Still Planting…

Cotoneaster dammeri 'Coral Beauty'

HERE IT IS DECEMBER, and I thought I was done planting weeks ago. In mid-November, I put in two cotoneasters and four inkberries, in keeping with my new philosophy: skip the expensive, unsightly deer fence and plant only that which the deer won’t eat.

I always thought Thanksgiving was the very last possible date for planting, but apparently that’s not true here on the East End of Long Island, in balmy Zone 7.

It’s been mild, with no sign of frost, and the nurseries are still selling shrubs and trees at 50% off and guaranteeing them for a year — if they put them in, which I’m only too glad to have them do (my lower back is important to me).

Ilex glabra 'Shamrock'

So I’m not done yet.

Next week, I’m having three more shrubs/trees planted by Whitmores tree farm:

  • A Thuja ‘Green Giant,’ 8′ tall as we speak
  • A white pine, 6′ tall
  • My favorite, an Ilex crenata ‘Suspensum’ – a 4′ wide, perfectly round shrub resembling boxwood

I had to choose from what was left at this late date, so they’re all rather common and likely to get too big eventually (and they’re not entirely deer-resistant, either). But right now I’m anxious to get some evergreens in as a buffer between my house and the road. However quiet it is now compared to summer traffic levels, I still don’t want to see or hear motor vehicles of any sort if I can help it.

5 thoughts on “Still Planting…

  1. You guys spoiled with living in zone 7 need to feel the chill of a zone 5 b in the boonies of mid Michigan; Nancy and a friend planted 8 or 9 shrubs and rosebushes yesterday not because that is a good time to plant but because we ever got to the job. We have not had any really serious cold yet so by using the right sized hole, adding beneficial microbes, and mulching properly we are pretty sure all will pop happy next spring. We agree the Shamrocks are definite winners.
    In our blog today we published our latest column published in the Detroit News dealing with preventing winter damage of landscape trees.
    Jeff Ball

  2. hi Jeff, welcome! Thanks for your comment. I just had a large arborvitae and a white pine planted today, along with an ilex crenata, and the temperature is going into the 20s tonight. I strongly suspect this nursery of doing what you say: planting not because it is a good time to plant, but because this is when they could get to it. It’s almost two weeks since I bought the plants, but they’ve been very busy. Didn’t notice them adding any beneficial microbes or mulching well either. I don’t even have a hose hooked up any more so I brought out a few buckets of water, which they dumped. Oh well, they’re a reputable nursery, believe it or not, and the plants are guaranteed.

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