Beware the hot summer month of February.

A few tips for these hot summer days. Keep your Maples under shade to avoid burning of leaves by heat and wind. Immersing pots in water on a regular basis helps keep plants in good condition. When watering on hot windy days, mist all foliage and surrounding area of trees to create a humid condition. Don’t forget water pots thoroughly. I have even had Junipers that have suffered from burning of the foliage tips in the unusually hot weather we have experienced, one in particular was close to a brick wall and I suspect it suffered more because of the reflected heat off the wall.

There is still time to defoliate or repot figs, whilst larger leaves can be removed from most trees on a continual basis. Pinch out growth tips on such trees as Japanese Maples to promote back budding and thus ramification, any burnt leaves can be removed and it is also an opportunity to partially defoliate to allow new leaves to develop, but don’t leave it too late in Summer and be sure to protect your tree afterwards.

Black Pine branches which have matured since forming in the Spring may be cut back by half to encourage more compact budding. Do not cut back where there are no needles.

Stand Wisteria in dishes of water as this will promote flower development and root growth.

Keep up your established fertilising programme all through the summer, but do not fertilise in extremely hot weather. Remember, with extra watering fertilisers will leach through the soil at a faster rate than usual.

Hold caterpillars at bay with suitable recommended sprays and be careful of your Azaleas which can be damaged by Lace Bugs

Paint jins and shari with lime sulphur, but avoid touching living parts of the tree, soil or the pot.

Be careful with any wiring on your trees as it can cut in very quickly in a strong growth period as we have just experienced.

Pruning to shape can continue through Summer but remember to leave Winter and Spring flowering plants such as Crab Apples and Azaleas to grow as pruning will remove the flowering wood of the tree.