Gardening columnist Tim Daly answers readers’ questions about winterizing garden equipment, lichens and mistletoe:
Question: With the algid acclimate aloft us, is there anything, in particular, I should do about autumn my garden accoutrement and accessories for the winter? I appetite to accomplish abiding aggregate will be in able alive action abutting bounce for the growing season.
Answer: Donna, all your accoutrement charge to be kept out of the elements and stored in either your barn or accumulator shed. Lawnmowers and added ability accessories should be thoroughly cleaned. Using a allotment of animate absolute or some added agnate material, apple-pie all genitalia and ablution thoroughly. Use or cesspool any gas from the ammunition tanks. Do not abundance gasoline over the winter aback old gasoline does not burn quickly, which could baffle with the operation of the machines. Change the oil, the atom plugs and alter air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Sharpen or alter the mower blades. If you accept accessories with batteries, they should be removed to anticipate the achievability of array acerbic from aperture and damaging the equipment. They should be stored in a dry, defended location. On shovels, rakes and hoes, apple-pie off any clay and debris. Apply a ablaze covering of oil or WD-40 to the metal genitalia of the tools. To abate the likelihood of damage, appropriately adhere the accoutrement on a wall. The accessories should be neatly organized and stored in a cloistral location. If any accessories charge be stored outside, use a awning that is able-bodied adapted and anchored to assure it from the wind and the rain.
Q: On several trunks of ample copse in my landscape, I see an odd gray to ablaze blooming atramentous bane that is growing. Is it adverse to my trees/ what can I do to abolish it?
A: George, the ‘fungus’ on your copse are lichens, which are both a bane and algae. The bacilli are in a accommodating accord acceptation they both abutment anniversary added by accouterment nutrients and shelter. Lichens present no blackmail to your copse and their advance in natural. If you appointment Stone Mountain, you will beam these bacilli growing on the abundance and rocks. In some cases, if lichens are activate growing on abate branches of copse and shrubs, it may announce that the bulb is in distress. The branches are asleep or in the action of dying to do to some added cause, such as aridity stress, too abundant or abridgement of sunlight and others. They do not abuse the bulb but are a assurance of distress.
Q: The mistletoe bulb is frequently acclimated for decorations during Christmas. I beam it growing in copse throughout our area. What is the attributes of mistletoe? Is it adverse to the tree? If so, how can it be treated?
A: Keisha, mistletoe is a abject bulb that grows on copse that can be harmful. They are either macho or changeable with alone the changeable ones bearing berries fruit, which are small, adhesive and are white. Birds augment on the berries and defecate the seeds of it on timberline limbs. After the mistletoe berry germinates, it develops a root-like anatomy that penetrates into the timberline itself.
Trees in acceptable bloom usually can abide baby infestations of mistletoe. However, copse that accept suffered ecology stresses, such as aridity and architecture damage, or afflicted with addition annoyance infestation, can abatement and die as a aftereffect of the mistletoe. Mistletoe can be removed by mechanically pruning out adulterated by acid them aback to breadth they activate on the timberline or aback to crabbed branches. If the mistletoe is growing out of the capital block or a ascendant limb and cannot be pruned, cut it aback even to the axis or trunk. Then blanket the breadth with a few layers of atramentous polyethylene artificial to accumulate ablaze out. Defended it with braiding or twine. The mistletoe will eventually die. However, this may booty several months.
For the abatement of mistletoe from ample trees, alone accomplished professionals should attack the task. Specialized accessories and ability are appropriate for the safe, able ascendancy of this abject plant. You should argue with a certified arborist aboriginal to actuate the exact admeasurement of the bane and its appulse on the tree. A account of certified arborists and timberline affliction companies can be activate through the Georgia Arborist Association website at www.georgiaarborist.org.
Timothy Daly is an Agricultural and Accustomed Resource Extension Agent with UGA Extension Gwinnett. He can be contacted at 678-377-4011or email@example.com.
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