Many readers have contacted me regarding bug problems with their trees
and I'll get to a couple of recent bug-related questions in a minute.
But first, a reader sent me an e-mail with a question about how best
to water her new trees.
QUESTION: "HELP.....We have just planted some 12 foot Glory Maples
and some 6 foot Norway Spruce. How much should water do they need? 2
gallons, 5 gallons, 15 gallons?? per day, every other day? per week?
The trees are planted in Fairfax Virginia and our soil is clay and
rocks...also how soon before we feed them and what do you suggest
feeding them? Thank you for any help you can offer." - Ann Stone
ANSWER: I use a device called a Ross root feeder spike apparatus that
you should be able to pick up at a garden center or hardware store.
This is a spike that attaches to your hose and comes with watering
instructions. I would deep water my trees every 2 to 3 weeks during
this first season, using this Ross feeder.
Simply standing by your trees and spraying them with a hose or using a
lawn sprinkler will not get down to the roots where the water is
needed. If you deep water the roots every 2 to 3 weeks during this
first season you will be fine until fall. Fertilizing these trees can
be done at any time. If you're using the feeder, you can buy
fertilizer tabs that dissolve and go right to the roots through the
If you decide not to use a root feeder, try a time-release triple-13
fertilizer or something comparable. Use about ½ to 1 cup around the
base of the tree but come out about 14 to 16" from the trunk.
QUESTION: Several years ago I bought 25 hybrid poplar. Within 1 and
1/2 years they grew 15 ft tall and were just beautiful, but this year
they got holes going in a circle half way up looking like a woodpecker
had got at them. They leaved out beautifully half way up the tree,
however the rest of the buds on the tree did not open although they are
not dead. We put some kind of
tree paint from our nursery that was black and the holes (which I think
are due to some kind of borer) have stopped moving up.
My question is what do we do with the 5ft of bare tree in the middle?
Do we cut it or leave for the tree to recover... or will it? Any help
you can give us would be appreciated as we do not want to lose our
beautiful trees as they line our 4 acre property. We live up in the
middle of the mountains and people always stop to admire our trees. -
ANSWER: Don't despair! This should be fairly simple. You need to cut
out the dead section
down to the green wood. Once the dead is removed the tree will start a
process of putting on more top growth. Send a picture through email if
QUESTION: "What is the best what to rid my trees of bagworms?" -
ANSWER: The first thing you have to do when you see them is to clip
them off the branches, put in a bag and take them somewhere to burn
them. Afterwards you need to spray the plants with an insecticide, such
as Monterey Garden Insect Spray, about once every 30 to 45 days.
Usually, you'll only need to do this two times per growing season.
Follow the direction on the bottle to make sure your particular plants
are okay with the chemical.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send questions about trees, shrubs and
landscaping to firstname.lastname@example.org. For resources and additional
information, or to subscribe to Steve's free weekly e-mailed
newsletter, go to www.landsteward.org