Q: I was surprised to see an armadillo crossing the road in Tallulah Falls one morning at 5:45 a.m.! Paul Bitman, Clayton
A: Armadillos are everywhere in Georgia! I recently heard of one on Collier Road in Atlanta and another on North Druid Hills Road in Decatur. A couple of years ago I asked folks to tell me how far north they had seen armadillo carcasses on the highway. One person saw them as far north as Illinois! If you have a need to control them, I have details at bit.ly/GAarmadillo.
Q: Are carpenter bee traps worthwhile in capturing these insects? Sara Molnar, email
A: From the reports I have gotten, results are not consistent, even using the same type trap. Some people catch a dozen bees, while others capture none. You are welcome to try one and see if it works but I don’t think you’ll notice fewer bees. As they say in the automobile ads, your mileage may vary. I have plans at bit.ly/GAbeetrap.
Q: Several years ago I put down rolls of weed barrier under my flowering cherry and then covered it with black wood mulch. Since that time the barrier has become covered with black dirt, mulch and weeds. Roots from the tree have grown through the plastic. Should I pull up everything now? James Goodrum, McDonough
A: It is because of your situation that I rarely recommend landscape weed barriers. They inevitably get tangled in roots from above or below or both. They also interfere with air, water, and fertilizer movement in the soil. Do the best you can to pull out all of the plastic. Cover the soil with fresh mulch but no more weed barrier.
Q: We have a 6-foot red dogwood tree we planted last spring. The main center trunk has died but it has some new growth coming from the base. Should we remove the dead part and save the new growth? Bonny Watson, Rockdale County
A: Your dogwood is almost certainly a grafted tree. An attractive red-flowering twig was grafted onto a vigorous white-flowering seedling. Now, for whatever reason, the red-flowering part of the tree has died and the white-flowering rootstock has sprouted twigs and leaves. You can remove the dead trunk but the surviving lower part will not produce red flowers.
Q: I have a spring-blooming witchhazel. It looks healthy but never flowers. I pruned it late fall to see if that might stimulate something. Joey Kilman, email
A: If you pruned it in the fall, that’s the whole problem. Some witchhazels bloom in spring and other species bloom in fall. Spring-blooming witchhazel forms its flower buds the previous summer and fall. By pruning in fall, you are removing the flower buds. I say leave it alone and let it bloom when it likes.
Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.