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Janet Macunovich

Member Since 02 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 17 2020 10:19 AM

Topics I've Started

Bare Root Tree Sources

22 May 2020 - 07:38 AM

Help us find good sources for bare root trees. We list our sources and others we have heard about, in What's Coming Up #231, Bare Root Tree Sources.


If you can, add to our list or provide a first hand review of a nursery where you've bought bare root trees. Post here or send us an email!



Trees with Girdling Roots

21 May 2020 - 03:42 PM

Let's help everyone out - post those photos here that you take to send to me and Steven to ask "How can I save this tree? It seems to have the root problems you showed us in Plant it Well Even if The Roots are Wrong.* I didn't know all that back when I planted it."


*(You can watch that on our Youtube channel.)   




Then we can all see the problems and talk about rescue operations!


For instance, J.S. sent this photo, from the base of a 100' maple:

Attached File  SchenkMapleRootS.jpg   131.86K   109 downloads


And we say, chisel that root at the lines marked below and lift that obstruction to trunk growth out of there.

Attached File  SchenkMapleRootSa.jpg   132.61K   110 downloads


Chisel, not saw, or saw only starter cuts then chisel because you must be careful not to cut into the bark of the rightful trunk and roots. If it's the only root like that around the tree base you have bought the tree many years of life. If there are more roots like that, call an arborist to have the tree's growth rate evaluated, the other girdles cut out, and a timetable set to watch for improvement or decide on other action.

Waste of Creativity? No!

15 April 2020 - 09:36 AM

We have just posted a starter set of ideas for those wanting to recycle yard waste in place. People like us! You can check out our ideas at Waste of Creativity... but we know you already have ideas to share.

What we hope to see are your own ideas, new or old, small or large, repeats (reinforcements and advancements!) of things already shown or reports on how past projects aged, it's all good,


Pictures are not required but of course they are always enjoyed. When you add your idea below if you have a picture, click the "More Reply Options' button below your post to browse for, then attach and then post your photo.


So, here goes: How do you reuse yard waste?


Sticks as fencing:

Attached File  BluebryTwigCrnr0975.jpg   45.42K   96 downloads

Boxwood leaves cupped, brown

17 March 2020 - 11:05 AM

Psyllid emerges as the leaves open from eggs laid last fall inside the tip buds. An oil spray on the emerging foliage helps a lot. (Horticultural oil such as Sunspray, or Neem oil both available at garden centers, or even vegetable oil if you can get it to mix with water by adding a bit of dish soap and continually agitating the spray bottle.) Oil kills soft bodied insects by coating their breathing openings and suffocating them.

It was the sucking feeding of boxwood psyllid that caused the boxwood leaves to cup, and remain small and light green through winter:

Attached File  BoxwoodPsyllid_4190s.jpg   42.66K   92 downloads


It can help to do your pruning early too, removing a lot of the tips. We've written and demonstrated boxwood pruning before budbreak - do your normal shearing to make them smaller than desired-after-growth, plus thin so the interior can continue to develop foliage. The thinning helps keep down boxwood mites, too.

(This link takes you to our old site, gardenAtoZ.com. We still have so much work to do to move all those articles over. Can't be done programmatically; too many differences between software. We are hoping to hire help and be done this year, but...)

Boxwood pruning on GardenAtoZ.com  

(Hmmm... The link is giving me trouble. If this doesn't link through go to GardenAtoZ.com, surf to Ensemble Editions and choose What's Coming Up 40 from the list. Sorry!)



Leaf miners emerge around the same time but what they do is drop from the inside the leaf to the soil -- they have been eating between the leaf surfaces, sitting protected all winter -- and in a few weeks they emerge as adults to lay eggs and start the damage cycle over again.

These miners were still inside the leaf in the first week of May. Some years they drop out earlier than that:

Attached File  BoxMinerLarv0695.jpg   6.85K   94 downloads


More on leaf miners in What's Coming Up 40 (another issue we have yet to move from .com to .org):


(Argh. Another malfunctioning link. Please copy and paste the URL to get there. I will call the programmers. So much time on computer stuff when so much is calling to be done outdoors - double argh!)


Watch for those tiny gnat-like insects in early to mid-May. Ruffle the top of the bush and you will see them flit around. Any insecticide or soap can kill them then, and you reduce the number left to lay eggs.


No use trying to kill leaf miners in the leaf now in late winter or in the soil in a couple of weeks. They are nearly grown and not eating enough to ingest enough to die.


Cutting the boxwoods now  before budbreak also helps control leaf miner so long as you dispose of all clippings off-site or burn them. Every leaf-miner infested leaf you remove is one or more less leaf miners to continue the damage.

Pear trellis rust

17 March 2020 - 10:33 AM

P.S. wrote:


Hi Steve & Janet! So happy to see your garden newsletters again.


I have a question for you. I have a pear tree (approx. 20’ tall) which was diagnosed last fall with pear trellis rust. Can you please advise on what treatment I can give it (and when) to help/cure the problem? Possibly a fungicide? I was told that perhaps a nearby Juniper is the cause of the problem. While that may be true, I will not be able to treat or remove it from a neighbor’s landscape. I was also advised to remove infected branches/leaves, but that would not be practical as I would likely have to remove 80% of the tree.


I really do not want to lose this beautiful tree and hope you can recommend a path to save it.



Glad to hear from you, too, P.S.! I think of you every time I take out my chisels to work on tree roots. Your poor maple. And then to discover girdled roots on your brand new tree, too...!


(For those who were not there at this Garden by Janet and Steven, we will dig up photos and show you. Bear with us until this is a link to that topic.)


Anyway. Pear trells rust is making pretty much everyone shake their heads. If the pear and the juniper cannot be separated then all that is left is to be sure afungicide is on the pear before the rust fruiting bodies swell and release spores, which is soon now. Could be mid-April; in a cooler year may be later. If you have a good view of the neighbor's juniper you can see the globs of orange  as they swell. You can protect your pear when you see that happening and know the finguicide did not wash off or wear away in the sun between application and actual time of need.

Rust resting bodies ono juniper, winter:

Attached File  RustJuniprRestN3700s.jpg   57.49K   97 downloads


Rust resting body fruiting in spring - sending sporoes floating 1,000 feet:

Attached File  RustSporulN9295s.jpg   67.18K   99 downloads


Trouble is that most fungicides have been taken away from hobby gardeners like us. Certified pesticide applicators have a better list to choose from. Plus most fungicides don't list pear trellis rust on the label even though they can be effective as a prophylactic.


Go to a garden center for a fungicide. Take a copy of the list of effective fungicides from this bulletin


It's an Oregon-Idaho-Washington State Extension source; They saw it first there, this rust, and have had the longest time to figure it.


Read the labels on the shelves and see if any of the available fungicdes have these active ingredients. I THINK but am not sure mancozeb is still available.


Set up your ladder or ladders ahead of time so you can reach all parts of the tree without coating the whole neighborhood. The closer youo are to the tree branches the less disperse the spray.


Sorry, but I am almost certain there are no systemic fungicides available to non-pros. Systemics are taken up in the roots and spread through the tree. Application time and method is problematic wth those anyway - how do you know where all the roots are? How do you know if the tree is drawing moisture up from root to tip rapidly enough at application time?


The branches on the pear already damaged, those are a tough issue. Rust cankers really should be pruned out, with the cut made well below the visible damage. Maybe you can do some cutting and leave some of the least damaged wood. Callery pears (Pyrus calleryana, Bradford, Capitol, Chanticleer are varieties). Whatever you do, prune only on a dry day because wet wood and wet tools are conducive to spreading the spores.


And although it may seem so, you are better applying the fungicde yourself rather than hiring it done. You can apply it on the right day. A pro is not there in your yard to know the right time.

Good luck and good gardening this year!