The Questions (and Answers) You Didn’t Hear on Virginia Home Grown
During Virginia Home Grown’s April 26th program, you heard questions and answers about inchworms, kudzu and other types of ivy, among other things. Here are some of the questions and answers that came in during the show that we didn't get to answer during the broadcast:
Moving a hydrangea: Dorothy R asks, "I have a pee gee hydrangea that I need to move because we're putting in a wide gate at the point where it is located now. Is there any way to move this hydrangea during the growing season? I recall that I moved one of these before, but during dormancy."
Answer: Dorothy: You can move your hydrangea, if you do it right now. We have good temperatures and soil moisture. Just be sure to take as good a root ball as possible and have the new hole already dug. This will reduce the amount of time the roots will be exposed to the air in the move. You're right to move them while they are dormant, if you can, but sometimes you don't have that option. Since we aren't into really hot dry weather yet, it should do fine. Just be prepared to give it some additional water when it gets hot and dry. Richard
Scruffy Tree Q: Nick P writes, "Hello, I have several trees that have multiple trunks. I think you referred to them as stems. Some of these trees are overgrown with poison ivy. These trees are not very big, maybe 20 ft and they are deciduous. Can I cut the trunks off so there is only one trunk/stem? If so where is a good place to make the cuts."
Answer: Nick: Thanks for watching Virginia Home Grown last night. I'm sorry we didn't have time to cover your specific question on the air. As you probably noticed, we had several questions about ivy. In your particular case, I'd need to know what kind of trees these are. Some trees are meant to have multiple trunks, while others are intended to have one central leader. If you decide these trees should be singled trunked, you need to remove the unwanted trunks as close to the "branch collar" as possible. If you examine the point where a branch joins a main trunk, you'll see a faint line in the bark that circles the limb, that's the branch collar. There is growth tissue at that point that will help the wound heal over on its own. If you let me know what kind of trees these are, I'll be glad to let you know whether they are intended to be single or multi trunked. Richard
Ivy issues: David W. writes, "I enjoy the show. I find the information very interesting. I have a large oak that is substantially covered with ivy. Over the years I have cut the ivy off the tree as high as I can reach including the main ivy trunks. It continues to grow. My question is, can I spray it with something like Round Up or will that damage the tree?"
Answer: David: I'm glad you enjoyed the show. As you may have noticed we received a number of questions about ivy on trees. Yes you can spray it with Roundup, however, it works best on new growth. My experience is that it doesn't work very well at all on old mature ivy leaves. My recommendation is to again cut off all the ivy you can reach (even the tiniest young vines) from the ground up four feet. Then when the ivy starts to produce new growth near the base of the tree, treat that new growth with the herbicide. Roundup will not hurt the trunk of a mature shade tree. You can not use it on the trunks of young ornamental trees, that still have relatively green bark. Richard
Hibiscus Q: Suzanne B writes, "Hello, I have had a hibiscus for several seasons. It nearly died last year, but i moved it to a very sunny window and it is thriving (lots of green foliage)!
(1) what is the best way for me to "transition" the hibiscus from it's sunny, indoor window to the outdoors?
(2) I'm hoping to get lots of beautiful blooms this summer. What can I do to "coax" it along?
Appreciate any and all suggestions.
Answer: Suzanne: Thanks for watching Virginia Home Grown last night. I'm sorry we didn't have time to answer your question on the air. You should be able to be move your hibiscus outdoors anytime now. However, since it has been indoors, you may want to place it near some shelter from the wind for a few days. After a week or so, you could put it anywhere in the yard. As for getting lots of blooms this summer, you shouldn't have to do anything special to it now, it should bloom on the new growth it produces this summer. Richard
Poison ivy on a tree: Crystal from Goochland asked, "We've purchased a ten acre farm in Hanover with some mature trees. One tree has mature poison ivy similar to the one in Louise's segment. How do you kill and remove the poison ivy without killing or damaging the tree?"
Answer: Crystal: Thanks for watching Virginia Home Grown last night. You may have noticed we received several questions about removing ivy from trees. In your case, the first step is to cut the stems of the poison ivy at ground level and then cut them again about four feet up on the trunk. Then remove all of the ivy in between. Poison ivy has to get its food through its roots, so once you've severed them, the ivy still hanging on the tree will die of starvation. Unfortunately, it will cling to the tree for some time before it finally deteriorates and falls on its own. Richard
Arborvitae Q: Bill F says, "I have an arborvitae which has a section that has died. What to do?"
Answer: Bill: Unfortunately, most arborvitae will not produce new growth on the section that dies. I'm afraid that means it will likely have that bare area as long as you have it in your landscape. You can remove the dead limbs and hope the surrounding limbs will grow and help make the dead area less obvious. Richard
Got more questions? You can ask during our next Virginia Home Grown show - or email Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit questions to Richard via his column in the Richmond Times Dispatch: email@example.com