Q: I had an oversized aloe plant that I repotted. It took three of us to tilt the pot and wiggle it out. I left the mother plant and two smaller plants in the original pot. What I had left was 15 plants. However, they are dying. The mother plant is leaking a brownish-red substance on my floor that is staining my tiles.
Q: I have a jade plant that seems to be doing very well. I’ve had it for about four months. However, I am finding bugs in the dirt around the base of the plant. What are these light- to medium-brown insects that are less than an inch in length and curl up like a snail when I touch them? How do I get rid of them without damaging the plant?
Q: I hope you might have the time to answer a question about willow trees. I cleared off some willow trees to make way for a vegetable garden. In my rush to set up the garden, I did not treat the roots of the willow trees to avoid shoots coming up.
Q: I live in the tropical country of Indonesia. In my country, we have dry and wet seasons. The temperature is similar throughout the year, between 77 and 86 degrees. However, there is more sunlight during the dry season.
Q: I have had my little spider plant since Earth Day. It definitely needs a new pot. I am going to get that done during my college Christmas break. What is the white stuff that forms around the edges of my pot?
Q: I have a row of 20 pyramidal arborvitaes. They are narrow, cylindrical and bushy all the way to the top (not pointy like emerald greens.) They bend over during heavy snowfalls, and I have to tie them upright every spring. They are getting too big to do this every year. I was going to try to tie them upright this fall, but we just got hit with that crazy snowstorm here on the East Coast.
Q: I have a question about black walnuts. We get plenty of black walnuts from our trees, but I’ve never thought much about using them. I always let the squirrels have them. This year, I wanted to make a black walnut pound cake. Do I wash the shells and let them dry or just lay them out and let them dry before I crack open the shells?
Q: I need some advice. I have jade plants that are growing nicely. However, they reach a certain point where they get top heavy and bend over. Short of propping them up with sticks, how do I get them to grow stronger stems? Am I overwatering? Do I need bigger pots? Please help if you can.
Q: I had a question concerning the growth of red maples. How can I tell if the tree is in shock or is stunted? About six years ago, I planted two red maples in the front yard. One tree is almost five times the size of the other. I am wondering what could be wrong. Both get adequate water, and we have not experienced a drought. I’m wondering if I didn’t remove enough of the root sack or if it is bad soil.
Q: I am trying to gather some information on planting a plum tree. This past summer, I took two healthy plum shoots from an heirloom plum tree on my uncle’s farm in West Virginia. I took them home with me to Tennessee and planted them in pots using a mixture of Miracle-Gro, manure and compost. What is the proper way to plant them outside?
Q: I am looking for a recommendation on a ground cover that would be on a fairly steep south-facing slope. My goal is to get rid of the grass and replace it with something that spreads out and I don’t have to mow. A bonus would be something that has nice color in the fall and attracts bees and butterflies.
Q: We planted 10 Black Hills spruce trees this spring. Most are doing very well, but three have several brown and brittle branches with no needles. My husband had the sprinkler system on for 2½ hours tonight and watered the trees three days ago for about an hour. I think they are being extremely overwatered, which is killing them.
Q: I have severe pine needle scale on my spruce trees. Today, I noticed the males were in flight, so I’m guessing this is the second generation for the season. Is it too late for a systemic drench application? What product is the most potent systemic to use? There seems to be several brand names with different active ingredients. I have access to professional-grade chemicals.
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