Planting dwarf mugo pine in clay soil

Asked March 20, 2017, 6:20 PM EDT

I live in Lafayette where the soil is pretty heavily clay. I will be planting dwarf mugo pine bushes in soil that has already been amended, but should I also put about 5(?) inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole to improve drainage? Also, should the gravel include pea-sized gravel and sand so that the space in between does not fill in so easily with soil? Also, is there a way to protect the needles from turning yellow on the tips and to keep them a deep green?

Boulder County Colorado trees and shrubs

1 Response

When you plant make sure the hole is 3 times the size of the root ball because when tips turn yellow on the pines, it is a sign of bad planting practices or lack of water during the first few years as they are getting established. If you get yellowing in the middle of the branch that is normal and happens every other year. When planting you should amend the soil, compost is good, but not recommended to put both sand and pea gravel, you could put a small amount of pea gravel, but usually compost is enough for clay soils.