Fungal growth on tree indicative of internal decay — removal may be necessary

Q: Here is a picture of a tree in the forest behind my house in Maumer. can you identify it? It looks like a brain, but I suspect its growth is an invasive species. It has recently appeared and is growing rapidly.

A: White growths on tree trunks are conch, or fungal fruiting bodies. Once rot begins inside the tree, there’s not much you can do to stop it. If trees are growing, they should be removed if they can cause damage if they fall.

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Q: This shrub is shady and has a woody trunk, green branches and stems, three clusters of leaves and red berries in autumn. I can’t find it in a book or online. can you tell me what it is?

A: The evergreen shrub in question is Nanten native to Japan. Some gardeners consider it an invasive species, while others like the red winter foliage coupled with the berries. So birds are less likely to drop seeds and plant more. Nandina grows in full sun to near-total shade, but better winter color and fruiting occur with more light.

Q: I tried growing paperwhite bulbs last year and it was a disaster. The bulbs grew very quickly, but the growth was very “long-legged”. Flowers bloomed at different times, and the stems began to fall. It was loosely tied, but not very attractive. I think it needed more light when germinating. The temperature I stored them in was my home temperature of about 68 degrees. Do you have any suggestions on how we can get better results this year?

A: Paperwhite narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus) is one of the few daffodils that does not require pre-cooling. They can be planted as soon as you bring them home and will usually flower in 3-6 weeks. When planting bulbs, you can grow the bulbs on rocks or decorative glass beads and plant the bulbs halfway through the base of the rock. pour the Place the bulbs in a cool place at 55-60 degrees until new growth begins. Once the bulbs have sprouted and are 1 to 2 inches tall, alcohol can be added to the mixture to slow down growth. Many gardeners use cheap vodka with an alcohol to water ratio of 1:7. When exposed to higher temperatures, they grow taller and have longer legs. Rotate the container periodically so that it does not tilt towards the light. You can also make plans to support the stems as they grow. Place deciduous stems from outdoor plants or small stems of nanten with leaves around the pot. This gives it a gorgeous look and also supports the stem. When the flowers start to bloom, keep them in a cool place away from direct sunlight. This will prolong the flowering period. After the flowers have finished blooming, it is common to discard the bulbs and buy new bulbs next year.

Janet Carson, retired after 38 years at the University of Arkansas’ Joint Extension Service, is one of Arkansas’ most renowned horticultural professionals.her blog is or email her at PO Box 2221, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

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