The Number Two Reason Newly Planted Trees Die

Planting a tree too deeply in the ground is the number two reason we see newly planted trees die (Number one is underwatering). If you can’t see where the trunk starts to flare out at the base of the tree then you are planting the tree too deep.

The first picture correctly shows the trunk flare and the largest few roots exposed above the soil level. Sometimes, it is necessary to remove dirt from the rootball to expose the root flare properly. This is the correct depth to plant a tree.



The second tree is planted too deeply. You see only straight trunk, no flare at the bottom. This tree is doomed unless it is “lifted” and planted correctly.

So why does planting too deeply kill a tree? 

Tree roots require oxygen and when covered with too much dirt the surface roots suffocate.

We suggest digging your hole no deeper than the bottom of the rootball to the trunk flare. Make sure the flare of the tree is at or slightly above the soil line. You should dig the hole wider than the rootball – at least 6” wider and up to 2 times the width of the rootball.

What if my tree is planted too deeply? 

Depending on the length of time it has been planted will depend on the solution.

Feel free to text us pictures at (903) 339-0922 along with your call back number so we can contact you with answers.

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Fight Fire Blight On Pear Trees NOW!

You’ve seen fire blight on ornamental and fruiting pear trees – brown to black leaves, twigs and branches appearing as if scorched by fire.

There is no cure for fire blight once a tree is infected.  It is caused by bacteria and is destructive and highly infectious and therefore a widespread disease.  

The disease enters a tree through natural openings, especially flowers in spring.  It moves from the new growth to older growth quickly and can be spread from diseased to healthy plants by rain, wind and pruning tools.

You can help prevent the disease by spraying your pear tree with Ferti-lome Fire Blight Spray when the tree starts flowering during spring.  This helps prevent the disease from entering through the blooms.

Once the tree starts showing signs of blight it is too late to spray the tree.  You can prune off infected branches but avoiding the disease all together is best. 

Wild pears are blooming now and the fruiting and ornamental pears will be doing so very soon. Be pro-active and spray your tree while blooming and avoid this destructive disease from attacking your tree(s).

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Transplanting Trees + Shrubs

Winter is the best time to transplant established trees and shrubs with December and January being the best months to do so in our area.  February is too “iffy” due to early springs we experience in East Texas. 

Transplanting a shrub or tree is different than an initial planting which can be done any time.  Transplanting means you are cutting the roots of the plant and this should only be done while they are dormant and not actively growing.

Transplants die due to improper removal or installation.  Younger plants transplant better than older ones and deciduous plants/trees survive transplanting more often than evergreens.  Transplanting causes stress for plants so minimizing this is the goal.

It is best to only move a plant when in it’s dormant state, not when it has budded out for spring or in full growth during the summer.

How do I transplant correctly?

  • The condition of the root system is the most important part of transplanting.  Dig carefully and keep as much soil around each plant’s root system as possible.
  • Some experts like Neil Sperry suggest you dig the new hole only as deep and wide as needed to hold the soil ball.  Others say the hole should be 2-3 times the width of the root ball and should be backfilled with amended soil.  I’ve seen it done both ways successfully.
  • Set the plant at the same depth at which it was growing.
  • Water the plant thoroughly.
  • Here’s the hard part – thin and trim 40-50% of the plant to compensate for the loss of roots.  If you don’t the plant stands less chance of surviving the transplant.
  • Mulch over the top of the exposed ground to help hold in moisture.
  • Stake transplanted trees for a period of time to help them stay upright.

If you have a shrub or tree that needs to be transplanted due to it being too large for an area or if it should have been planted in sun vs shade or vice versa then move it.  The plant will never perform well if left in the wrong spot.

If you have specific questions, send us pictures or give us a call. 

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Fall is for PLANTING!

NOW is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and vines.  Winter is the second best – so get to digging!

Summer’s heat is over, the soil is still warm – actually warmer than in the spring – and the soaking rains of winter will soon arrive.  This means deep root growth will occur quickly on shrubs and trees planted in the cooler months of the year.

Why is deep root growth important? 

Roots gather nutrients and water for plants and trees, so the better the root system the more nutrients and water the plant receives – thus appearing lusher and healthier.   Plants planted now get a head start since they are able to concentrate their energy mostly on root growth during the cooler months.

Healthier plants are the result of planting in the fall.

The same plant planted in spring gets a slower start due to spending energy on both root growth, foliage and flower growth. Also, the cool weather planted plants are better established when summer arrives and can better deal with the heat, largely due to the well-established root system.

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9 Superb Shade Trees

Shumard Oak

  • Grows to 120’ tall and 50’ – 60’ wide
  • Fast growing, up to 3’ per year after established
  • Deciduous tree (will lose its leaves in the winter)
  • Leaves are green and turn scarlet in the fall
  • Produces acorns, 1 inch long

Monterrey Oak (Mexican White Oak)

  • Sometimes referred to as an Upright Live Oak
  • Upright growing tree to 40’ tall and
  • Fast growing, up to 4’ per year after established
  • Semi-evergreen similar to Live Oaks (will keep their leaves through winter and drop them in the spring)
  • Larger leaves than a Live Oak (2”-5”)
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Produces acorns, 1inch long

Bur Oak

  • Grows to 80’ tall and 60’-70’ wide
  • Large leaves, 6”–12” long and 3” – 6” wide 
  • Fast growing and long-lived tree
  • Deciduous tree, will drop its leaves in the winter
  • Known for its deeply ridged, gray bark
  • It’s long taproot makes it drought-tolerant
  • Produces acorns 1” – 2” long

Summer Red Maple

  • Grows to 40’ tall and 25’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 2” – 5” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Burgundy red new foliage in the spring, outstanding yellow in the fall
  • Heat tolerant, little to no heat damage seen on leaves in the summer

October Glory Red Maple

  • Grows to 40’ – 50’ tall and 25’ – 35’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 3” – 6” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Dark green leaves in the spring and radiant orange-red leaves in the fall

Autumn Blaze Red Maple

  • Grows to 50’ tall and 40’ wide
  • Fast growing tree – up to 3’ per year
  • Leaves are 4” – 6” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Known for their brilliant orange-red fall color


  • Can grow to 100’ tall and 70’ wide
  • Moderate grower, up to 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 4” – 12” long and wide
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Known for it’s white bark with its unique pealing patterns

Fan Tex Ash

  • Grows to 25’ – 30’ tall and 25’ wide
  • Moderate Growth rate of 1’ – 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 5” – 8” long
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • This variety is all-male and does not develop the messy seed pods
  • Is heat tolerant
  • Showy fall color of golden yellow leaves

Pistache Tree

  • Grows to 40’ tall and 25’ – 35’ wide
  • Moderate growth rate of 1’ – 2’ per year
  • Leaves are 10” – 16” long and ¾” wide
  • Deciduous tree, will drop it’s leaves in the winter
  • Tree starts out gangly when small but fills out nicely as it matures
  • Deep roots, great for planting next to patios, sidewalks or drives
  • Stunning fall color of bright yellow, orange and red leaves in the fall
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6 Mistakes Homeowners Make

That Landscapers HATE to Fix


While more MAY be better in some cases, it’s not better to have more in your landscape. Not spacing out your plants and over-filling them may offer instant gratification for the first year your new plants are in the ground, but in two years, your plants will begin to die because they’re fighting for space and nutrients. This common mistake is a HUGE WASTE of time and money.

HINT: Fill in empty spots with annual flowers until your shrubs mature!

Not Knowing Your Landscape’s Needs

You’ll want to have an idea of what your yard requires and then choose plants that fit those requirements. How much direct sunlight does your yard get daily? Is your soil clay-based, sandy, or rocky? Are there any water restrictions? Are there drainage issues? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make the best choices for your landscape. There is NO REASON not to research and learn more about the plants you are putting in your landscape. Planting shade plants in sun, or sun plants in shade is an inexcusable snafu in any landscape.

Starting Without A Plan

Don’t go to a Garden Center with a “my heart will guide me” mentality. This will lead to over purchasing and a major loss of money. You’ll also run into issues during your landscape install that could’ve been solved by planning ahead.

Not Paying Attention To The Style Of Your House

Your landscape should complement your home and increase your curb appeal! Different landscape styles work better aesthetically, so always use the look and structure of your house when deciding on garden bed shapes (i.e. A farmhouse-style home won’t work with a formal landscape). Unsure where to start?

HINT: Use a garden hose to help aid in the process of figuring out the shape of each bed; lay out the hose on the ground and use it as your guide, it’s soft and can follow the curves of your house, leading to perfect garden bed shapes.

Planting Too Close To Your Home

When planting, you must bear in mind that bushes, trees and plants WILL get bigger! Where you plant them is SO important – typically, leaving a minimum of 1-3 feet between your plants and your house. Ignoring how large a tree or bush will get can lead to walkway, sidewalk and foundation damage – or, even worse, it can rot your siding, allowing moisture and bugs to creep into your home. Not cool.

Relying On Pinterest To Do Your Landscape

It is SO EASY to get excited and jump into a project when you scroll through Pinterest. HOWEVER, you need to keep in mind the time, resources, and money that go into the ‘simple’ photos you see online. While it can be helpful for ideas, you have to get real about where you and your yard are located zone-wise and how much the project will cost overall.

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The Best Small Trees for Your Yard

chastetreeChaste Tree

One of our favorite trees!  Who wouldn’t want a tree that has blue flowers throughout the summer?  This fast growing tree is known as a “Texas Superstar” for how well it performs and the Texas Department of Transportation uses them in landscape designs on highways throughout the state.  It is deer resistant, prefers full sun, is drought tolerant and likes well draining soil.  If you trim off the spent seed pods you will be rewarded with another bloom cycle in late summer to early Fall.

Crape Myrtlestuscarora1-400_grande

These summer blooming trees come in 4 main colors – white, pink, red and purple.  There are many different varieties available from trees that mature at a height of 10’ to those that reach 25’.  They bloom best when planted in full sun and can be planted as a stand alone specimen plant or in groupings.  For something different try planting 2 or 3 small plants of different colors in the same hole – it will look like 1 tree that has different color blooms.  You see them lining driveways and is another staple tree used by DOT.

japmapJapanese Maple

If you have a shady spot, consider planting a Japanese Maple.  Whether you choose an upright variety or a graceful weeper they add an array of fall color to your garden.  These are slower growing trees who require well-draining soil and will tolerate morning sun but like afternoon shade in our Texas summers.

Teddy Bear or Little Gem Magnoliateddybear

Enjoy the fragrant white flowers of the stately Southern Magnolia but on a much smaller tree.  Both are shorter varieties with the Teddy Bear being more compact of the 2.  Grows best in full sun, but is a slower growing tree.  Part of its appeal is that it is evergreen and does not drop its leaves in the Fall.

PinkRoseofSharonTree_400_1-01_grandeRose of Sharon

Many new hybrid varieties have been introduced within the past few years bringing about renewed interest in this old favorite.  They bloom in a variety of colors; white, pink, red, purple, throughout the summer months.  They will reach 10’ – 12’ tall and prefer full sun to partial sun for best performance.

Tulip Treetulipmagnolia

These pink to burgundy colored flowering trees bloom early in the spring.  They are a multi-trunk tree that is a slower growing tree but will eventually reach 15’ – 20’ tall and 15’ wide.  They are also called Saucer Magnolias and are actually a Magnolia but most people call them Tulip Tree due to the tulip shape of the bloom.

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Top 5 Shrubs to Use for Screening Purposes

  1. Elaeagnus – terrible name, great plant!  The silver-green leaf color gives you great contrast in your landscape.  Highly drought tolerant once established and can


    handle almost any soil conditions.  They grow quickly to a 8’x8’ and taller and thrive in full sun or part sun.  They are DEER RESISTANT too!!

  2. Southern Wax Myrtle – Olive-green aromatic foliage makes this plant stand out along with the bluish berries
    wax myrtle (2)

    Wax Myrtle

    produced by the female plants. The standard size will reach 15 feet tall while the dwarf species reaches 6-8 feet tall.  It is drought tolerant once established and grows well in both moist and dry soil conditions.  n full sun or part shade.  They are DEER RESISTANT too!!

  3. Pineapple Guava – Beautiful, exotic red and white flowers bloom on this large shrub in the spring, followed by guava fruit in the fall. The leaves are light green,
    pineapple guava

    Pineapple Guava

    leathery with soft gray undersides.  It will grow to about 15’ – 20’ tall in full sun or partial sun.  Deer do not seem to bother these plants.

  4. Nellie R Stevens Holly – Very attractive holly with dark green, leathery foliage. Dense branching
    nellie r stevens

    ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ Holly

    makes it an excellent hedge screen.  It produces large, bright orange-red berries in late Fall.  Fast growing tree/shrub reaching heights of 15’- 25’.  Grows well in sun or partial sun in both dry and moist soil conditions.

  5. Leyland Cypress – A fast-growing coniferous evergreen tree – up to 3’ of growth per year. Has a natural Christmas tree shape but

    Leyland Cypress

    can be grown close together and trimmed as hedges.  Prefers full sun for best performance.  This tree can reach 50+ feet if left untrimmed.

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