How to Give a Present to Your Trees This Year

Just as every child wishes for a special present during the holidays, every tree has its own unique needs. If you can gift them with these five things, they will feel like they’ve gone on a re-tree-t for the holidays!

Fertilize Correctly

A growing tree needs food to thrive, just like people do. But use the correct type and amount, applied in the right way. Baby trees, for example, do not need fertilizer, as the harsh chemicals could kill them. A healthy, mature tree planted in rich soil might not need heavy fertilizing, either. Rather, add nutrients based on your tree’s environmental needs and progressive growth, with an emphasis on nitrogen.Trees showing abnormal leaf size or color, or a lag in growth rate, may be telling you they could use an extra boost in this department. 

The best time of the year to apply fertilizer is late August through September, when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold. If you miss late summer fertilizing, the second-best time for this feeding is in early spring. You can also help your trees out by fertilizing when there is drought or signs of water stress.                                            

Shield Them From the Wind

Many trees (especially evergreens) are beloved for their effective ability to shield people and structures from the wind. But some trees need a bit of a windshield themselves! Grow your trees in sites that are guarded from gusty winds in winter, or where they have protection from another, bulkier tree. 

Give Them Adequate Water

Every plant needs thorough watering to survive, but especially trees. Before watering, test your soil with a trowel, finger, or soil probe to determine if it is dry. Water-deprived soil is difficult to penetrate, while moist soil is easy to turn. When necessary, water your trees deeply once a week, by leaving a garden hose slowly running around the tree’s drip line. If operating at medium pressure, your hose can produce 10 gallons of water in five minutes. 

Provide Proper Planting Space

Tree-planting novices aiming only for aesthetics might be tempted to plant trees too close together or too close to homes. In these cases, trees aren’t given the room they need to spread their branches. Note that planting a tree which typically grows to a 20 to 30-foot spread only 10 feet from your house will position it a little too close for comfort, so research how big your tree type might grow. Then give it that amount with some room to spare.   

Stay in your Region/Location

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Guide provides gardening enthusiasts and farmers with a quick reference that helps them know which crops and plants will grow best in their area. It takes into consideration key factors such as minimum temperatures, average soil pH, and climate moisture levels. Paying attention to these environmental elements, and the needs of your trees will help both you and your trees thrive. 

For a gift that keeps on giving, contact Premier Tree Solutions to show your trees that you care! We offer quality tree services from removal and pruning, to storm damage and cleanup. Call us at 404.252.6448 or book an appointment online to find out how we can help.

Be a Georgia Tree Know It All: Japanese Cryptomeria

Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state, including the American Yellowwood, American Holly, and Honey Locust.

For our final tree of 2021, we are showcasing the Japanese Cryptomeria, commonly known as the Japanese Cedar — a splendid tree that is well-suited for the Southeast.


This tree makes quite a dramatic appearance, thanks in part to its reddish-brown bark that peels in long, attractive strips year-round. The blue-green needles are glossy and short, with a foxtail arrangement that in winter turns to a bronze color.

Young Japanese Cedars have a Christmas tree shape. The trunk is straight and tapered, reaching a diameter of three feet. Its branches are wide-spreading, drooping with branchlets that can extend all the way to the ground. 

When well cared for, a Japanese Cedar grows an average of 50 to 80 feet tall, and 20 to 30 feet in width. Some trees can reach heights up to 100 to 125 feet, but they won’t shoot up overnight. Japanese Cedars have a slow to medium growth rate, achieving an average of 20 feet in 20 years.

This handsome tree is well used as a windscreen, border, or a statement grouping on large tracts of land. It is a perfect lawn specimen in a small yard, due to its narrow canopy.

Numerous available cultivars also provide gardeners a range of varieties, including:

  • Yoshino – A fast-growing tree with green winter foliage. It reaches 30 to 40 feet tall and might have more leaf blight resistance than other variants.
  • Elegans – Dense and bushy, this one grows about 15 to 25 feet tall. 
  • Globosa Nana – Mounded and compact, this small specimen reaches three to four feet tall and three feet wide. Its needles are dark green.

Growing Conditions

The Japanese Cedar thrives on acidic, moist, and well-drained soil. It can adapt to dry climates but will need irrigation under drought conditions. These trees can tolerate partial shade, but they prefer full sun. Your planting site should provide good air circulation, but also adequate protection from high winds.

The tree is capable of growing in USDA zones 6 through 9a, but it is not very hardy in dry, cooler climates. (North Georgia is in Zone 7.) Warm to hot summers that supply plenty of moisture —coupled with cool winters— will suit this lovely tree best. 

Tree Care

Thanks to its adaptability to the climate and beautiful form, this is an outstanding tree for Southern gardens. Just take note of drought potential in your area, and supply steady watering all year. 

In early spring, fertilize with one pound of a slow-release 8-8-8 fertilizer for every inch of trunk diameter. Broadcast the fertilizer under the tree canopy just past the drip line.

Pruning is generally not required for the Japanese Cedar unless you must remove shoot dieback. Unlike many evergreens, this one fills in well after it’s properly trimmed.

Signs of Distress

Mites can infest foliage, leaving mottled needles that turn yellow and then bronze. Severe infestations can end in twig or branch dieback. Foliage burn is also a potential problem in the winter, when evergreens lose water more quickly than it is replaced. In these cases, the best cure is to prune dead branches and await regrowth.  

If the tree remains too damp, it can also suffer from leaf mold and leaf spots. To avoid this possibility, plant these trees where they have an occasional breeze.

In its native home of Japan, this majestic tree has lived for as many as 650 years. To keep your own specimen maintained for this kind of longevity, contact us online or call (404) 252-6448.