Replacing Japanese maple tree can be done by company or self — good opportunity to look for problems

Q: A few years ago I wrote to you about the sad state of my weeping maple tree. I was told to cut off the dead part and see what happens. Well, it’s a breather from heaven. How can I dig it out of my bed and remove it? I want to replace it with another one, but I don’t know how to get it out of the ground.

A: You have several options. If you want to replace it with a fairly large Acer palmatum, it is a good idea to ask the nursery shop where you purchased it to dig up the old maple and replant the new maple. Some tree companies have tree spades that make the digging process a lot easier. The spade will go down around the tree and lift it up to make a hole for the new one. If you want to do everything yourself, first get a sharp shovel and start pruning the roots. Once you have a full circle, go down even deeper and try to wedge under the tree by going around and around until you can “lift” the tree and root ball. is recommended. Leave 3 feet of trunk to grab. Unless the tree dies from root rot, it’s not easy as the root system is pretty tenacious. When digging up the roots, make sure there are no problems with drainage.

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Q: Right after the December cold wave, the azaleas were slightly damaged, but not too bad. I thought it would look better when it got warmer, but it looks worse. I just scraped off some branches and there may be a little greenery underneath, but the tops are crispy critters. Need to replace now? they are so ugly

A: Brown is the new green for this year. I know it’s hard to see all the plant damage in nearly every garden, but ignore it for now. I’m assuming you’re planning on replacing your plants in the spring, but at this point, no one knows how badly your plants are damaged. Do not Before you dig up or prune “dead” plants, let’s get them through the winter and see what will start to grow next spring.

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Q: I need to shorten my fig tree and am wondering when is the best time to do it in central Arkansas.

A: I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Mother Nature has already done it for you this season with the bitter cold of December. Let’s see if it starts. In some cases, it may be the soil line. Figs bear fruit on new growth, so if you’re lucky and undamaged, prune as soon as you see new growth. Pruning now cuts off any protection the plant might have if winter weather persists.

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Q: I would like to grow edible purple and red cabbage. I have never seen any plants or seeds here. I live in Little Rock and grew my first green cabbage in 2022. Requires only about 10 seeds or plants (prefers plants). do you know where i can get these? I appreciate any help you can give me.

A: Growing cabbage transplants from seed takes six to eight weeks. Seeds should be available at many plant stores, but in late February and March, nurseries and garden centers start to sell vegetable transplants. You should be able to find purple cabbage transplants to plant wherever you are. Unless you have a greenhouse, most gardeners find that transplanting is a better place to start than cold-season vegetable seeds such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, or warm-season vegetable seeds such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. I got

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 [email protected]

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