Q: I’ve heard of a new variety of blueberry which is very large. Can you remind me of the name? Dennis Reid, Carrollton
A: Blueberries are now the number one fruit crop grown in Georgia, far outranking peaches and apples. This delicious blue fruit brings Georgia farmers more than 250 million dollars each year. University of Georgia researcher Scott Nesmith has bred and introduced several improved varieties of blueberry, including ‘Titan,’ which can approach the size of a quarter. ‘Titan’ is licensed to several wholesale growers, who supply retail nurseries. Ask at your local garden center or look online for a source of this outstanding fruit.
Q: We have just discovered the massive gingko tree in front of the High Museum. I’ve never seen one so large. Is it any kind of record holder? Doug McIntosh, McDonough
A: This terrific tree is the champion ginkgo in Georgia! I love driving past when it drops a carpet of golden leaves in the fall. The museum is well aware of its value and employs arborists to keep it healthy. You can find lists of other Georgia and Atlanta champion trees at bit.ly/championtrees
Q: I saw your Facebook post about covering exposed roots with mulch out to the dripline. What is a dripline? Davida Steinberg, Emory
A: The dripline is an imaginary circular line under a tree’s outermost branch tips, where rainwater drips off the leaves. Because there is usually ample water in that space, a tree concentrates its feeder roots under the dripline and beyond..
Q: I have to take up my zoysia when it is dormant this January to have a pool put in. Will it survive a month before I am able to put it back down where construction was? Glen Duggan, email
A: It’s hard to guarantee success. While the foliage of the plant is dead, the roots and crown are alive. If they dry out or are frozen, the grass will die. Zoysia can tolerate temperatures lower than 20 degrees F. however. I cannot guarantee this will work but if I were in your place I would rent a sod cutter and set it to slice the zoysia soil layer at least an inch thick. Remove sod pieces in a size you can easily handle and lay them side by side on a flat, shaded surface. Test the sod every couple of days to make sure it is not dried out by wind. Water as needed but do not make it soggy, only keep it moist. When construction is finished, till the area and add good topsoil and starter fertilizer. Rake it smooth and lay your sod. Keep your fingers crossed until late April, when the zoysia should start greening up.
Q: I noticed some worm-like protrusions on the trunks of one crape myrtle. It looks like sawdust so I assume it is some kind of borer. Can this be treated? Louise Smith, Pike County
A: You have Asian ambrosia beetles boring into your crapemyrtle. The females began their excavation work in spring; now they are pushing the sawdust out of their holes. Part of their motivation was to lay eggs in the trunk and to introduce a fungus to feed their babies. Unfortunately, this maternal care could result in the death of your crapemyrtle. It all depends on how many eggs are in there and how much fungus is present. There’s nothing you can do right now except wait to see how badly the tree is damaged. Spray this plant and other susceptible trees in early spring when the beetles emerge. I have details plus how to make a monitoring trap at bit.ly/AABcrape.
Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on AM 750 and 95.5 FM News-Talk WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.