Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
What are the brown growths in my ash tree?
Answer:

The brown growths in your ash tree are probably ash flower galls.  Galls are abnormal plant growths induced to form by small insects, mites, or other organisms.  On ash trees, a tiny mite causes the male flowers to develop into roundish...

Question:
Which trees and shrubs have colorful fruit in winter?
Answer:

The drab winter landscape can be brightened with several trees and shrubs with colorful, persistent fruit.

Trees and shrubs with colorful fruit in winter.

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Common Name
Question:
Is snow beneficial to landscape plants?
Answer:

A layer of snow is beneficial to many plants in the garden and landscape.  A layer of snow protects plants from extreme cold and the drying effects from sun and wind.  A layer of snow also prevents repeated freezing and thawing of the...

Question:
My shrubs are flopping over due to the weight of heavy, wet snow. What should I do?
Answer:

The weight of heavy, wet snow can cause considerable damage to small trees and shrubs.  When heavy, wet snow accumulates on small trees and shrubs, gently shake the snow from their branches or carefully brush off the snow with a broom....

Question:
My poinsettia suddenly wilted and died. Why?
Answer:

The sudden death of the poinsettia was likely due to a root rot.  Pythium and Rhizoctonia root rots typically occur when plants are watered too frequently and the potting soil is kept saturated.  Allow the surface of the potting soil to...

Question:
Small, white insects flutter about my poinsettia when I water the plant. What are they and how do I control them?
Answer:

The small, white insects are likely whiteflies.  Whiteflies are common insect pests of poinsettia, hibiscus, chrysanthemum, and a number of other indoor plants.  They are most often noticed when watering or handling a plant.  When...

Question:
Can paperwhite narcissus bulbs be saved after they have been forced indoors?
Answer:

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs should be discarded after flowering.  Paperwhites cannot be successfully forced again and are not winter hardy outdoors. 

Question:
When are trees and shrubs most vulnerable to rabbit browsing?
Answer:

In the home landscape, rabbits feed on herbaceous plants (annuals, perennials, vegetables, and grasses) during the growing season.  Trees and shrubs become food sources in late fall and winter (December through March).  Damage to trees...

Question:
My sweet potatoes have become dry and stringy. What caused this?
Answer:

It’s likely the sweet potatoes were not cured and stored properly.  After harvest, sweet potatoes should be cured for 7 to 10 days at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 80 to 90 percent.  (These...

Question:
An amaryllis bulb saved from a previous year produces leaves, but doesn’t bloom. Why?
Answer:

An amaryllis bulb purchased at a garden center or other retail business typically blooms 6 to 8 weeks after the bulb is potted up.  In succeeding years, proper cultural practices must be followed to get the bulb to bloom on an annual basis...

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