Duneplants.org

Winter Season

 

Duneplants Landscape, Maintenance and Pruning


We are a East Hampton, New York based company that plants and maintains oceanfront properties in the mid fall thru the early springs months of the year.



Planting-

Plants growing on the dunes, in our opinion, are less susceptable to the continual salt and wind of the ocean when the plants are in or approaching dormancy. It is for this reason we do our work in the colder months. We have a greater percentage of survivability and increased growth in plants installed in dormancy versus ones in active growth.


Pruning-

In almost all cases trees and shrubs should be pruned while undergoing dormancy, this is especially relevant for dune plantings. Dessication, the prime cause of death for dune plants(along with salt immersion) is especially pronounced after a plant has sustained series of cuts which causes precious sap to escape. Plants pruned in dormancy heal quickly upon reemergence in the spring, do not have a leaf canopy to support  and benefit from the cultural advantage of winters cooler wet weather.

A successful planting forms a thick shield that protects the individual plants from salt and wind within and behind the mass planting, an exposed leafy limb will most often dessicate which provides little benefit to the larger plant community. Plants then should be pruned to form a sculpted windward face to form an effective salt and wind barrier. A sacrificial front line often results in this battle of the elements but it is the price to pay which allows the plants behind to survive.


Pruning can rejuvenate an older shrub allowing it to flower in greater abundance. Most commonly this occurs in the larger flowering shrubs as Viburnum and Spireas in which one third of the older stems are removed yearly. Flowers are produced in greater numbers on younger wood and proper pruning technique results in greater flower and berry production. Shrubs, as Rosa virginia, like to be pruned hard which causes them to sucker and spread profusely. We prune roses late to allow wildlife to feed on the persistent winter berries, an important food source in the starving time of late winter. Myrica can be left alone to form a majestic specimen, tipped back slightly to thicken the crown or cut back hard to take advantage of its suckering stoloniferous nature.

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