Gardening Q and A

Tree Stump – Filling The Hole

Q: I had a tree in my lawn that is now gone. The stump rotted and a large hole appeared. Can I use some leftover thinset mortar mix in the bottom part of the hole? A: I don’t foresee any...

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Maple Trees – Regular Pruning

Q: How effective are tree growth regulators for maple trees? I’ve got some twenty-five-foot high maple trees on a sloped hill. They’re doing well but I’m wondering if I can slow down their growth. A: Chris Hastings (www.arbormedics.com) says he...

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Pampas Grass – Salvaging Whats Left

Q: This past winter reduced our large pampas grass to a circle of papery stems. There are four or five clumps of healthy new growth on the perimeter. Nothing has sprouted in the center. What to do? A: Sadly, it...

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Colorful – Options Of Shrubs

Q: I would like to plant a flowering shrub that also has colorful foliage. The area is in a sunny spot and southern exposure. A: Consider named varieties of common abelia, Abelia x grandiflora. Typically this shrub grows to ten...

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Ants – In Your Potted Plants

Q: I have hordes of tiny ants living in my outdoor potted plants. Are they a problem for the plants in those pots? A: Not usually, but I suppose an argument could be made that some ant species bring aphids...

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Serviceberry – Best Variety

Q: On your show you mentioned serviceberry tree. Which variety is best? I would like a large variety as opposed to a bush. A: Serviceberry is one of my all-time favorites. It has pretty flowers in spring, edible fruit and...

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Cedar – Proper Pruning

Q: We have a beautiful new Atlas weeping cedar and it’s doing well. I can’t find any information about what to do if some of its limbs drag the ground. A: Rick Smith (www.pruningguru.com) says Blue Atlas cedar is an...

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Magnolia – Covered In Beetles

Q: What are the beetles that gather by the dozens in magnolia blossoms? Are they harmful to the tree? A: Magnolias are among the most primitive plants we use in our landscapes. Dinosaurs probably enjoyed their shade. They developed the...

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Hydrangea – No Bloom This Year

Q: Not one of my Endless Summer hydrangeas bloomed this summer. What did I do? I’ve had them for several years and always a good show. A: If they have good green foliage they will eventually bloom this summer. The...

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Grass – Replacing Bermuda

Q: We are investigating the replacement of our bermuda grass with zoysia or a more shade-tolerant bermuda. Large areas of our yard are partially shady. Can you recommend which grass is considered the best? A: In my view there are...

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Planting – Perennials In Summer

Q: In spring, I planted some arborvitae and other shrubs but stopped for the summer months. I have noticed nurseries having great sales on perennials, shrubs, trees, etc. Can I buy plants now, keep them in the containers in my...

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Redbuds – Ambrosia Beetles

Q: We have two large redbuds. One is in serious trouble due to ambrosia beetles; I sprayed it in late April with insecticide. Now I notice the other has “sawdust toothpicks”. Would a systemic treatment help? A: Sad to say,...

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Crapemyrtle – Origins and Purchase

Q: Do you know where I can buy an evergreen crepe myrtle in the Atlanta area? A: The crapemyrtles we grow in the upper South are deciduous: they lose their leaves every year. Southern crapemyrtles are typically Lagerstromea indica and...

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Cinnamon Persimmon ( Hyakume) – Description and Recipe

Q: What can you tell me about cinnamon persimmons? A: The ‘Hyakume’ Asian persimmon is sometimes called Cinnamon Persimmon or Brown Sugar Persimmon. It is said to be one of the sweetest persimmons. It sometimes has flecks of brown in...

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Staghorn Fern – Scale Insects

Q: I have a staghorn fern that has developed a bug on it. I have lost several leaves. Can you advise what this is and what I need to do to get rid of it. A: Probably brown soft scale...

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Pine – Damaged by Termites and Rodents

Q: This tall pine has termite damage at the base that we just discovered last week. I’m worried that the tree could become weak and fall down and hit our house. A: Tree health specialist Chris Hastings www.arbormedics.com says that...

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Tree Planting – Remove Wire Cage?

Q: I just had a local nursery plant Trident maples in my landscape. They planted them with the heavy wire cages around the root ball. Is that OK? A: I think it’s more important to remove the burlap when planting...

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Tall Screen Tree – Savannah Holly

Q: I could use some quick advice. I’m about to plant some mature trees on my property line to provide a buffer from my neighbors. We need the trees to be about fifteen feet tall so I’ve decided to invest...

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