Question: My oaks and shade trees look like they are beginning to die. The last six inches to a foot or more of many branches all over the tree have dead leaves. We have not had much rain, but when we do, a lot of these branches fall off. I have started watering; is there anything else I can do?
Answer: This sounds like typical cicada damage ...Read more
Q: My local nursery is selling fruit trees at a discount because they are getting ready for fall. I have been trying to decide if I want to plant a peach tree or a pear tree. I think I really only have room for one tree. I have read that I need to get two pear trees if I want to get fruit. Is there any way around this situation if I decide I ...Read more
Question: Our magnolia tree has sooty mold. We had the tree sprayed for the fungus, but it is still dripping stuff. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Sooty mold is a fungus that grows on the sugary sap that is dripped on everything below a tree that has sucking insects. Some insects are sort of like a mosquito: they stab the leaf with a ...Read more
Q: I ate a Pink Lady apple and the seeds inside the core were sprouting roots. I planted a couple of them, and they are growing. Can I grow them and get Pink Lady apples in a few years?
A: The answer is yes and no. Most apple trees need two different kinds of apple tree pollen to get a cross-pollination that will grow an apple. Pink Lady apples...Read more
Q: I have several hydrangeas in my yard. When is the best time to prune them?
A: I am glad you asked as this is National Hydrangea Week. There are several species of hydrangeas, and it does make a difference as to when you prune them. Woody plants have old and new wood. New wood is this season's new growth. The branch will have leaves on it. If...Read more
Q: I have a paving stone patio behind the house. Behind the patio is a man-made stone wall that you can sit on. Behind the wall is a flower bed that has an ash tree in it. And finally, behind the flower bed is a downhill slope that is covered in grass. The slope is not steep, and it can be walked on and mowed with no problem.
The ash tree has ...Read more
Q: We went on vacation at the end of June and now our vegetable garden has been taken over by weeds. Is it too early to begin thinking about starting over and doing a fall garden?
A: If you are a northern gardener, the next few weeks are the perfect time to start your fall garden. Fall vegetable crops can be started from seed indoors at the ...Read more
Q: My landscape is boring! It needs color in the summer, especially in July and August. I don't want annual flowers that have to be replanted. There are summer flower beds with a few roses, but I think there should be taller flowers as well. What other shrubs bloom during this time of year? I think I am in Zone 5.
A: There are several nice late...Read more
Q: I thought it would be a fun project for my elementary-school-age kids to start some terrariums over the summer. Do you have any suggestions?
A: The simple terrarium is a clear container that allows for the growth of plants. It can be sealed or open to the air. Sealed terrariums allow light and heat to enter, but water and humidity are ...Read more
Q: I have a new pond and I planted a hardy waterlily. It sends up flower buds for a few days. They never open and then they die. What do you think is going wrong and how do I fix it?
A: I think that if you work from home for a few days, you may find the flowers are opening up during the day. It sounds like you have accomplished the tasks of ...Read more
Summer is here, and it's time to do outdoor projects. A project that will have long-lasting benefits is installing a patio. Depending on the configuration of your backyard, you may have a choice between a deck and a patio. The installed price is often comparable depending on tractor access and the type of desired accessories, like seating ...Read more
In two months, I will have been writing a weekly newspaper column for 32 years. During that time, I have written about books created by many garden writers. Now it is my turn. I have written a book on gardening.
"Greener View Gardening" was written to help homeowners understand and care for their lawn and garden. Does this old joke sound like ...Read more
Be sure to read this column next week because there will be a big announcement that you won't want to miss. It will be good news for all of you who love plants and landscaping.
Q: Last year I bought a pretty red flowering hibiscus tree for my yard from the grocery store. This spring it did not leaf out and it appears to be dead. I like the ...Read more