It's OK to plant at fungus site

GARDEN Q&A

February 03, 2007|By Ellen Nibali and David Clement | Ellen Nibali and David Clement,Special to The Sun

Our old red maple fell in a storm. When we had it removed, we were told it had root fungus and we should not plant a replacement tree on the same spot. I planned to replace this tree with a tulip poplar. How close to the original spot can I safely plant a sapling?

Because you are planting a different species, you can plant in the same spot, but do move the plant a few feet away from the ground-up stump. Chips from the stump mix with the soil and bind up nitrogen as they decompose. Your new tree will need soil nitrogen for growth.

Our apple trees always get apples, but they have a lot of disease. What spray can I use at this time of year that is either organic or close-to-organic to get better fruit?

Dormant oil sprays are organic. Spray trees thoroughly when temperatures are above 40 degrees and expected to remain above freezing for 24 hours afterward. Use our free publication IPM Series Pome Fruits (available online or by calling us) to familiarize yourself with your trees' specific pests and diseases.

Checklist

Remove and destroy gypsy moth and Eastern tent caterpillar egg masses from trees. Gypsy-moth masses are tan, feltlike and 1 to 2 inches long. Eastern tent caterpillar eggs can be found on the ends of crabapple and cherry tree branches, and look like black Styrofoam.

Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, works at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, and David Clement is the center's director. The center offers Maryland residents free gardening information. Call 800-342-2507 or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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