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carol g

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  1. carol g

    Bur Oak Problem

    Dear Janet, Thank you for the detailed reply, and your guidance regarding possible other causes. Fortunately, the company with the arborist who felt stumped by the situation sent a more experienced one to take a look. That arborist recommended sampling, and is sending a climber tomorrow to collect the required samples which will go overnight as per the university instructions. In the meantime, I will share your thoughts with my son and continue sleuthing. The oaks are all native, the homes in the neighborhood all have many. Should I still check for a girdled root? or is that unlikely for trees as old as these must be. Also, last spring my son had an overflow issue in his septic field, which is very near this tree and perhaps introduced toxins? Fingers-crossed for a conclusive diagnosis, whatever it might be. As always, thank you for all your help. More as I know it. Carol
  2. carol g

    Bur Oak Problem

    My son has many mature Bur Oaks on his property in northern Illinois. Last year about this time (July) one began to drop leaves quickly and eventually shed them all during the summer. This season, that tree did not leaf out. This summer, a second BO tree in the vicinity of the first is doing the same thing. This time, paying more attention to the matter, the crown shows yellowing and decline. My son contacted the Morton Arb, the U of I Plant Clinic - both recommended culture sampling for a conclusive diagnosis. The difficulty is collecting a fresh sample of healthy tissue from this large tree, which would require a tree company to climb in order to get to the lowest branch. In the meantime, my son contacted three tree companies who sent their certified arborists to assess the issue. The result was three different diagnoses/recommendations - 1) cut the tree down - there is no saving it (also the dead one); 2) treat with fungicide for thousands of dollars; and 3) no diagnosis, the arborist was stumped. None of the three took samples for culture. There are 12 mature Bur Oaks on the property, and if there is an untreatable disease spreading that will kill them all it will be a tremendous blow for my son. He is considering hiring a company to climb and collect the sample required by the U of I folks. If anyone on this forum has information or experience regarding Bur Oak problems like what I am describing, please help. As a last resort, the U of I folks will accept photos and ground debris from this tree but have stated that testing a freshly harvested sample of both healthy and affected tissue (branch and leaves) is the best way to go. Thank you in advance for input. Carol
  3. Hello Everyone, My son has an Emperor 1 JM that is five years old. Since leafing out this year, three branches have lost their leaves. The leaves curl up and look fried, then drop off. All branches are on the side facing away from his home. He lives in the Chicago area. I am wondering about the cause, could it be the very cold spring temps? how about lawn herbicide? I do not see any visible damage on the trunk or limbs. I realize this kind of thing is difficult to diagnose, what steps to take now? I advised him not to panic and leave the tree alone for now, wait and see. We have had significant water this year, so underwatering is not the cause, and water does not pool near this tree. Are there other things I can look for? thank you to all. Carol
  4. Dsmith74, Your comment "leaf out, get defoliated, and not grow new leaves until next year" made me realize that I did not notice the lack of leaves until now. Looking closer, all trunks are shedding some leaves now and the bare trunk may have leafed out this year - I simply never noticed until it was bare. Since the trunk in question does not appear to pose a threat to my home or neighbor's home, I may stand down on calling a tree service to remove it, but the branches on that trunk look dead. I will try to post a photo within the next few days. thank you, Carol
  5. I have an HR Birch that is about 20 years old. When first planted there were 5 trunks, and over the years 2 trunks were lost due to storm damage. In the last three years, leaf size has diminished and leaves have fallen early. This year, one of the remaining trunks did not leaf out at all. Is there any chance that the leafless trunk is exhibiting symptoms of recent drought years, and might bounce back next year? Or should I contact the tree service and have it removed? I am beginning to consider what to plant as a replacement, as I am not optimistic about the future of this tree. I welcome all suggestions, thank you. Carol
  6. I lost two Caryopteris that did not survive the 2013 winter. I was not able to find replacements locally, so I mail-ordered them from a reputable source. They just arrived today and I am a bit disappointed. The plants are somewhat rootbound, but not the worst I've seen. The topgrowth however, has been "sheared." They do not look like they have ever been pruned to remove crossing branches, branches growing into the center, etc. My practice with the shrubs that I cut hard in the spring (caryopteris, callicarpa, spirea) is to try and establish a well-spaced framework, sort of like rose-growers do. I would like to cut these new shrubs back hard, remove crossing branches, spindly growth, etc. However, it is now June and I have never cut this late in the past. Can I go ahead and clean up the tangled roots and tangled, crowded topgrowth before planting? These shrubs are already leafed out, but not fully, and are probably 2 years old - they are a 1 gallon pot size. thank you to all. Carol G
  7. Hello Everyone, My son has three mature bur oaks on his property. A few years ago, he removed the grass and mulched (wide and shallow, not mulch volcanoes!) to protect the trunks from his tractor. The diameter of the mulched area (a ring) around the largest tree is approximately 12 feet. The mulch is shredded bark. He asked about planting in the mulched area which seems too bare to him, and prefers ornamental grasses. He asked me to plant Karl Foerster in a "ring" around each tree. The canopy of these tress is quite high, the lawn, evergreens, and understory trees are not subject to deep shade. My questions are: 1. Will planting under these oaks negatively impact them? 2. Will Karl Foerster do ok in this situation? 3. If yes to #2, any suggestings besides a "ring" of plants? Perhaps another variety as a companion, or a staggered placement that adds more movement? 4. If Karl Foerster is not a good choice, what other ornamental grass could be used here? Thank you. Carol
  8. Steven, I did do as you suggested, cut out all suspicious wood, and managed to stop the wilt. All three caryopteris bloomed well, even the two that lost considerable wood to wilt this season. Of the three, one put on tremendous growth in 2012. As we approach winter, can I cut it back a little? It overhangs the sidewalk a bit, and I believe snow will cause some breakage of the longer, outer branches. I will be cutting back hard in the spring, but is it ok to cut back a little now to prevent breakage could occur from snow and ice? I have caryopteris seedlings everywhere, but some do not have the same leaf color as the parent. I may save a few, but am wondering if seedlings are not always true to the species they came from? I plan to keep caryopteris in my garden, but so far it has been more touchy than I expected. If anyone has a caryopteris variety to recommend, please let me know. I wanted a gold leaf caryopteris, and planned to plant Worcester Gold but could not find it. I ended up with c. incana Jason instead, but that variety that has been plagued with wilt. thank you.
  9. Hello Everyone, Last year I planted 3 Caryopteris Incana "Jason" (Sunshine Blue). Two did very well, one suffered wilt then die back of about 1/3 of its growth. I cut the dead wood back somewhat, and otherwise left it alone to fend for itself. This spring I cut all three back hard, and needed to remove the dead remains from last year since that section never budded out at all. Nonetheless, that caryopteris came back strong and looks good - although it is just slightly smaller than the others. A few days ago, I noticed the wilt starting again on one of the caryopteris, not the same one as last year. While it has been very dry, hot, and windy (near Chicago) this summer, I am fairly certain it is not suffering from the drought. I guess it is possible that I might have overwatered? No wilt on the other two. I asked one of the owners of a local independent garden center for advice and he replied that they no longer sell Caryopteris because they had to replace too many as per their guarantee. I do not want to replace this plant, the fragrance, shape, color, flower, bees, and butterflies are worth any effort it will take for me to figure this out. I hope someone can help. thank you. Carol G
  10. I believe my question relates to carol m's concern about fungus on peat pots, so I am placing it on this thread. I began last year mulching my vegetable garden with straw. I still have a few bales from last year, left out all winter and hopefully "seasoned." Will the fungus/mold that is between the layers of straw in those old bales infect my vegetable garden? A nearby garden center had several bales of seasoned straw to be thrown away. When I asked to buy it, the owner warned me about infecting my vegetable garden with it. She said it would be safe to use elsewhere, just not the veg garden. Unfortunatley, when I used fresh straw last year, the sprouting seeds were also a big problem. Can I use last year's straw in my vegetable garden safely? thank you.
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