Spring is almost here..

Continue to plant hedging plants, shrubs, trees and climbers. Stakes and rabbit guards should be put in place at the time of planting trees, to prevent damage to the rootball or bark.

Move established deciduous trees and shrubs provided the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.

Tie up splayed out branches on conifers that have become damaged by the weight of snow or by strong winds.


Many summer-flowering deciduous shrubs can be pruned between February and March; usually those that flower on the current year’s growth. Shrubs that need regular pruning include Buddleja davidii, Ceratostigma, Hydrangea paniculata, Lavatera, Leycesteria, Perovskia, hardy fuchsias, and deciduous Ceanothus.

Remove any reverted green shoots on hardy variegated evergreens, to prevent reversion taking over.

Cut deciduous hedges if necessary. They can still be renovated before leaf emergence.

Ornamental vines, ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy can be cut back now – it’s a good idea to keep them away from windows, doors, gutters and roof tiles.

Pests & Diseases

Put rabbit guards around newly planted trees and shrubs to protect the bark.

Avoid planting roses in areas where roses were previously growing otherwise new introductions may suffer from replant diseases.

Bracket fungus on trees is more visible at this time of year. If the tree is in poor health it is worth calling in a tree surgeon for a professional opinion.

Phytophthora root rots can cause die back on mature trees and shrubs. Wet winter weather and poorly drained soils are likely to encourage this problem on susceptible woody plants.

Coral spot is often noticed while the leaves are off deciduous hedges, shrubs and trees. This problem can be connected with poor ventilation and congested, un-pruned twiggy growth (as often found inside clipped hedges).


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October November December