39 November 18, 2006

The warm weather continues in our area. Still time to plant some tulip bulbs.

A few customers have told me that they still have roses in bloom. It isn’t that unusual for this to happen when we have a warm November. Why not cut a few roses and make an arrangement for the Thanksgiving table.

The warm weather can also mean that some of the spring flowering bulbs you planted may be pushing up some growth above ground. This isn’t really an abnormal thing. Each fall, any number of people stop by the store in a panic about bulbs pushing up new growth. You need to remember that spring flowering bulbs put out lots of growth in the cold spring weather. These bulbs are very hardy and won’t be affected by the cold this winter. If your bulbs are pushing up new growth, don’t worry about it.

A reader had a question about Japanese red maples. She has several in her yard and most of them have turned the fall deep red. One tree has not. The leaves are brown and curled up. She wants to know what to do for the tree. The brown and curled leaves is probably a sign of a fungus disease that started in the summer. The stress of this would prevent the leaves from turning deep red. If I had to guess, that tree is probably shaded. If the tree is not in full sun, then the leaves can stay wet longer and they are prone to fungus diseases. There isn’t really anything she can do now to help the tree. She has fertilized it which will help the trees root system. The best thing to do is to rake up and destroy all those infected leaves. They will be a source of re-infection if they are left on the ground all winter. In the late winter or early spring, you can apply lime sulfur spray to the trees before the buds begin to swell. The temperatures need to be above 40 degrees. This spray will kill any over wintered spores of the fungus disease that remain on the tree branches.  At this time I would not remove the tree thinking that it might be dead. Many trees can take a wallop one year and bounce back the next year. Lorraine, just wait until next spring and see how the plant grows. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Well, that’s all for this week. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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