What is happening with my loquat?
Dear Neil: This is what I see with my medlar tree. I removed all the dead leaves I could, but now I see these huge amounts of bark split and fall. What does this suggest for the future of my tree?
The bark is an essential tissue in carrying sugars from the leaves to the roots. Just inside the bark is a tissue called a phloem. It is in this cylinder of conductive tissue that the sugars are transported. When the bark is lost, the feed line is lost. Therefore, I am very concerned about the long term hopes for your tree. I suspect you will eventually need to replace it. I apologize for the nature of my response.
Dear Neil: If three of my Italian cypress trees have green branches inside, is there hope for the plants if I cut off the brown branches?
It depends on what caused the browning. Some Italian cypress trees have been killed by the cold, and this damage will continue to worsen now that they are under the stress of summer. Others are affected by Seiridium canker. It is a disease for which we have neither prevention nor treatment. So it also doesn’t seem like there is much more hope for the Italian cypress with this problem. Spider mites are also a problem and they appear earlier on conifers than mites on other plants. Whether or not the plants return from spider mite damage would really depend on the extent of the damage. You would need to determine for sure if spider mites were indeed involved.
Dear Neil: We have a very large trumpet vine covered with pods. Can I grow another trumpet vine from these pods?
Yes, if you leave them on the plant until they are ripe and the seeds are ripe. However, are you really sure you want to? Trumpet vines are incredibly invasive, sending root sprouts all over the yard. The much more refined variety called ‘Madame Galen’ trumpet would be a much better choice. It would be my only choice in an orange trumpet vine.
Dear Neil: As we continue to wait for our plants to recover from the frost, we see this kind of growth on the laurels of the Texas mountains (see photo). Should we remove all these shoots and let the plant push all of its energy towards the growing tip, or should we let them develop?
Let them develop. They won’t steal the tips that much, and you probably want the plants to fill up anyway.
Dear Neil: Do you think the hedge in the attached photos can be salvaged? I prefer not to have to replace everything.
I was unable to separate the photos in your PDF sheet. It looks like it’s Japanese boxwood, and it looks like the back is 80 percent dead. Unfortunately, I think it would take a long time for those five or six factories to fill up again. As little as these costs, you’d be much better off replacing them. Since they are found under low windows, I suggest you consider Yaupon Dwarf Holly, Dwarf Chinese Holly, or Carissa Holly. All would be more spread out and easier to maintain, also more durable.
Dear Neil: I have a golden rain tree that has yet to grow a single leaf this year. I love this tree, but it should now grow vigorously. Is there a chance he’ll come back normally?
Looks like you have a Chinese flaming tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata), sometimes referred to as a southern golden rain tree. It produces pink pods which ripen in the fall. It is subtropical and is much less winter hardy than its northern counterpart (K. paniculata). I’m going to assume he’s frozen and won’t come back.
Dear Neil: Attached is a photo of our living oak tree. It appears to be a root annealing problem. How can I find a list of tree growers who can help with this problem?
If you visit the International Society of Arboriculture website, you will find a way to submit your zip code to find an arborist in your area. I warn you that it will also list the arborists who work for companies and who teach in universities. But if you keep sorting, this is the official way to find a certified arborist. Good independent garden centers will know the best in your area. Looking at your photo, it looks like something you could knock out with a small pruning saw, chisel, mallet, and a little time and patience. You just need to get rid of the pieces of the roots around you.
Dear Neil: After the frost washed away our Indian Hawthorns, we replaced them with Carissa Holly because we heard they were almost indestructible. Recently we have seen this damage. Apparently something ate them?
Yes. Almost certainly, rabbits have visited your plants. I helped our son replace his Indian hawthorns with dwarf Burford holly, and their plants were pulled out by the rabbits. He temporarily erected chicken wire cages around them until the plants could develop mature, leathery foliage later in the summer. This is the most damage I have seen rabbits do to holly.
Have a question you would like Neil to review? Send it to him by mail to the care of this journal or send him an e-mail to [email protected] Neil regrets that he cannot answer the questions individually.