Q - Our two pine trees are losing a lot of their needles. Do you have any idea of what may be wrong?
A - At this time of the year the inner of older needles of pines, spruces, junipers and arborvitae die and fall to the ground. It's a natural and harmless phenomenon: Each year these trees grow a new set of needles in the spring and drop their oldest ones in the fall. Some trees lose more than others.
Q - There's a lot of gum on our peach tree, down near the ground. It wasn't there a month ago. Does it mean the tree is in trouble?
A - The gum secretion is the result of a wound. It may be due to borers or a youngster may have banged the tree with a baseball bat. With a knife, scrape the gum away and lift the bark. Look for small white worms with brown heads. There may be several of them. After taking care of them, restore the bark.
THe borers spend the winter in the tree and emerge in the spring and summer as moths, which they lay eggs on the bark. These borers kill many peach trees every year. Young trees are more likely to be killed than older ones.
Q - The tip ends of a yew growing in front of our house are turning yellow. The azaleas growing nearby seem to be all right. Is there anything we can do for the yew to get it straightened out?
A - One of two conditions could be responsible for the Yew problem poor drainage or soil too acid. If azaleas are growing close to it, it probably is soil acidity because that's what azaleaas require. Your best bet is to have your soil tested at the state university. Ask your county extension agent how take the soil samples and where to send them.
equivalent, and humidity of 35 to 40 percent. Artifical lighting 12 to 16 hours a day will take care of that end of it, and humidity can be supplied, but it's a high price to pay for fresh peppers.
Q - Our maple tree died and we had it cut down. Now we have the stump. What's the best way to get rid of it?
A - Stumps can be pulled out by a bull-dozer, burned out, chipped out by a stump axe or rotted out. Rotting it out is the least expensive way to get rid of it. The rotting is done by fungi, which need food - such as nitrogen - to function.
Under normal conditions if often takes several years to rot out a stump. One way of sppeding the process is to cut the stump off close to the ground and then cover it with about six inches of soil. Then apply about half a pound of nitrogen fertilizer at regular intervals to increase the population and activity of the fungi.