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Landscape Pitfalls Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions.

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Presentation on theme: "Landscape Pitfalls Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Landscape Pitfalls Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions

2 Irrigation Fertilization Mowing Pruning Mulching Pest Management The Landscape is a “System”

3 Where are the roots? Lateral roots grow far beyond the drip line; Fine roots are concentrated in the top 12” of soil with many in the top 2”.

4 Excavated Tree Roots Excavated Shrub Roots (This juniper had been planted less than a year)

5 Knowing where the roots are… Do these construction practices make sense?

6 The following images may be disturbing to Master Gardeners. Warning!


8 Not visibleButtress roots visible

9 Knowing where the roots are… How protected are most of the tree roots?

10 Knowing where the roots are… Do these fertilizer practices make sense? “Deep Root” FertilizingFertilizing to the Dripline

11 When we water and fertilize the lawn… …we’re watering and fertilizing tree and shrub roots too.

12 Site and Design Pitfalls “Inherited Problems”

13 Site or Design Pitfalls Buried building debris Fill soil Soil compaction Poor drainage Wrong plants Poorly designed irrigation system

14 Building Debris Shell, lime rock, concrete, and stucco are very alkaline in pH.

15 Fill Soil

16 Soil Compaction In process The result

17 Coping with a wet site: 1. Choose plants tolerant of wet soils. 2. Plant on berms, mounds, or raised beds. 3. Provide internal drainage. Poor Drainage

18 Wrong Plant/ Wrong Place

19 Coping with a shaded lawn: Mow as high as possible. Select shade tolerant turf species or ground covers.

20 Wrong Plant/ Wrong Place

21 Poorly Designed Irrigation System

22 Planting and Establishment Pitfalls

23 Poor quality plants Improper planting techniques Inadequate time and water to establish Competing grass Improper staking

24 Poor Quality Plants

25 Young Tree with Poor Structure Hazardous Mature Tree Poor Quality Plants =

26 Planting Call Before You Dig! One call: 811 or 800-432-4770 Utilities will mark underground lines – free! Know What’s Below

27 Locate point where the first main root meets the trunk Cut circling roots Prepare the rootball for planting

28 Shave off the outside and bottom of rootball Plant with shaved rootball (right) is ready for planting Prepare the rootball for planting

29 The “NEW” Planting Hole

30 Backfill amendments… or not?

31 Site Preparation Loosen soil Little research to support amending the planting hole Some research supports amending the entire planting site

32 “Volcano Mulching” – Bad! No mulch over root ball – Good!

33 Proper Planting Techniques Wider, not deeper Remove soil and roots over root flare Top of root ball level with or above soil surface Backfill with existing soil or amend entire site No mulch or soil on root ball; 3” at edge No fertilizer at planting time

34 Establishment of Trees Takes 3-6 months/inch of trunk diameter For survival: Irrigate 2x week For vigor: Daily; then every other day (see Table 1 – ENH856) Apply 2-3 gallons per inch of trunk diameter

35 Establishment of Shrubs (3-Gallon) Takes 20-28 weeks to establish Water every 8 days in north FL; every 4 days in south FL Apply one gallon per irrigation (~1/4” rain) Apply water directly to the rootball Once established, only water during prolonged hot, dry weather (the first year)

36 Credit: ISA – International Society of Arboriculture Mulch at least to dripline

37 Roots of this magnolia tree grew 8 feet in the first year after planting.

38 Refer to: ENH 856 – Specifications for Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Southeastern U.S. ENH1129 – Planting Shrubs in FL Landscapes ENH1130 – Establishing Shrubs in FL Landscapes

39 /

40 Native vs Non-Native Plants UF Research Compared 10 most popular native plants with 10 most popular non-native plants. Established them from 1-gallon plants. 20 replicates of each – half irrigated; half not irrigated. Four species of each responded to irrigation. Others did not.

41 Staking: 3 Rules of Thumb Stake only when necessary. Attach ties as low as possible. Remove staking materials within the same year.


43 Transplanting Palms Spring and early summer best. Size of root ball important – varies by species. Plant at proper depth. Prune?

44 Proper palm staking

45 Landscape Pitfalls Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions

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