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Neil-SperryEditor’s Note-These tips were prepared especially for Lentz Landscape Lighting by renowned Texas gardening expert Neil Sperry.

Winter Watering is Critical  

Your trees and shrubs need moisture during the winter, just as they do during the growing season. Plants’ roots grow during the cold weather, getting the trees and shrubs ready for the summer that’s sure to follow. It’s also well documented that plants suffer more freeze damage when they aren’t properly hydrated.

So while we’re all in a water-conservation mode right now, you’ll still want to protect your landscaping investment. If it’s been more than a couple of weeks since your lawn and landscape received significant rainfall or irrigation, you’d better activate the sprinklers.

The Importance of a Certified Arborist  

Beautiful shade trees are worth thousands of dollars in the resale value of a North Texas property. That’s why it’s ever so critical that we only let truly professional tree people work on our shade trees. After all, beautiful trees are important in getting the most from our landscape lighting.

The International Society of Arboriculture has a certification program that gives you a head start on finding a reputable tree expert. Look for an ISA Certified Arborist. Ask for references. Never respond to a “guy with a truck” who goes up and down the block knocking on doors. Improper pruning can ruin in minutes what it took nature decades to grow.

Take Time to Appreciate Trees’ Bark                                                                                                                                                                        

Winter is the time to admire the beauty you’ll find in North Texas trees’ trunks. Whether it’s the slick bark of crape myrtles or the craggy rough bark of bur oak trees –(or anything in between), bark sets trunks apart.

But bark doesn’t just sit around looking pretty. It’s also there to protect your trees from sunscald, borer invasion, mechanical injury from mowers and trimmers or the girdling done by rodents or pets. Don’t risk having the bark damaged or lost all the way around the trunk at any given level. When that happens, the root system will quickly use up its stored food reserves and the top growth will always be lost.

For more gardening tips, visit Neil Sperry’s website: