Featured Article

Fescue Planting – 1-2-3

September – October is the BEST time to plant a fescue lawn. I have tips on planting a new lawn or an existing lawn, whether with seed or sod. I also cover what kind of fescue is best. It is not as important as you think it is, but everyone’s...

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Venomous (Poisonous) Caterpillars – Photos

Several kinds of venomous caterpillars are commonly seen in late summer – early fall. They are usually inconspicuous, so when one is encountered it’s “OUCH – what stung me???!!“. Below are photos of those you might find in the Southeast. Because they are so uncommon and because they feed on...

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Turfgrasses (Lawn Grass) – Identifying

Unlike trees, which have distinctive leaves, or blooming plants, which have distinctive flowers, turfgrass identification is much more difficult for the amateur . There are five major lawn grasses grown in Georgia. Following are characteristics that will help you distinguish them: TALL FESCUE is green throughout the year but tends...

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Leyland Cypress – Limited Lifespan

Nothing lives forever. Whether plant or animal, living things seem to have typical life spans: some measured in centuries and some in days. Leyland cypress is enormously popular in Southern landscapes. It’s been planted by the millions.  Even so, it is not particularly suited for heat and drought. Both lead...

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Hydrangea Summer Pruning – Step by Step

The recent summer rains filled the leaves and roots of my hydrangeas with water, making them strong. Now that the flowers have faded in late June I can prune them to the size I want for next year. Look at the photos below to see before and after shots. I...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Bumblebee – Nest

    Q: I took this photo of a squirrel nest that was blown out of a tree. As I investigated it, there were carpenter bees all over it. Once they cleared out I opened the nest to find the bees had...

    READ MORE

  • Allegheny Mound Ants – Control

    Q: This ant mound is three feet wide around the tree base. I’ve heard them called Allegheny Mound Ants. I have been fighting them in my yard for three years now. What to do!? A: Dr. Dan Suiter is my...

    READ MORE

  • Weeds – Identification with Pictures

    Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

    READ MORE

  • Burford Holly – History

    Burford holly, Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’, is a ubiquitous shrub in the Southeast. The red berries are striking in winter. It’s interesting to know that the Burford holly originated in Atlanta, at Westview Cemetery in the southwest quarter of the city....

    READ MORE

  • Oak Leaf Blister – Identification

    Q: There is something weird on my oak leaves. A: This is a fine example of oak leaf blister. The disease is favored by cool, moist conditions during budbreak and in the early stages of leaf development. It doesn’t seem...

    READ MORE

  • Millipedes – On Tree Bark

    Q: I have an infestation of millipedes on all of my trees: flowering cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple, camellia and silver maple. I am new to the state of Georgia, originally from New Jersey. A: Wow – I wouldn’t have believed...

    READ MORE

  • Leaf Gall – On Leucothoe

    Q: I live in Rabun County and I have this weird fungus on my leucothoe. Is it exobasidium leaf gall? A: You get the diagnostic prize: it’s Exobasidium vaccinnii! There are several members of this fungal clan. They cause leaf...

    READ MORE

  • Dog Urine – Damaging Liriope

    Q: A neighbor’s dog has made repeated visits to my lawn and has killed the border of liriope. How can that soil be reconditioned so that I can replant with grass or replace the liriope? A: There’s nothing particularly dangerous...

    READ MORE

  • Sweetshrub – No Fragrance

    Q: My sweetshrub’s flowers have absolutely NO scent! What’s wrong with it? A: I’ve never smelled one with an appreciable scent. Maybe our noses are impaired? The yellow-flowered variety ‘Athens’ is said to be reliably fragrant. I simply enjoy the...

    READ MORE

  • Rosemary – Bacterial Gall on Stems

    Q: A scaly growth is infecting my three-year old rosemary bush. It seems to be on the older stems. A: I think it’s a bacterial gall. It’s not uncommon to see bacterial galls like this on trees and shrubs. It’s...

    READ MORE

  • Bishops Weed – Identification

    Q: This is a bunch of “leaves of three”, but it doesn’t look like the normal color of poison ivy. Do you know what it is? I have a very large batch of it by the concrete wall. A: The...

    READ MORE

  • Jumping Oak Galls – Identification

    Q: We live on a fairly large heavily wooded lot with mostly oak trees. The problem we’re having is with the white oak trees only. A couple of weeks ago we noticed little brown pinhead-size, seed-like things dropping from them....

    READ MORE

  • Volcano Cone South of Atlanta

    Q: While flying south of Atlanta I saw what looks like a volcano. It is on a straight line between Manchester and Molena, about half way. Cove Rd and the Flint River go right thru it. I wonder if there...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea Cane Borer

    Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

    READ MORE

  • Tree Hopper – On Tomato

    Q: Can you help me identify this insect found on my tomato plant, I think it is a buffalo leaf hopper. How to control it? A: Good eye! Yes, it is one of dozens of species of tree hoppers and...

    READ MORE

  • Tree – Holding Water in Crotch

    Q: My neighbor has a five-trunked Japanese magnolia. The crotch in the middle is about 8 inches deep and there’s usually 5 to 8 inches of water in it. She wants to drill a hole in it from the side...

    READ MORE

  • Winged Elm – Identification

    Q: We have an oak that’s 20′ to 25′ feet tall which has a strange growth on the bark. Do you know what this is and whether anything needs to be done? A: A case of mistaken identity! I think...

    READ MORE

  • Houseplant – Leaf Spot

    Q: I have a houseplant that looks like it’s being eaten by something but I don’t see any insects near it or on it. A: I can determine by the yellow “halo” around the notches that this is caused by...

    READ MORE

  • Weeds – Identification with Pictures

    Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

    READ MORE

  • Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

    Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

    READ MORE

  • Brown Patch – Diagnosing

    You have brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Is it the common lawn disease ‘brown patch’ or is it something else? The answer is important: if it is brown patch you probably need to spray with a fungicide....

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Weed Control

    BASIC INFORMATION: Weed Identification Pictures General Turf and Weed Info Lawn Care Calendars THREE METHODS There are three primary methods of controlling weeds. Any one method, when used alone, will not usually control all of your weeds. To consistently control...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

    One of the sourest phrases that can be directed at a child or adult is “I told you so!” Whether you touch a hot match, leave tools out in the rain, or lift cinder blocks all afternoon, someone is usually...

    READ MORE

  • St. Augustine Grass Seed – Where to Buy

    Q: Please tell me where I can buy St. Augustine grass seeds. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. A: You can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The plant is very...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Growing in Shade

    OK. I admit it. I have given up. I came to the conclusion that grass just would not grow in the corner of my lawn near the ornamental cherry trees. The shade there is so dense that my grass, no...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Leveling

    A new home in my neighborhood had bermudagrass sod planted in March. By May, one area was a perfect checkerboard of straight lines, composed of weedy plants, surrounding the individual squares of sod. Evidently the sod installers were in such...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda Grass – Disease – Brown Patch

    Brown patch is most prevalent on bermudagrass which has been heavily fertilized when night temperatures are above 68 degrees and day temperature are above 80 degrees. Dead patches of grass may start small but can grow and join together to...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Pruning

    One of the most confounding arguments I face is whether and how to prune crapemyrtles. They are mercilessly “murdered” by unaware landscapers and homeowners each winter… yet they still bloom in summer. Some people even believe a crapemyrtle won’t bloom...

    READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

Bumblebee – Nest

Q: I took this photo of a squirrel nest that was blown out of a tree. As I investigated it, there were carpenter bees all over it. Once they cleared out I opened the nest to find the bees had...

READ MORE

Allegheny Mound Ants – Control

Q: This ant mound is three feet wide around the tree base. I’ve heard them called Allegheny Mound Ants. I have been fighting them in my yard for three years now. What to do!? A: Dr. Dan Suiter is my...

READ MORE

Weeds – Identification with Pictures

Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

READ MORE

Burford Holly – History

Burford holly, Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’, is a ubiquitous shrub in the Southeast. The red berries are striking in winter. It’s interesting to know that the Burford holly originated in Atlanta, at Westview Cemetery in the southwest quarter of the city....

READ MORE

Oak Leaf Blister – Identification

Q: There is something weird on my oak leaves. A: This is a fine example of oak leaf blister. The disease is favored by cool, moist conditions during budbreak and in the early stages of leaf development. It doesn’t seem...

READ MORE

Millipedes – On Tree Bark

Q: I have an infestation of millipedes on all of my trees: flowering cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple, camellia and silver maple. I am new to the state of Georgia, originally from New Jersey. A: Wow – I wouldn’t have believed...

READ MORE

Leaf Gall – On Leucothoe

Q: I live in Rabun County and I have this weird fungus on my leucothoe. Is it exobasidium leaf gall? A: You get the diagnostic prize: it’s Exobasidium vaccinnii! There are several members of this fungal clan. They cause leaf...

READ MORE

Dog Urine – Damaging Liriope

Q: A neighbor’s dog has made repeated visits to my lawn and has killed the border of liriope. How can that soil be reconditioned so that I can replant with grass or replace the liriope? A: There’s nothing particularly dangerous...

READ MORE

Sweetshrub – No Fragrance

Q: My sweetshrub’s flowers have absolutely NO scent! What’s wrong with it? A: I’ve never smelled one with an appreciable scent. Maybe our noses are impaired? The yellow-flowered variety ‘Athens’ is said to be reliably fragrant. I simply enjoy the...

READ MORE

Rosemary – Bacterial Gall on Stems

Q: A scaly growth is infecting my three-year old rosemary bush. It seems to be on the older stems. A: I think it’s a bacterial gall. It’s not uncommon to see bacterial galls like this on trees and shrubs. It’s...

READ MORE

Bishops Weed – Identification

Q: This is a bunch of “leaves of three”, but it doesn’t look like the normal color of poison ivy. Do you know what it is? I have a very large batch of it by the concrete wall. A: The...

READ MORE

Jumping Oak Galls – Identification

Q: We live on a fairly large heavily wooded lot with mostly oak trees. The problem we’re having is with the white oak trees only. A couple of weeks ago we noticed little brown pinhead-size, seed-like things dropping from them....

READ MORE

Volcano Cone South of Atlanta

Q: While flying south of Atlanta I saw what looks like a volcano. It is on a straight line between Manchester and Molena, about half way. Cove Rd and the Flint River go right thru it. I wonder if there...

READ MORE

Hydrangea Cane Borer

Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

READ MORE

Tree Hopper – On Tomato

Q: Can you help me identify this insect found on my tomato plant, I think it is a buffalo leaf hopper. How to control it? A: Good eye! Yes, it is one of dozens of species of tree hoppers and...

READ MORE

Tree – Holding Water in Crotch

Q: My neighbor has a five-trunked Japanese magnolia. The crotch in the middle is about 8 inches deep and there’s usually 5 to 8 inches of water in it. She wants to drill a hole in it from the side...

READ MORE

Winged Elm – Identification

Q: We have an oak that’s 20′ to 25′ feet tall which has a strange growth on the bark. Do you know what this is and whether anything needs to be done? A: A case of mistaken identity! I think...

READ MORE

Houseplant – Leaf Spot

Q: I have a houseplant that looks like it’s being eaten by something but I don’t see any insects near it or on it. A: I can determine by the yellow “halo” around the notches that this is caused by...

READ MORE

Weeds – Identification with Pictures

Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

READ MORE

Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

READ MORE

Brown Patch – Diagnosing

You have brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Is it the common lawn disease ‘brown patch’ or is it something else? The answer is important: if it is brown patch you probably need to spray with a fungicide....

READ MORE

Bermuda – Weed Control

BASIC INFORMATION: Weed Identification Pictures General Turf and Weed Info Lawn Care Calendars THREE METHODS There are three primary methods of controlling weeds. Any one method, when used alone, will not usually control all of your weeds. To consistently control...

READ MORE

Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

One of the sourest phrases that can be directed at a child or adult is “I told you so!” Whether you touch a hot match, leave tools out in the rain, or lift cinder blocks all afternoon, someone is usually...

READ MORE

St. Augustine Grass Seed – Where to Buy

Q: Please tell me where I can buy St. Augustine grass seeds. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. A: You can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The plant is very...

READ MORE

Lawn – Growing in Shade

OK. I admit it. I have given up. I came to the conclusion that grass just would not grow in the corner of my lawn near the ornamental cherry trees. The shade there is so dense that my grass, no...

READ MORE

Lawn – Leveling

A new home in my neighborhood had bermudagrass sod planted in March. By May, one area was a perfect checkerboard of straight lines, composed of weedy plants, surrounding the individual squares of sod. Evidently the sod installers were in such...

READ MORE

Bermuda Grass – Disease – Brown Patch

Brown patch is most prevalent on bermudagrass which has been heavily fertilized when night temperatures are above 68 degrees and day temperature are above 80 degrees. Dead patches of grass may start small but can grow and join together to...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Pruning

One of the most confounding arguments I face is whether and how to prune crapemyrtles. They are mercilessly “murdered” by unaware landscapers and homeowners each winter… yet they still bloom in summer. Some people even believe a crapemyrtle won’t bloom...

READ MORE