TEXAS GARDENING: Woodpeckers to blame for oak tree holes | Brazos Life

Dear Neil: We have had a dianthus plantation in our flowerbed for probably 15 years. They did really well up until this year, but now they’re turning yellow and dying out for reasons unknown. We haven’t made any changes. What could be causing this?

A: My guess would be one of the water mold attacking the bottom line. The most important among them are Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora. You can often see where the disease has attacked the stems of the plants at the bottom line, often making them look like they’ve been pinched with hot tweezers. However, you will need a lab test to confirm this. There is also the possibility that the soil is compacted and challenging for good root growth. If you have perennials that don’t need to be dug and divided regularly, this can be the result. Of course, I don’t have a fixed answer for you, but hopefully these will give you a start.

Dear Neil: I planted a maple last fall. It had quite red foliage when I planted it and I thought I had watered it enough. It planted new leaves this spring, but by July they had faded. If a tree is hungry for water early, can it ever recover?

A: If it has lost all leaves since this year, one can hope that it will send out new shoots from its base. If so, choose the strongest straight shoot and train it as a new strain. If you don’t have new growth by spring, it’s time for another tree.

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