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October 28, 2017 5:13 am

‘Tis The Season For Tending Your Trees And Shrubs

Saturday, March 21, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

IMG_9598Prince George, BC – According to the calendar, we are officially into spring and the weather seems to agree! It’s time to start doing some of those early spring chores.

In the Prince George area, there are many areas where the snow is gone and trees and shrubs are beginning to show signs of life, which means that it is coming to that time of year for pruning many of the deciduous trees and shrubs.



Not all trees and shrubs should be pruned in early spring. Early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, lilac, purple leaf sandcherry, and double flowering cherry are pruned after they finish blooming. If they were to be pruned now, you would be removing many of the flowers.

Deciduous trees that are not pruned in early spring are Maples, Birch and Walnut as the sap is still running in these trees, and to prune them would seriously harm them. These are pruned in early July or early November/December. To make sure the sap is not running, cut a small branch first to check, before the full pruning.

If you are not sure about how or when to prune a tree or shrub, ask an expert first as you can do more harm than good by pruning the wrong way or wrong time. The next time you are in the garden centre pick up a ‘Lime Sulphur and Dormant oil’ kit. The lime sulphur and dormant oil is mixed together and then applied to deciduous trees and shrubs in the spring before the leaves break out. It will kill overwintering pests and disease. Make sure that you follow the directions given on the container before using any products. For Lime Sulphur and Dormant Oil to be effective, the temperatures must remain above freezing for a number of hours and the weather should be dry when it is applied to the trees and shrubs.

I’ve noticed that some of the bulbs and perennials are already showing signs of life. Plants, bulbs etc., that are planted under overhangs or near building foundations may need to be watered. These areas do not get a lot of moisture and tend to be dry. Get a watering can or the garden hose out, and moisten the soil in the dry areas.

This is a good time to clear the lawn of winter debris, sand, and rock. Use a garden rake to clean the area.

The tender summer flowering bulbs such as dahlias, stargazer lilies, hybrid lilies, canna lilies, calla lilies, packaged gladiolus, have arrived in the garden centre. They can be started indoors to give them a head start, and then later transplanted outdoors when the temperatures are warm (mid May) Plant the bulbs in peat pots using a good all purpose indoor soil. Peat pots are ideal for growing, because when it is time for transplanting, the plant and pot can be transplanted as a unit with very little damage or disturbance to the plants roots. 


Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George

  • Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
  • Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road (closed  for the season)


Too much snow in Telkwa to do anything yet to the garden.

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