How to maintain topiary trees

The art of shaping evergreen trees and shrubs into intricate forms, otherwise known as topiary, has taken the nation of green-fingered homeowners by storm. However, learning how to maintain these trees is an art within itself. If you’ve taken home one of our bestselling topiary trees from Olive Grove, the next step is finding out exactly how to care for your new green masterpiece. We’ve collated some of our best tips below.

How to plant topiaries

It’s important to plant any high hedges wide so they can get maximum root space. You also need to make sure your topiary has aerated soil to prevent waterlogging. Good compost, grit, and bark mulch will come in handy here.

How to water topiary trees

When it comes to watering your topiary, the best practice is to water regularly over the summer – but do just a light watering in the winter. Feed your plants with slow-release fertiliser granules once every time spring comes around.

When to clip topiaries

You should clip your topiary into shape once or twice a year. The best time to clip topiary is during the summer. Experts recommend starting after the frost season has come to an end and finishing before September starts. Since bright sunlight will scorch the leaves, it’s best to only cut topiary on days when it’s overcast.

The most efficient way to clip topiary is to trim first with power tools, then clean up with sharp sheers. You must sterilise your cutting equipment with an antibacterial spray to prevent the transfer of disease.

How to train topiary trees

Training growing topiary branches is an important part of looking after a topiary tree. We recommend using soft twine so it doesn’t cut into the wood. If you’re growing and training topiary in containers, make sure the pot is big enough and well-weighted to prevent falling over.

How to maintain topiaries

Look out for specific signs of disease; for example, yew is particularly affected by phytophthora root rot, while box hedges are susceptible to box blight and box suckers. If you’re dealing with neglected topiary, it’s best to hard prune the plant in early spring – then give it plenty of mulch and feed.

At Olive Grove, we’ve got the largest selection of olive trees in the UK, alongside a wide range of gorgeous topiary trees waiting for their new home.

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