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Tree Topics:
QUESTION: I have an Alberta Spruce which has some branches that are turning brown. It started this spring. Any idea what maybe happening to it? Janet
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: I've been noticing a white powdery substance all over the limbs of my lilac tree. Please tell me what I can do to get rid of this "fungus". Thank you, Tammy
QUESTION: I have a pink Kousa Dogwood in my yard (I think variety Satomi or Rosabella). Well, the flowers are not very pink, rather an off-white. Anything I can do to enhance pink flowers, like I see elsewhere? The tree is in full sun. A few of the lower branches, which are shaded by its upper branches, have the nice pink coloration. Thanks, Paul
QUESTION: I have an approximately 25-year-old weeping cheery in my front yard. This year as soon as the blossoms appeared, there was an approximately 80 to 90% die back of blossoms and future leaf buds. As of right now, many of the tree's tentacles (branches) are dead or dying. Yesterday while driving down Roxbury Rd. in Niantic, I noticed 2 other houses with Weeping cherries with the same condition. Is it possible there is a blight or fungus affecting these trees and is it possible these trees will survive? Thank you Paul
QUESTION: Our weeping cherry tree is about 20 years old and is quite large. It has always done well and is beautiful. However, this year it is only blooming in certain parts. What do I do? Lynda
QUESTION: We've got all these holes in our tree by the pond. Is it termites? Is there anything we should do for the tree's health? Terri
QUESTION: Attached is a photo of the Kousa Dogwood tree in our yard that was planted about 5 years ago. You will see that the leaves all have brown tips and are curled around the edges. It gave us the appearance of needing water so we made sure it had plenty this summer, but it didn''t seem to make a difference. The tree has had very sparse flowering every spring. Other plantings in the area seem to be doing fine. Can you tell me what could be possibly wrong with our tree as we would hate to have it get worse and possibly lose it? Thank you. John
QUESTION: Several weeks ago your column dealt with invasive seedlings and you recommended a vinegar solution. I have invasive bamboo that is creeping over from a neighboring property. I've tried digging it out, burning with a blow torch and (last resort) Roundup. Nothing works. Will the vinegar solution work if I do it at this time of year? Judy
QUESTION: Our neighbors had a Pepperidge tree cut down and now there are seedlings coming up everywhere in their lawn and ours! We keep trying to dig them up but the roots are enormous!!! We are past customers of yours and hope you can give us advice. Our river heritage birch you planted here is gorgeous!! Thanks in advance for your time. Cheryl
QUESTION: I have a 50+ yr old, 45-ft tall Pine Tree that has become very sickly looking in the past year. The lower branches on the north side of the tree seem to be in worse shape. Can you please tell me what ails the tree and if it can be saved? I have attached pictures of the Pine Tree for you to look at. Thank you! Kimberly
QUESTION: We bought this tree Sept 2015 and planted it in fresh loam and fertilized it as recommended by the nursery where we bought it. The tag says "Thundercloud Flowering Plum, Prunus cerasifera". It looks healthy, but It has never blossomed. It's soft leaves all have round holes from insect bites. The amount of leaves look sparse. We have never seen beetles, caterpillars or any other bugs on it. We have used Bayer insect spray as directed. We fertilized once each spring. Why doesn't it bloom as stated on literature? Irene and Jim
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: These are pictures of my birch tree which seems to be dying branch by branch. There is a green tufted mossy/grassy growth on some of the branches. The branches with the most growth seem to be doing the worst. What do you advise? Thank you, Kathy
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: My question has to do with my Wisteria which should be blooming in the spring. It has been many years since it bloomed, perhaps decades. I wonder whether I'm pruning it incorrectly or if it requires special fertilizer or other care to get it to bloom. It's frustrating to drive by so many Wisteria in full bloom and mine doesn't have a single blossom. I look forward to your advice. Thanks, Alan
QUESTION: I have a one year old indoor lemon tree that has blossomed 3 times and now has 2 lemons on it and they are growing slowly. How do I care for this plant regarding temperature, fertilizing and all around care? It now has some new growth which is encouraging. Thanks, Linda
QUESTION: I always look forward to your column. My Japanese Red Maple tree and my Japanese Threadleaf Maple tree both still have not dropped their leaves and it is January. What is the cause? Shirley
QUESTION: My cherry trees always blossom and produce small fruit every spring, but the fruit dries up and falls off the tree. Do you know why this might happen? Thank you. Amanda in Mystic
QUESTION: How can I protect my young Magnolia tree that I planted this year from the "wrath of winter". Thank you. Daniel
QUESTION: My husband and I have just moved into an active adult community in Niantic. On my daily walk, I notice that many tree roots are running above ground. The trees seem to be healthy, but I wonder what makes these roots come to the surface instead of being deep in the ground? Thank you. Linda
QUESTION: I have a white dogwood that was planted approximately 5 years ago. It did not bloom the first two years. The last two years, the dogwood blooms, but not all of it. Some of the tree does not bloom and I don''t know why. Do I need to fertilize? What kind? Perhaps, I need to do something else? Thank you for your weekly series, which I find very helpful. Sincerely, Jane
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: I love your column and hope you can shed some light on the issue with my weeping cherry tree. The tree is at least 15 years old, and has grown quite well over the years. A couple of years ago I noticed that one side of the tree was blooming before the other side. And this year the blooms on one side are pink, while the other side is white. Prior to this the tree bloomed all at once and the blooms were all pink. The photo below shows the left side blooming pink, while the right side's white blossoms are still coming in. Can you explain this odd phenomenon? Thank you! Barbara
QUESTION: I have this unusual tree growing in my neighborhood, what is wrong with it? Lori
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: My neighbor and I have a bet. He says fallen oak leaves make soil more acidic and I say that's not true. Can you settle this? Dennis, Essex
QUESTION: Our driveway is overshadowed by a lot of oak trees. This year there are an unusual amount of acorns falling. We have lived in Clinton for 10 years in the same house and we have observed great differences in the acorn crop. This year is about the largest we have ever seen. Is the size of the acorn crop an indication of the coming winter weather? Richard
QUESTION: What is wrong with my maple tree? Otherwise, it looks healthy and full of leaves, no dying branches. What can I do? Can it be saved? Patsy
QUESTION: This summer I went to the Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA when I was on vacation and I saw this tree growing directly against a wall. Can you tell me more about it and what it is? Don
QUESTION: I was visiting the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme last weekend and in one of their gardens they had this beautiful flowering plant. What in the world is it? Thanks! Claire
QUESTION: I just moved into a new home and have discovered three or four Rose of Sharon trees that I would love to have thrive. They are being crowded out by other trees and I didn't know if I could move them elsewhere without hurting them. They are quite tall but thin and have a couple of blooms on them. What do you think? Where would they do best? Thanks! Lori
QUESTION: Hi Linda - I have a 9 year old Japanese maple. This year the bark of the trunk is starting to peel. I broke off a piece and saw beetle-like bugs. There weren't a ton of them, they may have been there just for shade? I love my maple. What should I do? Anna
QUESTION: Hello Linda - I read your article a few weeks ago about volcano mulching which was very disturbing. You mentioned that allowing mulch to go higher up the tree stem than the flare causes small fibrous roots to start growing into the mulch. Given time, these roots actually wrap around the base of the tree and "girdle" and eventually kill the tree. We have a beautiful copper beach which is approximately 65 years old. About 13 years ago, a landscaper volcano mulched that tree. It still LOOKS healthy, but stopped producing nuts about 2-3 years ago. There are quite a few roots through the mound of mulch now. Is it possible to un-volcano mulch a tree? I would greatly appreciate some guidance because we would hate the loss of this lovely tree. Thanks, Lora
QUESTION: I've had this dogwood tree for over 20 years and it seems to be fine. However, in the last several years I've noticed this growth on it. I'm assuming that it's some sort of lichen. Is this anything I should be concerned about? Maureen
QUESTION: With all of the snow lately and broken tree branches, I regret not having Sprigs & Twigs prune my trees earlier. Can pruning be done in the winter or do I need to wait until spring? Chris
QUESTION: I have a tree in my front yard that was planted some time ago and appears to be completely dead. Can you come take a look and tell me what happened and if it can be saved? Kathy
QUESTION: I have a question for you about a maple tree in our yard. It's about 30-35 years old and for the last few years it has been dropping leaves. The leaves are large and they dry up on the branches and fall onto the yard. It seems like its shedding leaves for some reason. The remainder of the tree is full and looks healthy but I'm wondering why some leaves die and fall at this time of year. Linda, Old Lyme
QUESTION: Last week's question about oak leaves got me wondering about black walnut trees and leaves. There is a black walnut tree at my church and the nearby garden is struggling. Is the black walnut tree toxic?
QUESTION: My neighbor and I have a bet. He says fallen oak leaves make soil more acidic and I say that's not true. Can you settle this?
QUESTION: My neighbor told me it was a good time of year to have my large tree topped, but I wanted to ask you first?
QUESTION: We have lived in East Lyme for 26 years. Since the house was built, it was always surrounded by beautiful Mountain Laurel. That was, until the last five or six years, when the Mountain Laurel started dying off. Now there are very few left. Some were almost two inches thick at the base and most are about twelve feet tall. Why are the Mountain Laurels dying?
QUESTION: There is a tree in my backyard near my house that has some kind of fungus growing on it; do I need to be concerned?
QUESTION: We just returned from the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. and we would love to plant a cherry tree in our yard! Are there any native flowering cherry trees we can plant?
QUESTION: I often have to prune a tree on the corner of my house to keep it off the siding. Can anything be done, like moving the tree?
QUESTION: I have this green fungus-looking stuff on the side of my large trees. How do I get rid of it?
QUESTION: I have an Ornamental Pear Tree in my yard and the storm destroyed it. Should I replace it with the same type of tree?
QUESTION: My small Japanese Maple Tree is suddenly half dead. What happened?
QUESTION: I liked your article on apple and pear trees, but what about peaches?
QUESTION: Two weeks ago, you answered a question about browning evergreens and winter damage. I see that happening almost every year at my house and it's pretty stressful. Is there anything I can do?
QUESTION: I'm starting to see some brown color on my evergreens. Are they beginning to die?
QUESTION: Would Winter be a good time to have Sprigs & Twigs prune my trees now or should I call you in the spring?
QUESTION: Several months ago, I wrote about the serious dangers of having bamboo in our community. On May 24, 2013, the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association issued the following report about action being taken at the Connecticut State level regarding bamboo.
QUESTION: We have just moved into a new home and the previous owner had one of the trees "topped". He told us it would invigorate the tree and make it less susceptible to falling on the house in a storm. Do you agree with him?
QUESTION: Many tree branches broke off during the big storm and my father told me to get tree wound paint and put it on the wounds. Is that good advice?
QUESTION: My neighbor has Bamboo plants that have spread rapidly. I am worried they are coming my way. What can be done?
QUESTION: We have now had three major weather events damage trees. It appears that the blizzard has done more damage to trees than the other two storms. Birch trees, cedars and Eastern white pines look to have been especially susceptible. What should we know about how much damage a particular type of tree can sustain?
QUESTION: Is it safe to prune trees in Winter?

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