Don Kinzler / Forum News Service
Q: We have a beautiful 8-year-old flowering crab in south Moorhead. We found three different spots with this translucent “bag” 6 to 8 inches long attached to a branch, with worms both inside and outside the bag. We snipped the branch off below that area. Do you recognize the culprit, and should we do anything more to protect our tree? — Ricki and Dave Shaw, Moorhead, Minn.
FARGO — During the years my wife, Mary, and I operated our garden center, I always smiled when customers mentioned they wanted to plant perennials to eliminate the work involved in flower gardening.
Q: Do you have any idea what is wrong with my burning bush or what I can do to save it? It is several years old and I have never had an issue with it before. Some of the branches are brown, but some appear to have some green on them but no leaves. Thanks for any insight you can give. — Kelli Medders.
FARGO — I promise I’ll return to more uplifting garden columns very soon, but the mailbox has been filled with photos of dead trees and dying limbs from homeowners wondering if there’s a new tree disease spreading across the land. The main culprit was winter injury. Like every spring and summer, there are side issues, such as anthracnose causing some ash leaves to drop, cankerworms and assorted insects nibbling leaves and, of course, rabbits that were well-fattened on their winter smorgasbord.
Q: What are the bumps on my tree leaves, and how do I get rid of them? — Scott Langemo. A: The round, protruding bump-like growths on tree leaves are called galls. Tree types commonly affected include maple, hackberry, poplar, oak and linden. The galls are caused by several types of insects and mites.
FARGO — Gardening is uplifting, whether we’re working on our lawn and landscape or planting vegetables, flowers and fruits. Some of the things we do are downright funny, such as making sure our mowing pattern is straight so the neighbors don’t snicker at our crooked lines or making everyone wait while picking the last of the string beans before heading down the road on vacation.
Q: We have our fingers crossed that the green ash tree pictured along a boulevard in south Fargo will survive. It has been girdled completely around the trunk except for a small strip, likely by rabbits. We walk by each day and marvel at how it has begun to leaf out. — Gerald Larsen. A: Thanks for the great photos. This is going to be very interesting to watch, as the tree is beginning to grow after severe injury to the lower trunk.
FARGO — Even old, experienced gardeners must admit they still have plenty to learn as new plant varieties are developed and research improves they way we do things. Experience is a great teacher, and as we tend our lawns, gardens, flowers and landscapes, we accumulate a storehouse of horticultural knowledge. When we first begin working in the yard and garden, whatever our age, there’s much to learn. When is it safe to plant? Why are some perennials divided in spring, and others in fall? What’s with all these weeds?
Q: This morning I picked a bouquet of these flowers from a shrub at the corner of our home and brought them to church. So many people asked me what they were and I don't know. Can you identify them? — Sue Ellingson. A: The beautiful flowers are from the shrub called Rose Tree of China, also known as double-flowering plum. The botanical name is Prunus triloba multiplex, and it’s in the plum family, although it doesn’t produce fruit.
There are lessons to be learned from Adam and Eve’s situation. First, when tempted to pick an apple, Honeycrisp would have been a more prudent choice. Second, when deciding among apple cultivars, a talking snake isn’t the best source of information. Spring is an excellent time to plant fruit trees. Consider the following tips when shopping for an apple tree.