In the garden – large tree leaves can use extra water, but it is not a cause for concern

Q: Our huge Pokémon Oak brown leaves are coming down. How much water is enough?

A: Large trees can use a lot of water. Some parts of our territory did not receive much rain last month. Watering now helps to compensate for the dry conditions, but it does not stop the early leafing. It is good that the tree is shedding leaves. This means that the season is a little off. Post Oak is often very difficult. We are definitely seeing signs of drought stress in landscapes in central Arkansas, especially in backyards without additional water.

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Q: My crap myrtle bark is peeling – is this a disease? If so, how do you handle it? It kills plants?

A: Congratulations, your rotten myrtle is officially old! When the myrtles reach a certain age, they lose their smooth outer shell and begin to peel off the outer shell to show other sleeping colors. Sometimes the bark is cinnamon colored, and some species are black and white. The color depends on how they are growing. It is not a matter of concern.

Gallery – In the Garden – September 4, 2021

Q: I think the malicious wood in my backyard is a mold. The branches have white spots and are black, and all the plants growing below are black. I was trying to spray with me, but it was hard because they were so big. Will this affect their growth next year? what should I do?

A: They accurately describe the size of the cranberry bark. The black soda mold on the stem and leaves is the result of sweet honey given by insects. White dots are balanced insects. Here is a link to the fact sheet from Arkansas University – Nim gives only limited control. The fact sheet lists your control options. This fall, after all the leaves have fallen, you can use a soft brush with soapy water to remove the black from the stem. (I know many gardeners who used power washers to clean their trees.) Clean all debris from under the trees and then wash them with lubricating oil. That helps. Use a systemic pesticide when trees begin to grow in the spring. Some gardeners believe that these insects have lost their trees. That doesn’t just happen in a year or two, but serious invasions can weaken a tree and cause other problems.

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Q: In our backyard garden west of Fayetteville, we have many large dairy plants, but no kings have been seen yet. We have many other beautiful butterflies. Do you have an update on the emperor’s condition?

A: Unfortunately, the old adage, “You will be planted,” does not always work for kings. I have a lot of dairy products and when I see a few kings flying, I don’t mind seeing. I also have fennel and parsley to swallow and I only saw a few. Be patient, and you may catch some kings heading south for the winter. On a positive note, I have many hummingbirds in my garden this year.

Janet Carson, who retired at the University of Arkansas Extension Service 38 years later, is one of Arkansas’s best-known horticulturalists. Her blog is: Write to her at 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203 or email her

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