Gardening Q and A

Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta) Control

Q: These weeds have taken over my beds. Can you help? What should I use to kill? A: The weed is yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta, sometimes called yellow clover. It is tough to control. It arises from a taproot...

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Smilax vs English Ivy Berries for Birds

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot and have two tall trees that have some sort of vine growing on them. They have a shiny/waxed looking leaf, the fruit is blue berries that the robins absolutely love. Every year in...

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Sunflower Hulls Disappear Under Bird Feeder

Q: For 15 years I fed sunflower seeds to the birds in my Lawrenceville home and continually had to clean up the hulls under the feeders. I recently retired and moved to a home in Midway, Ga. I’m still feeding...

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No 10-10-10 for Blueberries

Q: I did some cleaning of leaves from around my blueberry bushes. Since we are about to have rain would it be a good idea to give them a little 10-10-10 so it would soak in well? A: I don’t...

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Make Topiary Using Spanish Moss?

Q: I want to re-purpose some old Christmas lawn decorations as topiaries. I removed all the lights and broken motors, staked them to the ground, and stuffed them with Spanish moss, which is easy to get from my trees. What...

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Rabbit Eating Hellebore (Lenten Rose)

Q: After ten years, some creature found our Lenten roses. Will they come back? Some have just stems left, some have leaves. A: The 45° angle of the stem cut makes me think the culprit has to be a rabbit....

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Praying Mantis Egg Mass on Apple Twig

Q: I found this on an apple branch in December. A friend says it might be an apple-eating Asian devil worm. Should I remove it? A: Lucky you! You have found a praying mantis egg mass. It poses no threat...

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Planting Over a Septic System

Q: Any suggestions what we might plant over septic field to add some interest to the blank area? It gets filtered sun. A: Trees and shrubs are risky to plant over or near a drain field. Their roots penetrate more...

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Can I Make a Dwarf Japanese Maple Grow Tall?

Q: I have a five-year-old Japanese maple. It has never grown taller, only wider at the base. It resembles a mushroom with lacy leaves. We had some advice to prune the top out to promote vertical growth. As you can...

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Establishing a Bee Pasture

Q: I will be leasing two acres of land beneath some power lines. I want to develop a program that would cultivate bee forage, part of our effort to make Dunwoody a Bee City. I have support from local nature...

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Topping Bradford Pear is a Bad Idea

Q: The company that services our subdivision entrance just cut back our healthy 20-year-old Bradford pears. Was this a good decision? Might they go into shock? A: They will not go into shock. Pruning severely may prolong their life span...

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Does Severe Cold Hurt Pest Insects?

Q: Any good news on the bug front after the severe cold last week? A: I wish the cold weather would have an effect on insects like fire ants, ambrosia beetles, stinkbugs, etc. but it does not diminish their summertime...

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Pruning Okra

Q: In last year’s garden the okra did well but grew way too tall. Can it be pruned to keep it lower and still produce well? A: You sure can! As common okra varieties age, the top of the plant...

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Magnolia – Leaves Stripped by Hurricane

Q: I have a magnolia tree in Florida that was damaged by Hurricane Michael. The top of the tree is broken as well as most of the side branches. It has begun to put out a few small leaves. Will...

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Ants – Harmful to Tree?

Q: I have an Autumn Glory maple that we planted two years ago. I see ants on the trunk during the year. I have treated the ground with some ant killer but still I see these little holes that ants...

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Yaupon Holly – Severe Pruning

Q: We have twenty-year-old weeping yaupon hollies that are getting too tall. We prune 2-3 times a year but they are getting harder to prune. Can we cut them back to below window height? We’ve already had to remove two....

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Tulip Poplar Seed Identification

Q: I get a gazillion of these spinning seeds each year and wonder what tree they are from. A: I believe they are tulip poplar seed. Spinning seeds are called samaras. Many trees produce single-wing samaras. Maples form two-winged, two-bladed...

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Camellia Wilting After Transplanting

Q: I moved three camellias that were four feet tall because I read it was good to transfer them in winter. Now the leaves are wilting and the white flowers are turning brown. Should I be concerned? A: I was...

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