Hydrangeas are failing to bloom

QUESTION: I have two hydrangea plants that grow every year in a sunny location, with large bright green leaves. The plants never make flowers, however, even though the woman who gave them to me years ago took the small plants from her garden where she had many flowering specimens.
At the end of the summer, I have those long spikes which I carefully protect through the frosty winter, but by spring they are dried up and appear dead. As the new leaves start to grow, I lose hope and cut the pale spikes down. Most of the time, the deer eat the tops anyway. Any hope? Should I transplant them? Faith Gitlow
ANSWER: Hydrangeas can be tricky. According to the experts at www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com (my favorite hydrangea care site) there are three main reasons why hydrangeas fail to bloom:
A late spring freeze arrives and ruins the developing bloom buds. Improper pruning. Planted in wrong zone. If you have had the bad luck to plant a hydrangea that has not bloomed after the first year you planted it, you may finally have to concede that this particular variety is not cold hardy in your area.
If you go to their Web site you can find more information about all kinds of hydrangea problems.
QUESTION: I have a problem with my blossoming Kwanzan cherry tree. The leaves are turning brown and falling off. Is it dying? I live in the California sierra foothills (elev. 1500ft.). It can get very hot during the summer months. The tree is planted in the middle of my lawn on an island of top soil with 2" of wood mulch on top. The island is about a foot and a half high and less as it spreads out.
I water about every other day for 20 minutes at 4am. There are plants and flowers around it but not any closer than 2 ft. It also has new growth coming in. I just don't get it! Do you have any ideas? Dan Buchholz
ANSWER: Over the past four years or so, flowering cherry (and other varieties including birches) trees have been going dormant earlier and earlier each year where we live here in Tennessee which is zone 7. For the most part, it is attributed to the lack of rainfall (actual drought some of the years).
Around early to mid August, they begin to lose their leaves. Their coloring doesnt fade to a lovely fall color, just brown. As long as there are no other issues with the tree, I would say it is the same problem. Cheryl and I have been receiving many emails this summer concerning trees doing this.
QUESTION: For the past three seasons my pin oak trees have lost their leaves in August. The leaves turn translucent first before falling from the tree. I have used an insect treatment that you add to water and pour at the base of the tree for the past three years and it doesnt seem to help. In the spring and during the summer the trees are full of leaves but in August they turn white and fall off the tree. The trees are 30 to 40 feet tall (I have two of them on the west side of my home). Susie Brown
ANSWER: Here is a link to the University of California at Davis Extension site with an article on diagnosing oak tree diseases. http://ceventura.ucdavis.edu/newsletterfiles/Landscape_Notes11016.pdf This article will give you a detailed listing to work with, but the most common reasons for early leaf loss with oaks is lack of water or cool wet spring/summer weather which typically causes fungus.
If you cant figure it out with the article, contact your local agricultural extension agent for their opinion and how to proceed. To find the Extension Service nearest to you, visit this Web site: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/ or go to my Web site www.landsteward.org find this column and click on a direct link. Good luck!
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, including archived columns, visit www.landsteward.org
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I have a question. What is this crap from greenwood nursery? Is it supposed to be authoritative or something?
If it is, well the answer misses the target by a country mile.
Deer...Hydrangea...no flowers?
You think there might be a connection?

The plant man is a freakin spammer.
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I had hydranges in the sun, they did not bloom! Put them on the shady side of the house, they are blooming throughout the summer. You can change the color to red or blue flowers depending upon the acidic soil. I like them blue so I keep them more or less in a base soil. Add lime for that and good compost for the other. Zone 6.
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Bud

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