A: I can't be 100 percent positive about staghorn ferns but most ferns are deer resistant. I suppose they might nibble on tender growth in the spring but I have seen plenty of fern glades in deer-inhabited woodlands with no apparent deer damage.
Q: I have a pecan tree that is suffering from pecan scab. I read where the only way to treat it is by spraying the whole tree. I can't accomplish that. Is there an alternative?
Lisa Roper, Jonesboro
A: There is not an alternative. Some varieties of pecan are more resistant to the disease than others but that's nothing you can change now. 'Elliot', 'Sumner' and 'Amling' are resistant to scab. 'Desirable' and 'Papershell' are not. Springtime weather has much to do with how much scab disease your trees get each year.
Q: I have a crape myrtle with a white substance on the leaves and no blooms. What do I have? How do I treat it?
Eric Braggs, email
A: I'm almost certain you have powdery mildew. Cool nights and warm, humid days provide the perfect environment for this disease to develop. Heavy winter pruning causes lush growth with little air circulation around the leaves. Myclobutanil (Immunox) and propiconazole (Infuse) will control the disease on new leaves. Consider spraying in May next year.
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