Landscaping Tips

Prescription For Success

Prescriptive Fertilization

soiltesterAt Wiesner Bros. we believe that knowledge is a powerful tool.  The more information that you have on your landscape and garden, the better you understand the reason certain tasks are done. Fertilization of trees and shrubs is not the same as fertilization of your lawn or summer flowers, and yes too little or too much could be ineffective or fatal.  We must always look at the big picture and avoid getting tunnel-vision which could solve one problem and create many more. Prescriptive fertilization looks at all the reasons why we fertilize and adjust the prescription to watch the patient.  It is a holistic way to approach this important horticultural practice.

We believe in taking a few simple steps prior to fertilizing which could help you maximize the desired effects on your plants and in your garden:

1. The first step should always be a walk through your property and a visual inspection.  How did the plants look last year? Were there any unusual symptoms on the leaves, flowers, twigs, flowers or fruit? What looked good and what needed help?

2. Are you currently paying your lawn service to apply fertilizer and or pesticide?  If so, what are they using and how often?

3. Have you tested your soil lately? Not only are the chemical properties important for the macro and micro nutrients trees and shrubs need to thrive but how is your soil structure?  Does your soil drain well? It is a heavy clay soil or do you have sandy soil?  All this information is important for successful plant growth.

4. Do you have an irrigation system?  How often do you water?  Are your planting beds on separate zones from your lawn?  Once again too much water may cause more problems for your established trees and shrubs than too little. It is important to check the settings on your irrigation system and take note of dry or soggy spots in your yard.

5. A simple soil test will help you understand that the pH of the soil could vary in different parts of you yard (the vegetable garden, you perennial bed, your foundation planting or your shade trees could all have different requirements).  

Now that we have a big picture view let’s look at why we are fertilizing.

Trees and shrubs on Staten Island may need a little help from time tofertilizerpic time in the form of fertilization.


  • Native trees (large established trees) well adapted to our poor soils, should be fertilized once every 4 or 5 years. To do so more often usually isn't needed and can even be harmful.
  • Fertilization is also used to help make small trees grow faster. Newly planted trees in the landscape can be helped along by annual fertilization for a minimal price. In the nursery, most trees are fertilized frequently. Once planted in a yard and forgotten, most folks wonder why their trees stop growing. The answer is fertilizer.
  • The third use for fertilization is to replace a missing micro or macro nutrients in the soil. This is best accomplished with a soil test to determine the missing component(s). Wiesner Bros. sells simple soil test kits or we could sent it away to the lab for a more comprehensive analysis.  The proper balance of nutrients to get your trees into the best possible shape is the goal.
  • The fourth reason to fertilize is to help root damaged trees put on more roots. This often occurs around construction sites or with the replacement or installation of buried utilities. Fertilization with added root stimulants can often save root damaged trees when done properly.

DSCF0034Visit us at the nursery for help with prescriptive fertilization for your yard.  If you feel better about having one of our horticulturists or arborists make a site visit to evaluate your yard we could arrange this as well.

For more info on what's happening on Wiesner Brothers Nursery follow us on Facebook or join our Garden Forum Email list.

Tips to minimize snow damage to your upright evergreens

Upright evergreens can take a beating over the course of a winter such as the one we're experiencing this year.  There are some things you can do to minimize the long term damage. Proper preparation is best thing to do in situations such as this, but it's too late for that now, so let's concentrate on what can be done now.

First you should gently brush off the snow, by hand or with a broom if extra reach is needed, from what would be the upper braches.  Then gently clear the snow away from lower braches.  Doing this should provide you with some immediate results and in some minor cases may be all that is required.  In most cases additional steps will be required.

In addition to the previous steps you may need to tie up some branches.  If the branches needing to be tied are smaller in size we suggest using garden tape.  This item allows you to tie up and return the piece to a more natural form without the danger of "girdling" the branches.  Girdling, to any degree is not good and should be avoided at all costs.  Girdling is even more of a concern when dealing with larger branches.  If larger branches do require tying we suggest using Arbor Tie and not using a heavy gauge rope or metal wire of any kind.  

In more severe cases, you may find you need to tie the entire piece and possibly use one or more stakes to pull the piece back to its upright position. 

If your upright evergreens look anything like the ones pictured above, at least now you know all may not be lost, take some pictures and stop in today for some specific advice on your situation.





Hollies, Rhododendrons, and Laurels are just a few examples of broadleaf evergreens common to our area.  These plants help keep our landscapes looking beautiful year round. The dry winds of winter blow across these plants robbing them of their moisture and by winter's end they may have significant damage.  A little care can prevent a great deal of this damage. 

 Wiesner Brothers Nursery recommends making the application of an anti-transpirant spray, such as "Wilt Stop" a part of your regular winter landscape maintenance.  We feel this is especially important if any of your broadleaf evergreens are exposed to wind, planted in a container, have been freshly planted or transplanted or have sustained winter damage in the past.

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"Wilt Stop" is a natural nontoxic spray which covers your plants with a protective coating which holds moisture in the foliage. It is available in a ready to use spray bottle and for larger areas a mix and use concentrate. Stop in today to learn more and pick yours up.  




Getting your roses ready for winter

Leave the last blooms in the fall on the plant to form hips.  This will slow growth and help them go dormant.  Continue to spray with fungicide until the leaves drop.  Rake off and remove all leaves from the rose bed to prevent diseases from harboring over winter.  Do not compost these leaves, they may contain fungi.  Apply a dormant spray or oil to help get rid of diseases that might return in the spring.

Even during winter, your roses need water to keep them healthy and prevent them from drying out.  If there is no rain or snow for more than a few weeks, you should plan to water.

Roses do not need to be trimmed unless they are liable to be damaged by winter winds.  Cover the crown of the plant with a soil mound about six inches high, then cover the entire plant and soil mound with hay, straw or a commercial plant cover.

Roses in containers can stand temperatures down to 28 F without protection or covering.  If the temperature drops below this, move the containers into an unheated shelter.  Be sure they are not near a window where warm sunlight might start plants growing.  Water lightly enough so the soil doesn't dry out.  Don't fertilize during the winter.  When warm weather comes again put the containers outside and care for them as before.

Make your own portable garden

For those grid locked in hardscapes in need of some color to brighten up the cement, mother nature is here to help. One can build their own seasonal garden to brighten up even the dullest of areas. All that is needed is an ideal spot to showcase your creation and we can supply the rest. We can plant up as well as deliver or for the handy home owner we can just be used as a supplier. Our staff will be more than happy to aid you in your selection of plant material by giving the best advice we have. Make your own portable garden today and it will shorely give your guests something to talk about. For any questions please feel free to leave a reply below or leave a comment on our Facebook post.

Benefits of a shade tree

During the dogs days of summer a small fortune is often spent on trying to keep cool and get out of the heat. Why not save on those electricity bills and invest in a shade tree. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room size air- conditioners operating for 20 hours a day. This can reduce energy use in a home by as much as 30% and reduce surrounding air temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only will it help cool your house but it will make your yard bearable when the temperature is very high. Using a deciduous tree will also allow for the sun to pass through and warm the home during the winter since it drops its leafs. Pictured above is an October glory maple which, as its name suggests, boasts a gorgeous bright red fall color. A large growing maple with very dense foliage and a very strong root system to ensure the plant will stay upright in the worst of storms. The upfront cost of a large shade tree may be expensive but it has to be viewed as an investment. The money saved for the home owner during the trees lifetime will far outweigh the initial cost of planting the tree. Come to our nursery when you decide its time to start saving on your cooling bills and we will be more than happy in aiding you in the selection of a shade tree that best fits you. We carry an extensive selection from young to mature trees to accommodate all the different landscape needs. For any questions please feel free to leave a reply below or comment on our Facebook post.

Why Cedar Mulch?

Nothing quite adds the finishing touch to a landscape like cedar mulch. The visual benefits of this product are well known but few are educated on the total package of benefits cedar mulch provides. Cedar mulch is essential in a new landscape simply because it provides a natural weed barrier and aids greatly in water retention which is priority number one for a new landscape. Now there are numerous types of mulch out on the market today such as cypress mulch and hardwood mulch but we carry as well as recommend taking the cedar mulch route. Unlike hardwood mulch which attracts insects the cedar mulch will actually repel those pesky critters from your planting bed. In terms of longevity, cedar lasts longer than other types of mulch before it completely breaks down, saving you time and money. During the long winter months cedar mulch will provide a much needed barrier to insulate the plants roots and protect them from freezing. We currently stock red, black and brown cedar mulch simply because it is the best product around. Come and get your mulch today to add numerous benefits to your planting bed. For any questions please feel free to leave a reply below or a comment on our Facebook post.

Summer Blooms

Every one knows about spring blooms with the standard azalea but for a true display of color one needs a variety of plants with different bloom periods to ensure the perfect yard will always a focal point with a display of flowers. Being as most trees and shrubs bloom in the spring one should make it a priority to have a summer blooming plant. Some summer bloomers consist of the crepe myrtle, stewartia (shown above) and a southern magnolia. A stewartia is a very slow growing deciduous tree that is one of the last of the season to flower. A stewartia boasts stunning bark which exfoliates in strips of orange grey and reddish brown which gives it year round interest. An infrequent tree which will surely spark a conversation in your landscape. Also known for its "stunning" reddish orange fall color as quoted by our store manager Paul. For those who envy unusual trees with numerous visual benefits this is the plant for you. Come in today to add that missing component of summer color to your landscape and we will be more then happy to aid the plant selection process. For any questions please feel free to leave a reply below or a comment on our Facebook post.

It is time to consider a water feature for your landscape

Nothing quite completes a landscape on a hot summer day like trickling water. A water feature can add  visual benefits to your landscape like no other. An element of tranquility can be introduced with the soothing noise of running water. To create a peaceful area to get away from a hectic lifestyle and get closer to another one of natures wonderful elements come and check out our unique selection, which range from bird baths to fountains to customizable ponds.

How to fertilize your plants


View our quick tutorial on how to properly fertilize a plant:



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Wiesner Bros. Nursery Inc.
2402 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, New York 10314
Phone: 718-761-5141
Fax: 718-698-6294