Plant: Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils, grape hyacinths can all be planted any time in month. Plant chilled tulip, hyacinth bulbs late December. Pansies, pinks (dianthus), snapdragons and other cool-season annuals early in month. Living Christmas trees, including Arizona cypress, junipers, deodar cedar (South Texas) and, in East Texas, Virginia pine. Avoid types not adapted to your area. Texans have reported ongoing problems in recent years with Eldarica pines and Leyland cypress. Those two are no longer suggested in most situations. You could also use a pyramidal Oakland holly for an alternative to conifers. Choose only recommended varieties of fruit, pecan trees, grape vines, and plant late in month as nursery stock arrives. Transplant established trees, shrubs within landscape and from nature once they have been exposed to at least one hard freeze.
Prune: Shade trees as needed to maintain good shape, proper branching. Remove dead, damaged wood. Evergreens as needed -- prune carefully to maintain natural shape of plants. Remove mistletoe from tree limbs. Clip off new clumps and the small twigs on which they start. For mature clumps of the parasite, cut deeply enough into limb to remove all the mistletoe's roots. Remove heavily infested limbs entirely. There are no safe and effective chemical controls.
Fertillize: Spring-flowering annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer early in December. Houseplants with same plant food every 4 to 6 waterings.
On the Lookout: Spray broadleafed weeds with herbicide early in month to stop any further development. (See related story this issue of e-gardens.) Pick up and compost all fallen leaves, also twigs and other garden debris. Have soil test run by laboratory at Texas A&M to be ready for earliest spring plantings. Tender houseplant sprays as needed to eliminate pests from delicate foliage, flowering plants indoors.