Gardening Q and A

Good example of tree healing a wound

Q: A few years ago my neighbor hit this tree with his car. He covered the damaged spot with tar and we thought everything was fine until a few days ago when I noticed a patch of raised bark on...

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Bradford pear pruned severely

Q: Recently our Bradford pear tree was pruned to this extreme. Will it still grow and bloom? A: Bradford pear is a tough tree to kill so your tree will probably recover. The person who did the pruning thought this...

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Nice use of English ivy in a landscape

Q: I have been working on my yard for twenty years and have gone through a lot of trial and error. It is hilly and wooded and shaded. I’ve always had ivy for ground cover and have settled with azaleas,...

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Split trunk on mango

Q: I have a mango tree that I started growing from a seed in a pot twelve years ago. I’m very worried that I might be losing it. The trunk has been drying out. Is there a way to save...

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How to protect a stump carving

Q: A stump carver made this statue out of the stump of a water oak that we removed in November in our back yard. In spring, branches started to grow. A: Water oak has many shallow buds under the bark,...

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Coneflower rosette mite identification

Q: Why are there not any petals on my coneflowers? The plant right next to it is beautiful, full of cones with petals. A: You have coneflower rosette mite. Here are the typical symptoms: > cone has tufts, flower petals,...

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Oakleaf hydrangea has two colors of green leaf

Q: What are your thoughts about these unusual leaves? A: Wow, neat pictures! This is called a chimera. Basically, the bud that produced one of these leaves had a mutation in its cells, causing some of those cells to grow...

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Blood lily Seeds and Propagation

Q: Could you tell me what the red pods or fruit are on my blood lilies? A: These are the seedpods of the lily, whose Latin name is Scadoxus multiflorus or Haemanthus multiflorus. When the red pods begin to crinkle...

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Are brown limbs always sure death for Leyland cypress?

Q: We came back to our home this fall to see our 25-year-old Leyland Cypress & 10-year-old Sky Pencil holly dying. Any idea as to cause? Any hope? A: They both look like they were damaged by dry weather. Leyland...

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Tomato leaf miner control

Q: What is this on my tomato leaf? A: It’s the trail left by a tomato leaf miner. Leaf miner adults are small, black and yellow flies. Eggs are inserted in leaves and the resulting larvae feed between leaf surfaces,...

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Should I Cut My Lenten Roses Back

Q: We have lots of very healthy Lenten roses and autumn ferns. My husband wants to cut off all the leaves and fronds from the plants. I think they look great just the way they are. Is there any reason...

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Should I Shred My Leaf Pile

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot. I take the fallen leaves off my grass and move them into an area with mature oak trees. The piles are four feet high when I’m finished. Is it better to leave the...

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Wood Chips As Mulch

Q: I am having some trees removed and would like to have them chipped up and spread around my plants and flower beds. Is this a good idea?  A: Arborist wood chips are an excellent landscape mulch! Unlike other mulch...

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Vines To Stop Erosion

Q: I have a vertical red clay bank that is several feet high and twenty feet long. Is there any vine I can plant at the top or bottom to stop erosion?  A: I would compare English ivy, Confederate jasmine,...

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When To First Prune My Peach Tree

Q: How soon after planting can a peach tree be given its first pruning to develop the wine glass shape desired?  A: The first pruning is usually done a few minutes after the tree is planted. Many growers cut the...

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Should I Get A Backyard Greenhouse?

Q: I am considering getting a small backyard greenhouse but I am concerned about it getting too hot.  A: A greenhouse is fun to have but sometimes you have to learn by experience what it takes to cool and heat...

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Why Are My Peace Lilies Dying?

Q: Many leaves on my 20-year-old peace lily are turning brown. I repotted it ten years ago. It stays in the window of a cool room and I water it once every other week. How do I make it healthier? ...

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Should I Prune My Peach Tree Early?

Q: We have been waiting for the right time to prune our peach tree and I know you recommend March for that. However we just noticed that they seem like they will bloom very soon. Should we still wait until...

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