A: Although American elms have been decimated by Dutch elm wilt, the species is not as close to nonexistence as American chestnut. There are still many healthy specimens growing in Georgia. There is one variety, ‘Princeton’, that seems resistant to the disease. Lacebark elm is similar in appearance and shows no susceptibility. To my knowledge, there is no elm registry, but keep up with news and research concerning this historic tree.
Q: I have been a big fan of systemic tree and shrub insect control but I read that it’s bad for bees and butterflies. I use it on azaleas and camellias with great results. Must I discontinue usage to save the butterflies? Jeanne Craft, email
A: In my opinion, and I think this is supported by research, there is very little imidacloprid translocated to flowers when the product is applied as directed (a ground drench). You could further minimize harm to pollinators by avoiding insecticide application for two weeks before blooms are present. As always, be sure you have correctly identified the pest and look for nonchemical controls before you use an insecticide.
Email Walter at email@example.com. Listen to his comments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener, for his latest tips.