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Evergreens are useful in the landscape, retaining their foliage all year. These natural privacy screens do best in fertile, well-drained ground and prefer slightly acidic conditions-a soil with a pH level range of 5.8-6.8.

When planting evergreens, never allow the roots to dry out. Wrap them in newspaper to keep the roots moist while preparing planting holes. Dig the holes deep enough and wide enough to accommodate plant roots without crowding. Do not dig more than a day or two before planting as the soil will dry out. Once your new evergreen is positioned in the planting hole, fill the hole, then firm the soil with your hands. Water well and apply a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch, leaving 2 finger widths' of space between the mulch and the trunk to provide air circulation and prevent fungal disease. Provide some form of temporary shade, such as cedar shakes, to help keep the plant cool. This helps to prevent death from sun, the leading cause of young tree loss. Water well, 1-2 gallons every 2 days for 2 weeks, then once every 7-10 days. Prune juniper and cedar in summer, pine and spruce in May or June before new growth hardens.

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