Landscaping

Mimosa tree seed pods

Q : Can you please tell us what this is? It looks like there are dried up pods on it. A: It tickles me that I was out walking the other day and I saw this exact tree and its...

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How to Prune a Coral Bark Maple

Q: I have a coral bark Japanese maple planted five years ago. I have not cut anything other than the “wild hairs” that have escaped the mass of branches. When and how do I trim the maple’s interior branches? A:...

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Glyphosate (Roundup) damage to several shrubs

Q: Can plants other than roses get rose rosette disease? I have nandina, geranium, boxwood, hibiscus, rhododendron and other plants that are showing symptoms of rosette disease. A: Because I see this so often, I believe it is glyphosate damage...

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Carissa holly has sprouts of different holly

Q: I have several Carissa hollies that have shoots of a common holly, that I assume were the base plant which the Carissa holly was grafted onto. Is there any way to prevent the common holly sprouts? The spines are...

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How to prune crapemyrtle to tree form

Q: We planted a crapemyrtle that has blazing red flowers and black leaves three ears ago and I want to trim it into a tree. This variety grows ten feet tall. I need details about trimming it in fall. A:...

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Why is mysterious dirt dropping from the sky?

What could this be?? I received on Sept 25 a note that reads as follows: “I am a project manager for the City of San Diego and we have a construction site at a water treatment plant. In the neighborhood...

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What happens if I don’t mow Emerald zoysia?

Q: What would happen if I let my emerald zoysia grass grow on a steep bank without mowing? A: It will be “tufty” but could be somewhat attractive. Plant three-inch diameter plugs of grass six inches apart in May. Try...

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Why redbud tree has bumps on trunk

Q: What would cause these bumps on the trunk of a redbud tree? A: My friend Bill Blum is a tree connoisseur. He notes that: “the tree is a fairly significant size for an Eastern redbud. So it must be...

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Magnolia tree has tufts of brown leaves

Q: My magnolia tree has tufts of brown leaves at the ends of several branches. A: I believe you have an infestation of black twig borer. UGA horticulturist Matthew Chappell says: “The borer will enter the stem 6″ to a...

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Holly flowers black in fall

Q: Can you identify this black muck on the stems of my hollies? It is loose and falls off when touched. A: Great pix and sharp eyes! I think you’re seeing the decomposing holly flowers. You can wash them off...

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Blue mold identification

Q: I’ve never seen blue mold before. Have you? A: I think it’s cobalt crust, Terana caerulea. It is a type of white rot fungus, because it can break down all components of the plant cell wall, including brown lignins,...

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Why don’t identical hydrangeas grow the same?

Q: I planted three hydrangeas last year. One is thriving but the other two not so much. They are all planted in the same area with similar soil and mulched with pine straw. Can you advise as to why one...

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Iris borer identification and control

Q: I don’t know what happened to my iris’s but the leaves have a stripe on them and then they finally just die and fall over. The whole iris plant is loose from the crown. Some of the crowns are...

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Spanish Bluebells vs English Bluebells – Identification

Q: Should I plant Spanish or English bluebells in the woods behind my house this fall? Which will do better in my area? A: I think they both will do fine. I have had Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, at my...

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Slime mold on sweet potato stems

Q: What are these spongy growths on my sweet potato plant? They’re shaped kind of like eggs. A: This is a harmless slime mold growing on the plant stems. It is not really a mold or a fungus. Slime molds...

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Naked Lady Lily Identification

Q: I am confused about plants called Naked Lady Lily. Some are listed as Amaryllis belladonna but other catalogs list them as Lycoris squamigera. Can you sort this out? A: They are both commonly called naked lady, but they are...

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Azalea Lacebug – Control

You may have seen the damage lace bugs do to azaleas without knowing who did the dirty deed. Lace bugs suck the juice out of individual leaf cells. Since they hide underneath azalea leaves, you’ll never notice the bugs but...

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Rabbit damage and sunburn on sedum

Q: Something chopped off my sedum plant. It looks like a chemical burn on the remaining leaves and some have blown up like balloons. Could deer/critter saliva cause that? A: Because the stem cuts look pretty sharp, I think a...

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