheelbarrow.
  • Mix a few shovel fulls of cow or sheep manure into the soil in the wheelbarrow and a bit of compost . (or if you must use chemicals then ad a bit of slow release fertilizer)
  • Pour a cup or two of water into the hole too
  • Drop in a cup or two of coffee grinds and (don't laugh) a couple of banana peels and then an inch or two of compost, straw or leaves into the hole.
  • Again if the compost looks dry add a couple of cups of water.
  • Gently take out the evergreen from it's container if its the plastic sort. Some nurseries have gone back to simply tying the root-ball in its growing dirt into a chunk of burlap sacking. (I like this the best and go looking for them as I have had the best luck with these) Other nurseries use the pressed peat pots for their trees and shrubs. In both of these cases the whole works can go into the ground as it will give extra feeding material as they rot away. In both of these cases you just need to carefully give a few cuts into the burlap fabric or peat pot so the roots can spread out easier and faster, way before the burlap or peat pot rots away.
  • Place the evergreen carefully in the center of the hole. If it sits too low in the hole, add some extra soil from the wheelbarrow enough so that it will be up to the level of the surrounding soil.
  • Now gently spread out the roots a bit again to give them an extra hand to get established faster and encourage them to spread out well.
  • Now holding the evergreen straight back-fill the hole with the soil half way again add a couple of cups of water. Finish filling the and gently tamp it down to remove any gaps.
  • At this point if you have planted your evergreen in a windy location pound a stake next to it just until the roots have time to settle and take a hold of their location. Loosely tie the evergreen to the stake. This is not usually needed if you are planting a shrub but here to it will not hurt it if you want to give it a bit of support for a month or two.
  • Now water the evergreen to ensure the soil is evenly moist. Water it daily for the first two to three weeks and then every other day for the next three to four weeks. TIP: Poke your finger into the soil a couple of inches deep next to the evergreen tree trunk, if your finger comes out dry you will need to give it more water.
  • It usually is a good idea to wait a few hours or even until the next day and then give the tree another good soaking before applying a layer of mulch around the whole surface which will prevent weeds from growing and also help to retain the moisture.
  • Once the heat of the summer comes and it's dry out don't forget to give your new evergreen a watering every now or then but do it in the evening so that the sun doesn't burn the needles etc.

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Comments 22 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, how are you? My poor gardening link has been suffering because I had soooo many articles to write that I just didn't get to add much new stuff onto it. Dead-line for this job is mid-next-week so I will be able to finish a bunch on gardening after that.

You've just published a couple of really interesting hubs, I've been reading but haven't had enough time to leave comments on everything. Keep them coming, that's what hubpages is all about...great writers and good reading

greetings from an again freezing cold Ontario

regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I checked out your Gardening link, looks like I might learn something..I will try..wow you are busy looks like!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Greek, what type of seasonal flowers are you talking about? Annuals, perennials ? The annuals (usually have fairly shallow roots) you can spread out all over but with the perennials you should plan the right spot where they can live and prosper. You don't want them to get overgrown year after year in an unsuitable location. (They will grow too tall, or choke out other plant life such as shrubs and small trees.

greetings from a beautiful sunny Ontario... I saw the first Robin on the front lawn this morning...Yeah spring is really coming

Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

prasetio30, so sorry I missed your comments and I'm late getting back to you. Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

In search of my daily dose of Zsuzsy, I came across this. However, I am about to go and buy some seasonal flowers and, as in all other abilities, God somehow omitted to include the gardening gene in me. Any idea about the best way to about it? :-)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information. I liked to plant this evergreens. YOu have great advice here. Thanks


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Support Med. Not many evergreens in your neck of the woods? Really? Here almost every house has a couple or three in their yards...

thanks for dropping by and for commenting

greetings from a 'spring is in the air' south-western Ontario

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Katrina there are a couple of evergreens in front of the house, I would think they were planted there when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I would like to replace them this year with some new ones...

Hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, nice Camelia bushes looming just before Christmas...


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

Your hubs are very thorough in content. Not many evergreens in my neighborhood, but plenty of other trees.


Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

Great hub! Evergreens are such excellent green friends to have around, especially when everything else is dormant.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Thanks, we are going to be getting many rains soon so I will get right on that, I put one in a large pot my daughter gave me and it looks so good on my front porch I'm just going to leave it til fall I think, would hate to take a chance on it. I want to get into camellia bushes this summer, they get their blooms here in the Carolina's just before Christmas.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Al great new avatar, what a nice smile. Thanks for dropping in and for commenting. I LOVE to grow things and am getting antsy waiting for spring to come so that I can go out and plant and replant things.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Dearest Zsuzsy...

You made me want to become a gardener, hehehe. I feel I could go and plant my evergreen easily and become enamored with it! Very detailed, easy to follow instructions. Loved it!

Thumbs up!

Warmest regards and many blessings,

Al


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, the cool spring is a good time to plant, but as I pointed out in the hub the very best time to plant evergreens is in the fall. In the heat of the summer it's very easy to underwater and the roots have to work on everything full force, feeding, supplying water to the whole tree etc instead of just settling into their new home.

Glad you dropped in for a visit

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Tatjana, how are you? Always glad when you stop in for a visit. I'm getting antsy, I want the winter to be over so I can get out there into the garden I have soooooo many plans.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Susan thanks for coming by. I learned the hard way that it makes sense to plant things right as it's quite a disappointment when a tree, shrub or plant dies. Not to say anything about the waste of money.

Glad you came for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I was always told that summer was the time to plant or move greens because that is when they lose their needles as trees do in fall, guess I have been lucky, it has always worked. So now would not be a good time, cool spring?


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

There is nothing better then plant..trees, shrubs, flowers...excellent and inspiring Hub, Zsuzsy.


Susan Carter profile image

Susan Carter 6 years ago

Never thought there was a "right way" to plant a tree. Thanks.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Paradise, my holly bush is a total caffeine addict she loves her coffee grinds and tea leaves. Yes, the rest described here in the hub will work just perfectly for a holly bush too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific hub on this subject. You really do it well! I can't wait to plant my holly bush. I think what you've said here will work even though it isn't exactly an evergreen tree.

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