more about: Trees and Shrubs

Black Leaves, Big Problems

“My poor gardenias are suffering!” writes faithful reader, Sheri Chamblee. “The leaves are black. I tried rubbing the black off, but the black remains. What else can I do?” The answer, of course, is to ask Grumpy, your font of gardening wisdom.

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When Is It Safe To Transplant Nandina?

Faithful reader¬†Melissa Barnhill asks, “Is it possible to relocate small nandina bushes? I know they have millions of shoots, and I didn’t know if cutting away some of those shoots while taking them out would cause a life-or-death issue.”

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How To Fix Crepe Murder

Southerners are fixated on crepe myrtles — mainly because they butchered so many this winter and now want them fixed. Following Crepe Murder 2015, scores of pitiful emails from crepe criminals needing their consciences scrubbed flooded Grumpy’s email box. “Have I killed my crepe myrtle?” they ask. “Is there any way to fix what I did?” No, you probably haven’t […]

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Are Native Plants Always Better? A Grumpy Verdict

People love native plants. They praise their beauty, ease of care, and how gentle and loving they are to the environment. As opposed to evil plants from Europe and Asia, native plants are always well-behaved and a better choice. Or are they?

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Pruning ‘Knock Out’ Rose — When, Why, and How

Faithful reader Mandi Villa writes, “I love my ‘Knock Out’ rose, but it’s getting too big. Can I prune it without killing it?”

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Where Have All The Dogwoods Gone?

If you live in the Southeast, you probably remember all the “dogwood trails” that people followed when our native flowering dogwoods bloomed each spring. Thirty years ago, dogwood was the #1 flowering tree. Sadly, no longer. The trails have steadily eroded until now we see only remnants. Where have all the dogwoods gone?

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Crepe Murder Winner #2 — Would You Pay A Dollar For This Tree?

Oooh, the irony of our latest example of crepe murder is just too good. Here we have a most sadly abused plant growing right in front of a Dollar Tree — a store that sells everything for a buck. So the question you must ask yourself now is, “Would I pay a dollar for this tree?”

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Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest — The People Who Top Trees

The season is upon us, so watch out. Any day now, some unemployed, middle-school graduate with a borrowed chainsaw and a mud-caked pickup is going to knock on your door and say¬†you have a problem that needs fixing. Those big trees of yours need shortening bad. If you say yes, not only will you be fleeced of a couple of […]

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Winter’s Prettiest Holly

In the midst of gloomy winter, my eye searches for color. Usually it comes from flashing blue lights on the police cars behind me, but not today. On a visit to Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama, I spotted a blaze of red at the edge of a pond. The source is a very special holly. Winterberry.

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Don’t Let Cold Kill Your Plants

The TV weather people are giddy right now, because after a boring year with hardly any hurricanes or tornadoes to terrify us with, now an Arctic blast is poised to freeze America’s hiney off. And not just in Minnesota, where thousands of folks lose their hinies every winter. In Mobile, the temp dropped to 20 degrees this morning, sufficiently frigid […]

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