Gardening Q and A

River Birch – Trunks Catching and Holding Water

Q: Nineteen years ago I planted three Heritage river birch trees. They have multiple trunks. Two of them have a “crotch” between the trunks that fills with water when it rains. Will this ultimately lead to rot and the death...

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Boston Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – Identification

Q: Is this Boston ivy, poison ivy, or poison Boston ivy? Or maybe a freaked out Virginia creeper? A: Well, I can eliminate two of our four choices. It’s not poison ivy or poison Boston creeper. So is it Boston...

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Oak – Tiny Acorns

Q: About mid-June our mature white oak began dropping small acornlets on our deck.After some research I found the following at: Growing White Oaks From Seed The acorns of White oak are produced in one growing season, unlike the acorns...

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Boxwood Blight – Diagnosing

Q: We revamped our landscaping in the fall of 2008. We planted American boxwood on the south side of the house. As you can see, one is sick but the other boxwoods are doing great. A landscape company maintains them....

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Fertilizer – Burning Vegetable Seedling Roots

Q: We planted lettuce, cabbage, collards and cauliflower. We fertilized around the plants with 10-10-10 (teaspoon full for each plant). Many of the plants just wilted, and we don’t know why. A: One teaspoon of fertilizer for each plant sounds...

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Bats – Droppings on Siding

Q: My brother has a small cinder-block cabin in the Virginia mountains. There are two separate spatter marks just below the roof. The spatters appear on two sides of the cabin, and there are maybe 6 – 7 spatters on...

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Kudzu – Growing Indoors

Q: I live in Nevada and would like try growing kudzu as a indoor house plant. Do you know where I can purchase seeds? A: As we say in the South “Margie, Margie, Margie….are you tetched in the head?” But...

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Dogwood Twig Borer – Identification

Q: Today I found this stuff on one of my kousa dogwoods. It appears to be isolated to the one branch of one tree. When I split the twig there was a worm inside. Any suggestions on what it is?...

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Horntail (Woodwasp) – Identification

Q: We noticed the insect below swarming in our yard. Can you help us identify it? A: It looks like a horntail also known as a woodwasp. It bores into weak trees and occasionally into lumber. It does not sting....

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Green June Beetle – Crossing Road

Q: I have seen many of these crossing the streets in my neighborhood lately. Could you please identify for me? Looks like a cross between a large maggot and a caterpillar! A: It’s the grub of a Green June Beetle...

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Camellia – Reticulata species

Q: I have a Samantha camellia but don’t know much about it. A: Unlike our familiar Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica species, ‘Samantha’ is a Camellia reticulata. The leaves have very defined veins. The are more than 200 camellia species,...

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Japanese Maple – Selling

Q: Our older cluster home has a large Japanese maple just outside the front door. Its roots have damaged a drainage pipe. Would a landscaper want to remove the tree for transplanting? A: It all depends on the form of...

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Apple – Repairing Broken Limbs

Q: My 80 lb. dog broke some lower limbs trying to get to an opossum in my apple tree. The leaves are still green so I assume they are still getting enough nutrients. Are these limbs repairable? Can I prop...

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Callery Pear – Fruit

Q: What are these mini pears? My tree is loaded with them! A: They’re most likely fruit from a “wild” callery pear but they could be the fruit from a callery pear that cross-pollinated an edible pear. I doubt they...

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Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: Any idea what this is? (The caterpillar, not the quarter ;o) A: It’s a pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar. I’ve never seen one before. I suspected it was a sphinx moth due to the body shape and the prominent spots....

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Winterizing Warm-Season Lawns – Not Necessary

Q: I heard you say on radio that it is not necessary to apply a winterizer to bermuda lawns. Why not? A: Mostly because you will be wasting your money except in limited cases. Bermudagrass starts slowing its growth rate...

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Squirrel Damage – To Bluebird House

Q: What happened to my bluebird house? Was it squirrels or raccoons? A: I think either a gray squirrel or a flying squirrel did the damage. I lean toward flying squirrel because I took down a damaged bluebird box one...

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Tomatoes – Growing in Cinderblocks

Q: This is amazing! Check out these tomatoes growing in cinderblocks. A: Looks like the gardener put small plants into the compost-filled holes in the cinderblocks and the plants grew roots down into the soil underneath. Nice...

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