Your trees and shrubs are an investment worth protecting. Protecting your landscape not only adds to the value of your home but provides pleasure for you and neighbors.

Installing ornamental trees and shrubs can be quite costly and then will take years to establish. If not maintained correctly they can suffer irreparable damage from environmental stresses, insects, and disease. Loss of a long established beautiful tree or shrub can be devastating. There are many stressful environmental conditions and hundreds of different insects and diseases that can infest your landscape. 1.888.Lawntec is here to help.

Here are the best ways to healthy Trees and Shrubs!

Make sure you install the right plant in the right place. There are many factors that need to be taken into account before installing new trees or shrubs. For success, you will need to consider these factors:

  • hardiness zone
  • location
  • sun or shade
  • soil type
  • soil drainage
  • how fast will it grow
  • how large will the new plant grow
  • distance from other plants mature trees and structures
  • what are your expectations
  • is irrigation available
  • are there deer around

Doing this research will make the difference of having successful healthy plants and a landscape increasing in value or plant decline with ongoing financial and emotional loss and stress.

Reevaluate your existing landscape, this would include all of the factors we listed above. If some plants are not doing well it may be better to remove them and replant rather than dumping more time, effort and money into it.


Mulching with a colored mulch looks great and lasts longest but has some risks of the chemical dye leaching into the soil. Your plants do not like that and depending on the variety and hardiness could cause ongoing plant decline or even death. An organic hardwood mulch or root mulch is best and as it breaks down it adds nutrients to the soil. Do not over mulch, about 2” - 3” in depth is fine. If you're mulching every year, apply a lighter layer. And, if mulching bi-annually, apply a heavier layer. Rake the mulch when it mats down and creates a matty hard crust. This will block air, water, and nutrients and cause plant decline.


Pruning at the right time of the year. Typically the best time to prune trees and shrubs in the Berkeley Heights, NJ area is in the summer or even early fall. This way the plant has flowered and pushed out most if its new growth that takes place in the spring and early summer. But don’t prune too late since you may cut off the buds that are developing for the new year. Perennials can get pruning throughout the season with spring perennials getting pruned in the summer and summer perennials getting pruned in the fall. Most trees and shrubs do best when pruned once a year, however, a few may need one good pruning and then touch up later in the season. Knowing your plants and/or hiring a knowledgeable tree and shrub pruning professional is the way to go.

Prune the right way. Hand pruning is always the healthiest way to prune trees and shrubs since it will allow light and airflow to get inside the plant. Be aware that hand pruning takes longer, therefore, costs more but it ends up being cheaper than taking a loss on your landscape investment and being faced with replanting things prematurely. Pruning with power trimmers is quicker and easier but is overall not healthy for most plants, since when you only cut the outside of the plant the plant grows too dense at the surface and does not allow light inside the plant. Over time this creates a shell-like effect with the greenery only on the first few inches of the plant. When sun and airflow can't get in, everything inside will turn brown, insects and disease take home there creating ongoing plant health care problems that will, in time, lead to decline and death. A combination of hand pruning and pruning with power shears is a good way to keep costs and plant health in check. Again, knowing your plants pruning needs and/or hiring a knowledgeable tree and shrub pruning professional is the way to go.

Sorry, 1.888.Lawntec does not offer pruning services.


Watering is best done deep and infrequent, this applies to an irrigation system and watering with a garden hose. Start with once a week and add days going into the summer. The best time to water in the Berkeley Heights, NJ area is in the morning. Avoid watering at dusk since the plant will then be wet all night and this promotes disease development.

Annual tree and shrub root feeding

Make it a point to do an inspection of your plants in the spring and fall taking note of trees and shrubs in decline. These are the plants that will need an annual feeding or maybe a spring and fall feeding. Using a quality balanced product with some type of organics is always best and always get the product down to the plants' root zone. Do not waste your time with products that are high in nitrogen and do not hand toss granular fertilizer on top of the mulch or soil since you're actually doing more harm than good. Realistically it is almost impossible to feed trees and shrubs correctly if you're not a pro.

Tree and shrub insect and disease control.

Again, make it a point to do an inspection but this time every month or two taking note of trees and shrubs with the 1st signs of insects or disease. Unless you have a true love for gardening and a vast knowledge of plants and different pesticide and non-pesticide control methods please leave this to a licensed Plant Health Care professional. Having a licensed, trained professional service your property takes the stress out of maintaining a beautiful landscape.

Plant Health Care Specialists Serving Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Summit New Jersey, & Nearby Towns.

Join the scores of satisfied customers that have turned to 1.888.LawnTec to maintain and elevate the health of their landscape investment using any of the available treatments in our (IPM) Plant Health Care Services.

Call us today at (888) 529-6832 for an evaluation of your trees and shrubs and let us develop a customized plan of care to preserve the landscaping in which you've invested so much time, energy, money, and emotion.

Written By: Bryan Monty
1.888.LawnTec Services Inc. “Environmentally Responsible Lawn, Plant & Pest Specialists” ® All rights reserved.