Category Archives: Trees & Shrubs

Shade Trees

by Kathy Torres

There’s a great old jazz song titled Up a Lazy River, written in 1930. It has been recorded by many artists over the years, from Hoagy Carmichael, Louis Prima, the Mills Brothers, to more modern day singers like Bobby Darin and Michael Buble. The lyrics are timeless and invoke feelings of a sultry, summer afternoon, and a cool place to slow down and escape.

bar of music

Up a lazy river by the old mill run.
The lazy, lazy river in the noon day sun.
Linger in the shade of a kind old tree.
Throw away your troubles.
Dream a dream with me.

While most of us, unfortunately, don’t have a river in our back yard, a kind old shade tree is a definite possibility! During this time of year in South Carolina when the summer heat is at its peak, we are struggling to even go outside and water the plants, and can certainly use some relief. An early morning cup of coffee or a late afternoon glass of iced tea under a beautiful, wide canopy of shade is just the ticket to escape the heat, and maybe even slow down a bit.

There are lots of options for shade trees that do well here, and some that grow pretty fast. With fall approaching, it’s time to begin thinking about what you may want to plant. Fall is the ABSOLUTE BEST time for planting trees and shrubs and here’s why: (1) It’s about to get cooler which means less watering will be necessary because the ground doesn’t dry out so fast, AND, the plants are not so stressed. In addition, rain is typically more abundant, another way we get a break from watering. (2) Because the winter is fairly mild here and the ground doesn’t freeze, plants can get rooted in, even though they are dormant and not producing new growth above ground. Establishing the root system will increase chances of good growth in the following spring and summer. (3) Disease and pests are not an issue, for the most part.

Following is a list of trees that will grow big enough to provide significant shade for you to enjoy any time, but especially in the hot, hot, summer. It will take a few years to get there, but the wait is worthwhile!

WILLOW OAK – I’m starting with this one because it is my personal favorite for a very fast growing tree. Grows to 40-60 ft. tall with a 35 ft. spread; Willow-like leaves; Deciduous (drops leaves in winter); Grows in a pyramid shape in its youth, then an oblong-oval to rounded shape at maturity. Foliage is light to bright green in summer and yellow, yellow-brown and russet in fall; Tolerates poorly drained soil.

willow oak shade trees

LIVE OAK – Mature size is 40-80 ft. tall with an 80 ft. spread; Round shape; Evergreen, however some yellow leaves will drop in spring as new growth emerges; Grows rapidly when young and may live to be centuries old; Adapts to almost any soil; Does well in coastal areas; Historical significance CLICK HERE.

live oak shade trees

PIN OAK – Mature Size is 40-60 ft. tall by 35-40 ft. wide; Fast-growing; Deciduous (drops leaves in winter); Pyramid shaped growth habit. Foliage displays scarlet to russet fall color.

pin oak shade trees

RED MAPLE OCTOBER GLORY – Mature size is 40-50 ft. tall by 30-40 ft. wide; Moderate to fast growth rate; Deciduous; Round shape; Tiny, conspicuous red flowers bloom in spring; Showy red fruit attracts many birds and other wildlife; Radiant red leaves in fall.

red maple october glory shade trees

RED MAPLE AUTUMN BLAZE – Fast growing; reaches 50-60 ft. tall by 40 ft. wide; Deciduous; Brilliant, long lasting, orange-red fall color; Upright, uniform branching habit.

red maple autumn blaze shade trees

SUGAR MAPLE – Grows to 60-75 ft. tall with a 40-50 ft. spread; Medium to dark-green leaves turning yellow, burnt orange or red in fall; Deciduous; Slow to medium growth rate; Tolerates shade; Produces small, greenish-yellow flowers in groups that curve downward on long, delicate stems, blooming in April and May; Round or oval shape.

sugar maple trees

PRINCETON AMERICAN ELM – Fast-growing; Deciduous; Upright, symmetrical growth habit; Good resistance to the Dutch elm disease, which has been a problem for the American Elm; Height 50-70 ft. by 30-50 ft. wide; Inconspicuous blooms in spring; Yellow foliage in fall.

princeton american elm

SYCAMORE – One species and one hybrid common in SC are American planetree and London planetree; Massive tree that grows 70-100 ft. tall with a similar spread; Deciduous; Pyramid form in youth, developing a spreading, rounded crown with age; Moderate growth rate; Handsome exfoliating bark; Yellow-brown fall foliage; 1-inch fruit hangs from the tree on long stalks through most of the winter.

sycamore tree

TULIP POPLAR – Mature height is 70-130 ft. by 30-60 ft. wide; Fast-growing; Deciduous; Tulip-like, fragrant yellow flowers with green to yellow petals and reddish-orange bands appear in spring to early summer (after foliage appears); Supports pollinators and is a larval host plant; Yellow to gold fall foliage.

tulip poplar

Several of these trees require a large piece of property and may not be suitable for your landscape. Always make sure you make selections based on the mature size of the tree and the space you have available. All of these trees need a minimum of 6 hours of sun, but can handle full sun all day. In the first year or two, especially during periods of drought, use a Tree Gator (available at Wingard’s) to keep it watered adequately.

Another trick is to use a 5 gallon bucket with a small hole in the bottom; fill it with water, place it over the root ball and let it slowly leach into the soil. If you plant this fall, wait until next year to fertilize.

The trucks will soon be coming in at Wingard’s to stock up the inventory of trees for fall planting. If you have the space in your landscape, think about planting one of these large trees that will offer a shady resting spot for you and your family in the years to come.

Now…if you’ve never heard the song, check it out HERE.

There’s Always Something Blooming at Wingard’s!

Getting Started Growing Fruit

by Kathy Torres

Peaches have been grown in South Carolina since the 1860s and are designated as the official State Fruit.   SC peach farmers grow over thirty varieties, ranking second in the United States (behind California) in production.  Other than the occasional late frost and freeze that may occur, a peach tree is a good bet for your landscape, and there is nothing better than a ripe, juicy peach on a hot summer day.  In addition to peach trees, many other fruiting plants and trees will flourish here in the midlands.  You can enjoy beautiful, often fragrant, spring blooms, and fresh, delicious fruit from your own yard. Dwarf varieties even make it possible to harvest from a container on your patio!

There are a few basics you should be aware of if you are considering fruiting plants and trees…

POLLINATION:  Most strawberry, raspberry, grape, blackberry, peach, nectarine, sour cherry and apricot varieties are self-fruitful, which means they do not need a pollinator.   Generally, blueberries, pears, apples, plums and sweet cherries must have a different variety planted nearby to cross-pollinate and ensure a good harvest.  Most citrus are self-pollinating (except tangerines). For more pollination information, check out the charts provided HERE.

CHILL HOURS are the minimum hours below 45 degrees F that a plant is exposed to during dormancy. Reaching the needed chill hours sets off the plant’s internal alarm clock to wake up in the spring instead of summer or fall, so that it can take advantage of the warm weather to blossom, set fruit, and finish the seed cycle before the coming of another winter’s nap. A fruit tree may grow well where winters are mild, but if there are not enough chill hours over the course of winter, the tree will not fruit properly. Some fruit trees need as few as 100 chill hours, others need as many as 1,000 chill hours or more. Average chill hours for Lexington are 370-490 according to


  • Peach scab is a fungus that attacks twigs, leaves and fruit of peaches, nectarines and apricots. Proper pruning that allows good air flow into the tree helps to prevent and manage the disease. The second step is application of fungicide sprays, from the time petals fall until about a month before harvest.
  • Fire Blight is a bacterial disease that attacks apple, crabapple and pear trees. It’s best known for making leaves look like they’ve been burned. Treatment includes planting a resistant variety, avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers, and gathering and destroying fallen fruit, leaves and twigs. Copper and antibiotic sprays can also help control the disease.
  • Suckers are stems that grow from the root system and steal nutrients from the main stems and branches. To remove suckers, dig down to find the origin, and cut it cleanly. Clip a sucker at soil level, and next year two or more stems will appear at that same location.
  • Codling Moth, Aphids, Borers are three common pests that create problems for fruit trees. Treatment is necessary immediately to minimize the damage to tree and fruit.

The absolute best way to avoid issues with disease and pests is a preventive plan.  Ask for Wingard’s Fruit Tree Care plan on your next visit and get ahead of potential problems. 

TRAINING and PRUNING: Untrained and unpruned trees become entangled masses of shoots and branches that produce little or no fruit and harbor insects and diseases. Light pruning can be done throughout the growing season to remove broken, injured or diseased branches and to improve air circulation to control diseases. Major removal of twigs and branches should be done during the dormant season, before active growth begins in the spring.  Clemson has a great Factsheet on training and pruning apple and pear trees HERE.   

FERTILIZING: Spring is the best time for fertilizing fruit trees because spring is when trees need plenty of energy to push out new leaves and nurture baby fruit. Feed the trees before they break from dormancy, during bud-break, or during the growing season.  If it’s July or August already – you’re too late – wait for next spring.  It’s always a good idea to test the soil every 2 or 3 years to ensure the pH is right.

This blog is entitled Getting Started Growing Fruit because we have “touched” on some basics. There is really a lot to learn to be successful growing fruit, so continue to research and dive in to the subject.  Check out Wingard’s blog on Growing Citrus in South Carolina HERE and these Clemson fact sheets that may be of interest:

Peach Diseases | Home & Garden Information Center (

Fig | Home & Garden Information Center (

Blueberry | Home & Garden Information Center (

Pomegranate | Home & Garden Information Center (

Growing Strawberries | Home & Garden Information Center (

Muscadine Grape | Home & Garden Information Center (

Of course, the first order of business is to decide which fruits you love to eat and take it from there!

There’s Always Something Blooming at Wingard’s!

Pruning Crape Myrtles

Call the Police! A MURDER has been committed…CRAPE MURDER, that is! You’ve seen them around town, with the huge knots and multiple shoots becoming a mass on each branch. Don’t let your beautiful Crape Myrtle be a victim of this pruning crime. The natural shape of these southern landscape specimens, when pruned improperly, is lost!

When you are pruning most trees and bushes, a system of branching like the diagram to the right should be created. From each cut, 2 new branches will sprout. Your goal is to shape your Crape Myrtle, to help it grow naturally, and guess what? When it has reached its mature size…YOU DON’T HAVE TO PRUNE IT ANY MORE.

A critical mistake that is very often made is purchasing a Crape Myrtle that will grow bigger than the space provided. Then, it becomes necessary to prune it every year to keep it within it’s space limitations. This is a problem and ultimately leads to CRAPE MURDER!

The most important fact you need to know when selecting a Crape Myrtle is the mature size. There are many varieties… Dwarf (2-3 ft.), Small (8-10 ft.), Medium (15-20 ft.), and Large (25-30 ft.). Rule #1- Plant one that will fit in your space and be allowed to grow to it’s mature size.

Important Tips to Follow:

  • Prune in late January or February when plants are dormant (asleep, not producing new growth).
  • Never make a cut in the same spot you cut the previous year. You will end up with knuckles and this is the beginning of the destruction of a natural looking Crape Myrtle.
  • Take out any dead branches, or branches that are crossing over too close to others.
  • Remove suckers growing from the base of the tree. Try Bonide Sucker Punch to make this task easier… available in Wingard’s Plant Pharmacy.
  • Remove suckers from existing branches as needed to prevent too much density. Sun and air flow are important to promote healthy foliage and prevent disease.
  • Use GOOD, CLEAN, SHARP clippers. Check out the pruning tools in Wingard’s Gift Shoppe and find exactly what you need!

Click here for a video to learn how to properly trim Crape Myrtle Trees in your yard. There’s a popular slogan that refers to the improper trimming of Crape Myrtles known as “Crape Murder.” Don’t be Crape Murderers.

There’s always something blooming at Wingard’s!

Care of Christmas Greens

Fresh cut greens – pine boughs, holly sprigs, mistletoe, magnolia leaves, juniper, etc. – are wonderful for winter and holiday décor, both indoors and out. Extend the life and enjoyment of your fresh greens by following these easy steps:

  • SOAK – Immerse greens in cold water overnight or up to 24 hours. The needles will soak up moisture to stay plump and firm. A good location for accomplishing this task is in a utility sink or bath tub, but be sure the water won’t freeze while the greens are soaking. Use only fresh, plain water without any additives or chemicals.
  • DRY – Allow greens to drip dry for an hour or so in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. This will remove excess water from the branch ends so they do not leak.
  • SPRAY – If desired, spray Wilt-Pruf, an anti-transpirant, on greens when they are finished dripping. This will seal moisture into the needles extending the life of your greens.  Note that this product may change the color of blue-colored cut greens like Carolina Sapphire or Blue Juniper. Test the spray on an inconspicuous area first to be sure you don’t mind any changes.
  • DRY – Allow the greens to dry thoroughly after spraying and before decorating and hanging or arranging. This will be sure there are no water spots on any of your bows, accent pieces or ornaments that are part of your fresh arrangements.
  • COOL – Keep greens in as cool a location as possible, out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source, including heating vents, ceiling fans and air ducts. Moving arrangements of fresh greens onto a cool porch or into a garage each night can help extend their vibrancy.
  • BUNDLE – Arrange your fresh greens in dense bundles and bunches, either as wreaths, vase arrangements or swags. As a group, they will help keep each other fresh with slightly higher humidity between each green.
  • CLEAN – Keep fresh greens crisp and clean through the holiday season by dusting them lightly. Use only a clean, lint-free cloth without any sprays or chemicals. This will remove dust that may dim the arrangements, but chemicals could damage the greens or change their colors. Do not brush the greens so harshly that you may damage or dislodge their needles, foliage or berries.

With proper care, your fresh cut greens can be stunning holiday decorations for several days or weeks, bringing a touch of nature into your home even when the world outside is cold and dreary.

How to Spot Cold Weather Damage on Your Plants

cold weather damage

Are your outside plants looking a little sad? 

Don’t give up hope on them just yet!  We have a list of tips and ideas to guide you through taking care of those plants that have been damaged by the cold snap we’ve experienced.  Typically, temperatures falling below freezing will quickly damage or even kill many types of plants. However, with prompt care, many of these cold damaged plants can be rescued.

Here in the Midlands, the January cold snap, especially following the warm November and December have affected plants that are generally cold hardy. 

tree and shrucb foodTake a walk through your yard and look for these signs on your camellias, tea olives, hollies, and podocarpus: 

  • If leaves that are typically green in the winter have turned brown, resist the temptation to “fix” them.  Don’t do anything right now. 
  • Wait until the weather warms up and then fertilize after April 1 with a general tree and shrub fertilizer. 
  • Wait until after new growth appears to prune away dead branches.
  • Camellia buds may drop without opening into full flowers.  There is nothing you can do about that.  Next year protect your camellias with a blanket and Christmas tree lights if you want to preserve the buds during a hard freeze.

Sometimes plants such as azaleas, pittosporum, hollies, gardenias, and mimosa trees won’t make their damage seen until the heat kicks in about June.  

  • If you see branches beginning to yellow and die out this summer, look closely at the bark on the dying branches.  If you see that the bark has split, this is due to the sap freezing in January. 
  • When the plant tries to function in the summer, it can’t get enough water and nutrients up its stems, so it dies back. 
  • If the affected areas are just some of the limbs, you can cut out the dead material and let the plant recover.
  • If the primary trunk is affected, the plant may not survive.

Plants that are rated Zone 8 & higher such as lomandra breeze grass, oleander, bottle brush, lantana, and angel trumpets may have been severely damaged during the January freeze.

  • Fertilize with a general tree and shrub fertilizer after April 1. 
  • Wait until the weather warms up and look for new growth pushing out.  If you get new growth, the plant survived. 
  • Cut back dead plant material and wait for the plant to recover through the summer. 
  • If you don’t see new growth by June, dig it up, throw it away and plant a new one. 

palm tree food Sago Palms

  • If the cold got to your Zone 8+ Sago Palms, they may look particularly dead and unattractive right now.  Don’t do anything. 
  • Fertilize with a palm tree fertilizer after April 1.  We recommend Carl Pool Palm Food. Or if you have had problems with scale on your Palms in the past, use Fertilome Palm Tree Food with Systemic Insecticide.
  • New growth will appear out of the center of the palm in late May early June. 
  • Wait until after the new growth appears before you cut off the brown fronds.

How much cold will kill a plant is not an easy question to answer. Be sure to look up the cold hardiness for the plant in question before leaving the plant outside. Some plants can survive sub-freezing temperatures for months while others cannot take temperatures below 50 F. (10 C.) for more than a few hours.

palm tree food 8-6-6

Here in the Midlands, we are rated zone 8a.  The average extreme minimum temperature for zone 8a is 10-15 degrees.  Coastal SC is rated zone 8b.  The average extreme minimum temperature for zone 8b is 15-20 degrees.  If a plant is rated hardy for Zone 8-10, it should survive temperatures that fall as low as 10 degrees. However, we have found that some zone 8 plants are hardy to zone 8b but less so for 8a.  In other words, they will survive 15-20 degree temps, but not less than 15-degree temps.  Also, we have found that a plant might survive one night of 14-degree temp, but several nights in a row will do it in.  Also, remember that if a plant is rated hardy for zones 8-10, it likes warmer weather since zone 10 is South Florida.  Zone 8 is its northernmost border of survivability.  So, a zone 8-10 plant would be potentially more susceptible to extreme cold than would a zone 7-9 plant.

While saving frozen plants is possible, freeze damage to plant tissue and other cold injuries can often be prevented. When frost or freezing conditions are expected, you can protect tender plants by covering them with sheets, burlap sacks, or “frost cloth.” These should be removed once the sun returns the following morning. It’s vital as a gardener you watch the weather forecast and protect your plants when needed.


Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offering professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Embrace the Shade in your SC Garden

Shade Gardening Made Easy

shade gardening

Unless you’ve lived in the Midlands in July and August there’s no way to describe “hot” other than blistering, all day, bake in the sun heat! As South Carolinians, we’re always on the lookout for a lush, shady hideaway in our gardens. Here at Wingard’s Market, we want to help you make your shade garden the ideal spot to retreat from the hot summer sun.

For many gardener’s shade can be a challenge and while some plants do well in low light, there are many plants to choose from that thrive in shady conditions. The key is to figure out which plants will adapt well to the light level of your landscape.

Over time your gardens will change. Trees and shrubs will mature, water condition and air circulation will change, and hardscape elements will be added. The first factor before choosing your arsenal of shade loving plants it to figure out what degree of shade your garden will have. From there you can go about choosing your favorite shade loving plants.

Classify your level of shade:

  • Morning Shade, Afternoon Sun – This is NOT considered shade!  If this is the only shade you have in your garden, stop reading.  Nothing here applies to you.
  • Morning Sun, Afternoon Shade – An area in your garden that the sun is blocked for much of the day, mainly between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 m. Typically found in established gardens where mature trees block out the sun all but for a very short period of time early or late in the day. North facing exposure can generally be classified as partial shade.
  • Filtered Sun – The sun makes its way through tree limbs for most of the day providing “dappled” light on the ground. The plants that grow in this environment are basically the same as the ones that grow in Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade.
  • Full Shade – An area that is under shade all day with little or no direct sunlight. Typically found in thick tree canopies or in dense trees. Other areas may be under stairways, decks or covered patios positioned on the north side of your home.
    • There are some plants, in our experience, which really do best in full shade. Cast Iron, Edgeworthia, Hosta, Ferns, Aucuba, and Fatsia.  Other shade plants will be fine in full shade, but those listed here actually NEED it.

For a complete list of shade loving annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees click here.

Be aware that your light patterns will change with the change of seasons.  Sections of your garden may be in full sun in the winter and in full shade in the summer.  The amount of shade an area gets in the summer is most important in choosing your plants.  Shade plants will generally tolerate full sun in the winter.   Keep a watchful eye on your garden throughout the year as trees, and shrubs mature and your landscape changes.  

As you plan your shade garden keep these few factors in mind:

  • Shaded areas usually lack adequate moisture as the rain is blocked by a canopy of trees, and tree roots absorb most of the water. Shade gardens need regular watering even during rainy periods. For shrubs and trees, a drip system is recommended.
  • The more sun a shade plant gets, the more water it needs.
  • In South Carolina, warm climate shade plants can grow actively all year round so they must be fed a complete fertilizer in early spring and summer.
  • To keep your garden growing for many years, remove low-hanging branches from trees that tend to keep your gardens hidden from view and prevent adequate air flow.
  • If the lack of water is an issue, turn to raised beds or pottery to keep tree roots from stealing all the
  • Most shade plants want some sun (morning or filtered). Flowering plants, especially, need some sun in order to produce flowers.

While summer is now upon us, turn to your shade loving areas to escape the scorching summer sun and enjoy the lush green plants that thrive in our area. Once you’ve discovered all the shade loving beautiful annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs suitable for shade gardening you may never want to fight the sun again.

Stop in and see us and take advantage of the native shade-loving plants we currently have in stock:

  • Trees: Dogwood, Redbud
  • Shrubs: Anise, Coastal Native Azalea, Carolina Allspice, Oakleaf & Annabelle Hydrangeas, Leucothoe
  • Ferns: Cinnamon, Christmas, Ostrich
  • Perennials: Cranesbill Geranium, Heuchera, Columbine


Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Best Time to Plant a Tree

A tree planted in the fall has a better-established root system by spring

The cooler temperatures of Fall make it the best time to plant a tree in the Southeast. The mild Fall and Winter weather of South Carolina allow the roots, from fall-planted trees to establish before Spring. Because the tops of the trees are dormant during the colder months, all their growing energy is sent towards root growth. When Spring does arrive the expanded healthy root system can support and handle a full surge of spring growth.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

When buying trees for your landscape look for healthy well-grown trees. Read the plant specifications tag included in the pot before making your purchase.

Ask yourself these questions before making your purchase:

  • Where are you going to plant your tree?
  • How big will it be at maturity?
  • Will it grow better in sun or shade?
  • Are you planting it for shade, privacy or as a screen?
  • What type of soil will it be planted in? Clay or Sand?
  • Does it need a moist or dry location?

Now that you have determined placement and soil conditions, it is time to plant your tree.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plant your trees.

  1. At least 3-4 business days before you begin, and to avoid cutting any underground wire or pipes, call PUPS (Palmetto Utility Protection Services) to request that they mark any underground lines. This is a free service – Call 811.
  2. Match the tree with the site. Keep in mind the mature size of the plant, moisture in the soil, and sun requirements. It is especially critical that you know where the afternoon sun shines directly on your landscape during the summer months. Consider areas of your landscape that receive the afternoon sun in the summer to be “full sun” areas, even if they are shaded in the morning.   “Shade plants” need afternoon shade in the summer. Most trees can take full sun. We recommend Japanese Maples and Dogwoods be planted in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Redbuds and Magnolias may be planted in sun or shade.
  3. Dig the planting hole roughly 2 times wider than the diameter of the root ball. Measure from the topmost root to the base of the root ball to determine its height. In sandy soil, dig no deeper or slightly less than the height of the root ball. In clay soil, dig 3 to 4 inches deeper than the root ball and backfill the bottom of the hole with a mixture of soil conditioner and clay. The hole should be bowl-shaped with the sides sloped. Save the soil to mix with amendment and pack around root ball after planting.
  4. espoma biotoneClay Soil: If your soil type is clay, amend the soil dug from the hole by mixing with an equal amount of Wingard’s Lake Murray Soil Conditioner to promote drainage and aeration.
    Add Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to maximize root growth.
  5. Sandy Soil: If the soil type is sand, amend the soil dug from the hole by mixing with an equal amount of Wingard’s Lake Murray Premium Potting Mix to provide nutrients and hold moisture.
    Add Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to maximize root growth.
  6. For container grown trees, score or cut the sides of the root ball in 3 or 4 places, from top to bottom, about 1 inch deep to encourage roots to grow outward.
  7. For “ball and burlap” trees, remove any twine or strapping after placing in the hole, but do not remove burlap or wire basket. If there is a wire basket around the root ball, push wire below ground level or cut top 3 inches off. Do not break up the root ball.
  8. Place the tree in the hole so that the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the surrounding soil level. Backfill amended soil removed from the hole. Tamp soil around plant firmly, and cover exposed roots above ground.  The worst mistake is to plant too deep.
  9. Create a one-to-two-inch berm of soil around the edge of the planting hole to hold water. Fill the “saucer” with water once or twice.
  10. Mulch the root ball surface and planting area. Use 3 to 4 inches of organic material. Keep the mulch 1 or 2 inches away from the trunk. The width of the mulched area should be the same as the width of the tree branches
  11. During the first two weeks, check soil moisture level daily by digging down 6 inches to see if the soil is moist below ground level. Water thoroughly if the soil is dry; be sure water is getting down through the soil to the roots of the plant. Clay soil needs proper drainage; sandy soil dries out quickly. Generally, water once a week in Winter, and continue to water a newly planted tree through Spring and Summer for one year. However, remember watering frequency depends on many factors like rainfall, temperature, and soil type. Check the underground soil moisture level frequently, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Keep in mind that lawn sprinkler systems are designed for grass roots, which are 3 to 4 inches deep. Trees and shrubs have roots that are 1 ft. deep or more, and need more water than a lawn sprinkler can provide.
  12. Fertilize appropriately. When planting a tree add Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to the soil to maximize root growth. Fertilize after the first year and annually thereafter with a tree and shrub fertilizer (19-8-10). The best time to apply fertilizer is in the early Spring.
  13. Disease and Insect Infestations. If you suspect a problem with insects or fungus, clip off a leaf or small branch and bring it to the nursery. We will help you identify the problem and choose the right treatment.

We want you to be a successful gardener! Stop in and let our experienced gardeners help you choose the perfect tree to add value and beauty to your home.


Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091