Q. I sheared my yew this morning, happened to look at the interior, and it was almost all dead. What would cause this and can anything be done about it?
A. Repeated shearing, especially of yews, junipers and arborvitae, results in a dense outer surface which shut-out light from the center. Unless there are some green twigs inside, there is little hope for new growth to develop.
Severe pruning which allows sunshine to penetrate to the dead zone may revive a few of the latent buds, but you cannot count on it. The sunlight also may cause sun scald to the wood that is unaccustomed to it.
Q. Something is eating the leaves of my sugar corn. I sprayed twice with an insecticide I had left over from last summer, but it did no good. Do you have any suggestions?
A.If you feel obliged to spray, be sure the chemical you use is safe to use on that particular food plant, and that it will be effective in protecting the plant. Otherwise, don't spray. Don't jeopardize your own health and the health of others who may eat your corn.
First of all, read the label. Make certain the material you use is approved for use on that particular food plant. Find out how long you have to wait after spraying before it is safe to eat the crop. If the label says 7 days, be sure to wait 7 days. There may be some leeway, but who wants to take a chance? If the label says to use two tablespoons per three gallons of water, it means level tablespoonsful. Using the material at less than the recommended strength may be ineffective, and using it too strong may be dangerous.