Digging or drilling holes throughout the root zone and filling the holes with fertilizer is not effective, since most of the feeder roots of a tree or shrub are in the upper layer of soil. Drilling puts the fertilizer below the lever of the feeder roots.
Winter is the time to apply miscible oil sprays to kill overwintering mites, aphids and scale on deciduous trees and shrubs. Spray miscible oils when temperatures are above 40 degrees, but not within 24 hours of a freeze. Because the oil kills insects by suffocation, avoid spraying on windy days to ensure all surfaces of the plant are covered.
If you purchase balled and burlapped plants, be aware the brown plastic material that looks and feels like natural burlap does not break down. To be on the safe side, remove the material before planting.
Research has shown that young trees allowed to move with the wind develop greater trunk strength than trees rigidly staked.
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