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Choosing the Right Plants for Your Yard: An Interview with Bryan Dumas of Elite Landscapes

By Bryan Dumas

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We offer full landscape maintenance, planting and design, and small construction.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that people can make when they're choosing which plants, shrubs and trees to plant on their property?

They don't research how large particular plants and shrubs grow, resulting in overcrowding down the road. Shrubs eventually growing against houses, growing into each other, etc. They plant sun/shade in the opposite elements and wonder why they are unhealthy.

What about some basic guidelines for choosing the right plants for the amount of shade/sun in a specific area of your yard?

Nurseries list exactly how much sun/shade time each planting requires and the maximum growth size of each planting. Its just a matter of reading the tags.

What should people do when they're planting young shrubs or trees?

As long as the soil is decent just make sure the hole is not deeper than the rootball and two times the width.Pack soil well to ensure there aren't air pockets. Then water daily for 2-3 weeks.

Do you have any tips for homeowners who really want to use a plant that isn't native to the area and has different ideal growing conditions (for example, a plumeria tree in a non-tropical area)?

Typically its not a great idea unless you're willing to give them a lot of extra TLC during the cold season. Covering them up to protect them from cold winds is a must! I've only seen two customers over a 20-year period pull off having tropical plants or trees in our climate.

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