Q: We have wild grape vines growing in our ivy. We tried pulling them up, but they keep returning. Any other suggestions?
Sam Draisen, email
A: Your "wild grape" could be muscadine vines but they might also be porcelain berry vines or perhaps possum grape. All have similar leaves. One of the techniques these wild vines use to survive is to break apart when joints above ground are tugged. So if you simply pull them out of the ivy or shrubbery without pulling out the roots, the vine survives to invade once again. Try gently tugging on the bad vine to find its origination point and then pull it and its roots out of the ground together.
Q: I have a fairly large hole where an old tree trunk has rotted away. Can I plant a viburnum in this existing hole or should I dig a new hole?
Renee Rudin, email
A: One factor in the successful planting of trees and shrubs is to minimize the difference between the material the plant is growing in and the soil into which it is planted. If your viburnum is in a pot, the growing medium is very different from your landscape soil. You can plant where the old tree was growing but you need to loosen the soil four feet in all directions around the planting spot first. Wash as much soil as you can off of the plant root ball and straighten out the circling roots that you discover so they grow away from the center. New roots will grow in any direction where they find loose "breathable" soil.
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