Problems with oranges may mean the rootstock is growing | Home/Garden

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit questions, email her Gill at

I ground up some pine stumps, but was told not to use pine chips as mulch. If so, what’s the good use? — Jay Kaposh

I don’t understand why you were told not to use ground pine trunks as mulch. Recycling them is a great way.

Digging wood chips into bed soil to prepare for planting can cause problems. When incorporated into soil as an organic matter improver, wood chips are rotten by soil fungi and bacteria. Wood chips are low in nitrogen and absorb and bind nitrogen from the soil as organisms in the soil decay. There is a possibility

If you want to use them as an organic soil conditioner, you should first pile up the wood chips and compost them for 6-12 months. Add a nitrogen-containing fertilizer to

However, this is not a problem when using wood chips as a mulch that is applied to the soil surface. When used that way, they sit on top of the soil (which looks nice and discourages weeds) and doesn’t bind nitrogen.

I have a few questions about the two trees. Our Bradford pear has a small hole that circles the stem from bottom to top. do you know what these are? In case of insect infestation, what can we do? The tree seems fine. Secondly, red maple has a lot of green lichen. is that ok? Should I handle it with something? thank you for your cooperation. — Tom and Sarah DuBois

Bradford pear damage is caused by a bird called the sapsucker. It penetrates the bark and pecks small holes in neatly arranged rows around the trunk and major branches of the tree. There will also be damage in spring. Trees are usually fine with damage. The holes leave scars that last for years, but no long-term adverse effects are commonly observed.

Lichens are not parasites and do not need to be removed. However, they may indicate low tree vitality. Fertilize maple trees in February to increase vigor. Use all-purpose fertilizer or tree fertilizer according to package directions.

I’m trying to find low-branched Meyer lemons that I can espalier on the fence along my driveway. To train as desired, you need branches in the lower part of the trunk that are close to the ground.Can I plant deeper than my current soil line without killing the tree?

No, you cannot plant trees deeper than the current soil line. This is harmful to the roots (buried too deep in the soil). Espalier lemon trees using trees found in the nursery, or force the tree to branch down the lower trunk if absolutely necessary.

A radical step is required to force the growth of the lower branches. The only way to force a tree to grow from the bottom of the trunk is to cut it back to where new growth occurs. This means cutting off most of the tree, leaving a shortened trunk to the point where you want the branches to grow (make sure to cut well above the graft junction). Take out. You can then use those buds to begin training your tree in the shape of your desired espalier.

Volunteers cut weeds at the Industrial Canal levee. It’s easier to pull weeds regularly than to deal with an overgrown weedy area all at once.

garden tips

Continue weeding: Protect your garden bed from weeds even in winter. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch prevents seed germination of most cold season weeds. It is more effective to control weeds through normal efforts than to try to fix a situation that has inadvertently spiraled out of control.

Consider roses: New shipments of rose bushes are expected to arrive at local garden centers over the next few months. It’s the perfect time to plant in a sunny bed.

Cold and camellia: Camellia is blooming beautifully. Open flowers are susceptible to damage during severe freezing, and it’s a shame to see them ruined.

Keep blooming: When your holiday cactus plants stop blooming, don’t throw them away. Place it on a sunny windowsill during the winter. Allow the soil to dry slightly before watering. Keeping the soil moist will encourage root rot. With proper care, this plant will keep blooming for years.

colder: We have just experienced a major freeze, but more are likely to occur. Keep soft plant covering materials on hand to continue to protect plants damaged by previous freezes.

Keep trees: If you decide to leave your Christmas tree in place past Christmas Day (many people leave their trees in place until King’s Day on January 6), check the water level in the tree stand every few days. , don’t forget to add water if needed. .

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit questions, email her Gill at

As for using the word “winter,” I’m a bit contradictory. I often describe this time of year in gardening terms as the “cool season.”

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit questions, email her Gill at

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