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Name: Ann Olson-Neumann
Question: My small Pear tree is ambushed by Bamboo, can I move the Pear tree now with buds on. Due to weather coulnt do it sooner. I live WEST LONDON/SOUTH EAST.UK. Thank you.
Answer: Hi Ann, as we’ve had a late spring this year you may be ok to move it now, although it’s generally best not to move pear trees if they are coming into flower or leaf. Ideally fruit trees should be moved between November and early March while they’re dormant. You can certainly try moving your pear tree now but just be aware that if it is coming into leaf it may stress the plant a little, as it will lose some of its supporting root system. Prepare the new planting hole before you begin lifting the tree from its current position. Choose a still, cool day to prevent the roots from drying out during the move. Give the main stem a wide berth and aim to lift a potential root ball diameter of about a third of the tree’s height. Dig a trench around the tree and gradually work around the root ball with a fork, easing soil away from the roots a little at a time. Finally, undercut the tree with a spade. Any large roots that cannot be lifted can be cleanly cut with a knife or saw.
Replant your tree immediately. Mix plenty of organic matter (well rotted manure or garden compost) with the soil from the planting hole, and insert a sturdy stake to prevent the plant rocking during windy weather. Gently position the root ball into the hole so that it sits at the same level in the ground as it did in its previous site. Backfill the planting hole, firm the root ball in, and fasten to the stake with a tree tie. Water well and spread a deep mulch (20cm, 8") to help conserve moisture at the roots, taking care not to mound the mulch up against the trunk of the tree. During the first year after moving you will need to water your pear tree frequently, especially in dry periods. You may well notice that it experiences a check in its growth this year, but be patient as your tree will need time to re-establish. I hope this helps Ann, good luck.
Name: Yvonne Osborne
Question: How can I stop my Antirrhinums from getting rust spots? I even bought some that were supposed to be rust free but even they got it and it spreads to other things like Fuchsias....thank you.
Answer: Hi Yvonne, this is a common problem with Antirrhinums and unfortunately this fungal infection can very easily mutate and adapt, infecting even the most resistant Antirrhinum varieties. The rust on your Fuchsias is a separate species of fungus although the symptoms are similar and treatment is the same! You can remove affected leaves as soon as symptoms are seen, to delay the spread of the infection. However the most reliable course of action is to use chemical fungicides such as ‘Westland Plant Rescue Fungus Control’ and ‘Bayer Garden Systhane Fungus Fighter’. It’s best to start using these from early summer onwards to help prevent infections in the first place. These normally need applying every few weeks although do check the manufacturer’s instructions. It helps to use fresh, vigorous new plants each year. I hope this helps Yvonne.