Landscaping

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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Recovering loropetalum from severe pruning

Q: Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I cut these loropetalums back drastically when we moved in the house. What should we do now? A: An honest confession is good for the soul, my mother would say. Typically a loropetalum will...

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Dogwood with hole in trunk

Q: My 23-year-old Dogwood tree is having an issue on the trunk. Other than this, it looks fine. I saw some ants going in a hole on the trunk. A: I finally got my crystal ball Time Machine out of...

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Aphid explosion on evergreen clematis

Q: I just realized that the new growth on my evergreen clematis is looking really bad. A: Wow, that is a lot of aphids! These sapsucking insects are common in late spring/early summer and populations can explode if weather conditions...

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Start over with damaged crapemyrtle or not?

Q: I am concerned about two crape myrtle trees in my yard. When I purchased my house over two years ago I kept these two crape myrtles. The crape myrtles had been massacred in the past before I purchased the...

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Corn seedlings come up white

Q: A couple of my popcorn seedlings came up completely white! I’ve never seen that before. Albino corn? Can it survive without any green leaves? A: It is not terribly unusual, particularly with older varieties or heirloom varieties of corn,...

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Hydrangea limbs suddenly wilt and die

Q: Why would my well established oakleaf hydrangea that has been in the same spot for eight years and has always bloomed for me suddenly be dead? Last year many of the stalks seemed to be dying. This spring it...

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Hydrangea wilts after planting

Q: I planted hydrangeas to spruce up my yard before putting my house on the market. They were getting along just fine for over a month and then they began to fade and wilt. A: The wilted flowers on your...

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