Gardening Q and A

Hydrangeas – Pruning

Q:I know mophead hydrangeas are not pruned in the fall but how do I know what I have? A: There are several species of hydrangea and each has its own pruning schedule. In general, mophead hydrangeas are best pruned in...

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Sycamore – Planting From New Seeds

Q: I have a large sycamore tree behind my office that is dropping its seed balls. Can I gather them and scatter the seeds in the woods behind my house to have more trees? A: Sycamore is sometimes called buttonwood...

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Trees – Straightening A Bent Trunk

Q: I have two fifteen-foot tall trees that were previously crowded by bamboo. They grew at an angle in search of sunlight. Is it possible to straighten the trees with a guy wire attached to a nearby huge poplar? A:...

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Zoysia – Variations In Product

Q: Last spring I had my yard completely resodded with Emerald zoysia. This fall I had to remove shrubs around a fire hydrant. I had the same landscaper finish the area with Emerald zoysia so it would match the rest...

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Crepemyrtle – Post Pruning Stickers

Q: The crepe myrtles at church were pruned way back from a bush to a tree. Now they have suckers all over the base. Is there anything I can put on the stump around the remaining trunks to prevent sprouts?...

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Shrubs – When To Prune

Q: I have yet to prune the shrubbery in my yard. Is it better to wait until we get warmer winter weather? A: It won’t matter to the plants either way. They are about to go into deep dormancy and...

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Crepemyrtle – Cut To The Ground

Q: What the chances are of a very big crepe myrtle coming back from being cut completely down by a tree company? The instructions were to prune it back but now it’s completely gone except the flat surface of the...

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Lilies – Will It Come Back?

Q: I was given three pineapple lilies and accidentally cut back the leaves after planting. Will the plants grow back? A: Yes, they should be fine. The leaves will re-appear next spring in late April. My favorite pineapple lily is...

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Zoysia – Topdressing

Q: In an online article about mowing zoysia, you say that de-thatching could be accomplished by topdressing with a quarter-inch layer of clean topsoil. When is the best time to apply the topsoil? A: The best time to topdress is...

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Seeds – Storage Till Spring

Q: Please give instructions on how to store acorns, chestnuts, and fringe tree seed from now until the time to plant next spring. A: These seeds from woody plants require a process called “stratification”: a two-month period of cold, moist...

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Tree Limbs – Post-Removal Care

Q: Is there a good sealant to spray where tree limbs are removed? A: No sealant is needed or recommended after removing a limb. Trees repair wounds by internally “walling off” the damaged area. Tar and other materials retard the...

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Dogwood – Grass Growing Beneath

Q: Writing in your recent email newsletter about dogwood twig borer, you told the questioner that grass growing under a dogwood can have a detrimental effect on the tree. We have vinca vine growing under our 30-year-old dogwood. The tree...

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Zoysia – Proper Mowing

Q: I live in a townhouse community where the maintenance company mows the zoysia yards with a riding mower. Should the zoysia be mowed with a riding mower or reel mower? A: Zoysia can be mowed with a rotary riding...

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Pots – Too Heavy

Q: I have some large potted plants that are too heavy for one person to move. I’d like to repot them now. Is there something I can fill the bottom of the pots with that’s not so heavy? A: Emptied...

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Lemon – How Much Light?

Q: Is it better to over-winter a four-foot Meyer lemon in a greenhouse, in an unheated basement beside a large window, or in the house? A: The lemon tree wants as much light as you can give it. A greenhouse...

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Roses – Rose Rosette Virus

Q: Earlier this year I removed three roses that were infected with rose rosette virus. My one remaining rose seems unaffected. Is there anything I should do to my pruning tools to insure I don’t spread the virus to this...

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Pine – Fighting Bark Beetle

Q: Is there anything I can do to stop or delay the onset of a pine bark beetle attack? A: The best defense is to help the trees fight their own fights. To that end, keep the trees watered in...

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Crapemyrtle – Tree or Bush?

Q: Would crape myrtles be classified as a tree or large bush? Our neighborhood is ten years old and many homeowners are removing their oaks and maples and replacing with crape myrtles. A: I think the definition varies according to...

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