Gardening Q and A

Wild Strawberry (Indian Mock Strawberry) – Dog Eating Leaves

Q: I have an odd question. My dog likes to eat wild strawberry leaves but not the fruit. He will graze to his heart’s content whenever we find a patch. The leaves produce no ill effects whatsoever. Why does he...

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Bamboo – Suddenly Dying

Q: A patch of bamboo 3′ wide and 20′ long just up and died on me this summer! I sprayed no herbicides nearby. It provided privacy between my den side windows and a neighbor’s garage. I do have hope, though:...

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Oak Tree – Ambrosia Beetles in Trunk

Q: I have a large tree that is very sick. A part of the trunk at bottom is infested with some sort of insect. A: Woooo….this isn’t a happy tree! My bet is that the damage was done several years...

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Banana – Insulating With Leaves

Q: I have had a banana tree for five years. I was told that bananas will not grow on the tree. For four years there was nothing but this year I noticed a growth on one of the trees. A:...

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Fig Sap – Poisonous?

Q: I’ve never heard a caution about how toxic the sap from a fig bush can be. In my case, I pruned a bush without a shirt on and got the sap all over me. When the sap gets on...

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Pecan – Dropping Big Limbs

Q: We have a 60+ year old pecan tree that is dropping limbs. We’ve been told that pecan trees are self pruning. Is there a way to stop the limbs from dropping? The tree appears healthy with no visible damage...

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Kousa Dogwood – Wolf Eye

Q: This was planted in late June for our new home landscape. Is this a dogwood? Is it normal for the leaves to curl? A: It’s a ‘Wolf Eye’ kousa dogwood, one of my favorites. I think the curled leaves...

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Mandevilla – Seed Pods

Q: There are some strange-looking “sticks” growing from my mandevilla. A: Break out the cigars….you have seed pods! If you let them dry until brown they will split and show a bunch of seeds that have fluffy white tails, like...

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Apple – Sooty Blotch on Skin

Q: I planted couple of apple trees and this year I have a number of fruits. But I see black spots on them. I am wondering if this is some kind of disease and how I can prevent it. Are...

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Groundhog (Woodchuck) – Control

Q: I have a problem with a groundhog that is eating the leaves off my hot pepper plants in Gordon County The only solution I can come up with is to put chicken coop wire around the plants. A: If...

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Spider Webs – In Shrubbery

Q: We have a ton of spider webs in our shrubbery. My neighbor and I were concerned if this is an aggressive spider that is very busy or is it something else? A: Fall is a great time of year...

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Windmill Palm – Bud Rot

Q: I am worried about our windmill palm. All the new leaves at the top are dead. We have not had a live new leaf this year. We have had the palm since it was two feet high and it...

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Tree Hole (Cavity) – Filling?

Q: I have a river birch tree from which I had to cut a large section near the base. I covered it with pruning sealer but after a year I noticed decay has left a big hole. I cleaned it...

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Black Twig Borer – Sweet Bay Magnolia

Q: My 5+ year old sweet bay has some dead branches. When I cut open the branch there were small black beetles inside. Do you have an idea what is going on? A: I’m seeing more and more example of...

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Why Are Jerusalem Artichoke and Jerusalem Cherry So Named?

Q: Why are Jerusalem cherry and Jerusalem artichoke so-named? What do they have to do with the Holy Land? A: Email me if you have better answers than these: Dr. Douglas A. Bailey, UGA Department of Horticulture: To my knowledge...

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Lady Banks Rose – Too Big for Arbor

Q: In 2001 my husband built a beautiful arbor for my Lady Banks rose . In April 2005 she was beautiful on the arbor, bloomed profusely, everything was lovely. Now, for the past several years she has totally covered the...

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Imperial Moth Caterpillar (Green Form) – Identification

Q: I found this caterpillar on an evergreen shrub. It’s 4+ inches long, with a diameter of just less than a quarter. Any ideas what it is? A: I love fall caterpillars!! You’ve found the caterpillar of an imperial moth....

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Lavender – Growing

Q: For the first time, after many attempts, I have gotten lavender plants to grow. My question is, do I need to cut them back in winter or protect them from the cold or what? The plants are in a...

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