Gardening Q and A

Trees – Absorbing Carbon Dioxide

Q: I am looking for a formal listings of trees that absorb more carbon dioxide in the photosynthesis process than other trees. Since we live in such a harsh urban environment, I would like to be able to recommend those...

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Parrot Flower

Q: What do you know about the “rare Thailand parrot flower”? Does it exist? A: I have no idea whether it exists. There seems to be controversy over the plant – and, even so, it may be a tall, scraggly...

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Maple – Clawed by Cat

Q: I wonder if you could help me determine what is wrong with my Japanese maple. About 2 months ago, I noticed that the upper portion of the trunk looked like it had been clawed. At first I thought it...

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Cranefly Orchid

Q: I wonder if you could help me identify the plant in the attached picture. It came up under a wax myrtle in our front a couple of years ago. I first thought it was a type of ginger –...

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Weeping Cherry – Damaged

Q: I’ve had a weeping cherry for six years. It bloomed beautifully for three years, then started declining to only a few flowers each year. This past year it never bloomed and did not produce leaves until June. This is...

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Callery Pear – Identifying

Q: On your radio show you mentioned a “calorie” tree to which ‘Bradford’ pear is kin. Could you give me the correct spelling of the name of this tree? A: Callery pear, Pyrus calleryana, is an ornamental pear with wicked...

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Raspberry – When to Cut Back

Q: I would like to know if blackberries and raspberries produce fruit off of old growth or off new growth. A: It depends on which variety you have. Brambles (which is the word folks use to describe both blackberries and...

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Retention Pond – Plants for

Q: Our neighborhood has a stormwater detention/retention area that has become very overgrown. We are planning a work day to clear it but what plants should we use? A: I found a great list put together by Prince Georges County...

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Seed – Sprouting with Fluorescent Light

Q: I have my seed packets in hand, ready to start sprouting plants for my spring garden. But I am so confused as to what kind of fluorescent bulbs to buy. Everywhere I look, a different kind of bulb is...

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Pine Ambrosia Beetle

Q: I was wandering my property in Jackson county and found sawdust at the base of some pine trees. I decided it was the southern pine beetle so I took out several trees and thought I had taken care of...

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Squirrel Damage – On Maple

Q: I just noticed today that something is eating our seven-year old Japanese maple. The damage looks fresh. There are plenty of bark chips all around the base. This tree has been beautiful and we would hate to lose it....

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Chickweed – Control

Q: We had our fescue lawn aerated and overseeded in mid-September and it has come in really well. Unfortunately, a weed started sprouting at the same time as the seedlings, and now is in about one-third of the front yard....

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Insects – Identification Online

Q: Is there a good online resource for identifying insects? A: You bet! I am really impressed with BugGuide.net which is the brainchild of Troy Bartlett of Duluth. You simply click on one of the graphic outlines of common insects...

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Chrysanthemum – Fall and Winter Care

Q: Our church recently put out one hundred mums in pots for our dedication. Someone told me that these cannot be planted in a garden. We hate to throw away that many mums. Can they be successfully transplanted to a...

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Whitewash – Making

Q: Call me crazy, but I want to paint the trunks of some trees white for an upcoming party. I have seen trees out in the country that farmers painted white with whitewash. Where can I get whitewash or can...

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Key Lime

Q: What is a Key Lime tree? A: Key lime is Citrus aurantifoliaUSDA factsheet...

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Climbing Milkweed Vine (Honeyvine)

Q: I found an odd vine twining in my gardenia. The leaves are heart-shaped, but thinner than a morningglory. The seed pod is most odd: it is four inches long, tapered, and filled with seed that look like milkweed seed,...

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Bull Thistle

Q: I moved last year and had this come up in the yard of my new home. It grew to about 6ft. The spines were amazing and the plant was so spectacular I started some seeds. Do you recognize it?...

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