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Shrub Topics:
QUESTION: I have a beautiful holly bush that I absolutely love. Unfortunately, it has gotten away from me and grown to be ungainly and way too large. How can I prune it down to a more reasonable size and shape without putting it into shock or killing it? Allison
QUESTION: I was wondering why my blossoms on my Hydrangea are purple this year when the last blossoms were pink. I fertilize with Miracid and thought that may be the reason. How do I keep the blossoms pink? Also, these are supposedly dwarf hydrangea...not to exceed 2 to 3 feet. Do I need to cut them in the fall? If so, how do I go about that? Thank you. Margaret
QUESTION: In the spring I noticed that my boxwoods had some brown leaves in the center. Was this caused by the harsh winter? How can I prevent this from happening again? I have about fifty of these shrubs around my home both in the front and backyard. Thank you for your help. Susan
QUESTION: My Lilac bush will not blossom. It is two years old and had good blossoms when planted. Can you help? Thank you. Mary
QUESTION: I have several buddlieas that I routinely prune in the early spring. I usually do a fairly severe pruning. As this winter has been so mild, it appears that the shrubs have already leafed out! Is it too late to prune or should I just let them be? If I don't prune how will this affect the blooms? Thanks for your advice. Best regards, Barbara
QUESTION: I have noticed that some of my spruces have dead branches with fungi in the lower half. Additionally, the shrubs have yellow leaves that do not look healthy. During the summer, buzzing noises can also be heard from the leaves (presumably from insects). Can you give me any advice on these two issues? Thanks, Jane
QUESTION: My husband and I read with interest your article on Fuzzy Deutzia in the Lyme Times several weeks ago. We have this shrub; it was here when we bought the house over 25 years ago and enjoy it every year when it blooms. However it is right up against the foundation and should be moved. It is now about 15 feet tall. Should we move it now? Let it acclimate to new area then rejuvenate prune next year? Or prune a little now and move? Right now it is on the west side of the house getting afternoon sun. Should it remain in area with lots of sun? Thank you in advance for your advice. Vivian
QUESTION: When these beautiful hydrangeas got too big 3 years ago, I cut them down to half their height. Now, all I have gotten for the last two years is sticks and leaves, no blossoms. If it's shock, shouldn't they have gotten over it by now? What can I do? Ann
QUESTION: I have these beautiful flowering plants that are now at least 12 feet tall. I'm not sure what they are since they were here when we bought the house. I love the flowers but they need help. They are too overgrown. Can I cut them back now? They flowered in June. Many thanks. Gladys
QUESTION: We purchased this spruce shrub 2 months ago and planted it in a sunny garden (5-6 hours sun) at the front of our home. I fed and watered it for the first few weeks and it seemed to be thriving. Two weeks ago, we noticed it starting to brown. We’ve had tunnels from chipmunks or voles, in this area and wondered if this could be causing the problem. Do you have any advice on how to save this shrub? Thank you. Carol
QUESTION: The pieris japonica on this pathway has become over exuberant. I am thinking about cutting the shrubs all the way back. I think they will grow back, but is that a good idea or should I just prune back part of the bushes? Thanks for your help, Kris
QUESTION: I have a small quince that seems not to be blooming at all. I think it is still alive. I have it in full sun, but there are no leaves or anything. What can i do to help it move along? Thank you, Lisa
QUESTION: A few months ago, I planted a few "Heavenly Blue" Morning Glory seeds around my lamp pole and I got tons of leaves, but no flowers. What happened?! Thank you. Katie
QUESTION: My husband planted a spiral arborvitae 2 years ago which has never been pruned and looks like a regular arborvitae. Can it be pruned now? Thank you. Carol
QUESTION: My Rhododendron, which has beautiful very large reddish flowers, finished blooming about a month ago. Other Rhododendrons, in my neighborhood, do as mine. About 100 feet from mine, is a Rhododendron, is in bloom now. Every year is the same, blooming one month later. Is that common or is it just lazy and waits until it feels like blooming? Tony
QUESTION: A while back you discussed that overall trimming of an Alberta Dwarf Spruce is problematic, perhaps impacting its survival. If I remember correctly, you recommended replacing the tree with a new planting is likely the best approach. What are your thoughts of the tree surviving a single horizontal cut, perhaps removing the top half or top third of the tree. Would the remaining center eventually "fill in" with new green growth, essentially converting the tree to a lower growing shrub? As you can see from the attached photo, these 15-18 year old are very healthy trees, hardly dwarfs any longer, and are beginning to block daylight from the front windows. Thank You in Advance. Mike
QUESTION: I planted two Andromeda bushes about 10 years ago. Obviously, something serious went wrong with one of them. Can you tell me what happened and if it can be saved? Thank you so much. Marsha
QUESTION: My daughter-in-law has this beautiful flowering bush in the middle of her slate patio. The flowers are very small and a vibrant color of purple. It is quite stunning when in full bloom. Can you identify it for us? Many thanks, Kathy
QUESTION: When do you cut back a hydrangea and how far do you cut it back. Thank you. Fran
QUESTION: I want to be sure that my two hydrangea bushes on the side of my garage do NOT grow out of control. What is the protocol for pruning them to keep them from growing too tall. I like my bushes at dwarf size. I would appreciate your advice! Thanks, Margaret
QUESTION: I noticed some weeds that look like little pines (see attached picture) on my lawn. How can I prevent them from invading the grass? Thanks, Jane
QUESTION: In the spring I noticed that my boxwoods had some brown leaves in the center. I did see new growth in the spring but the brown leaves remain. Was this caused by the harsh winter and how can I prevent this from happening again. I have about fifty of these shrubs around my home both in the front and backyard. I look forward to hearing your suggestions. Susan
QUESTION: I have a beautiful holly bush that has gotten away from me and grown to be ungainly and way too large. How can I prune it down to a more reasonable size and shape without putting it into shock or killing it? - Margie
QUESTION: Could you please tell me what may have happened to my Japanese Maple Tree? One side is completely dead. Thanks, Sandra
QUESTION: Linda, the lilac bush in our yard had lovely blooms this season but there are areas of leaf loss. We have never seen this before. Please advise. Thanks, Tina
QUESTION: We put in a witch hazel in 2012 for the February floral burst. It never drops its leaves so the blossoms are hidden. Short of continuing to snip off every leaf in January before bud break how can I encourage complete abscission layer formation and leaf drop in the fall? Gretchen
QUESTION: A few weeks ago you answered a question regarding trees that they could be pruned any time of year. Can hedges be also pruned anytime? We usually prune our hedges twice a year but last year we only did it once and now they are quite tall. Can I cut them back now, or do I have to wait until springtime? Mary
QUESTION: I have a 14 year-old, quite full, and until recently very healthy hedge of cotoneasters about 1-1/2 feet tall. About a month ago, one section started to become very brown and die. I have watered once weekly in hopes that perhaps this damage was caused by the extra dry, hot summer as they are in full sun. The damage has slowly progressed, and I fear it will eventually spread and cause the complete hedge to die. Is there a condition that plagues these cotoneasters that could have been caused by this summer's extreme heat, and what can I do to save the hedge? Thank you so much. Elena
QUESTION: Hi Linda - There are several wild azaleas on my property behind my house in the woods. They are old and a bit spindly as the oak trees around them have shaded them for 40+ years. I have enjoyed the blooms for many years and I was wondering is there any way I can transplant them to a better location where I can see them more easily? Should I prune them in preparation? What time of year would be best to move them? Thanks for any advice you can share. Robin
QUESTION: I have a Flowering Quince in my yard and every year at this time it bursts into beautiful blooms, but not this year. There are a few blooms at the bottom, but for the most part it's bare. What's going on? Carol
QUESTION: I have a house at Black Point Beach in Niantic and need help with plants that the deer won't EAT...At the present I have daylilies across the front of the house on the south side and they (deer) are enjoying the Salad Bar. We have sprayed, and currently have fish line going across and somehow they are getting at them. HELP...What can I plant there that they won't eat? Fran
QUESTION: My boxwoods look terrible with spots all over them and some of the leaves are brown and falling off. What's going on with them and what can I do?
QUESTION: I have a large number of azalea bushes in my yard; they are well established and exhibit a great variety of color and show every spring. I have started to notice a fungus showing up on branches throughout most of my bushes. Any idea what this fungus is and how may I protect my plants from additional fungus spread? Dave G. – Groton
QUESTION: I have Burning Bush shrubs in my yard, but I read that they are very invasive. What's the story and what should I do?

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