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Norman Read's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 22


Can I cut some roots of a Silver Birch tree without causing serious harm?

from Norman Read

I have to widen the surround of a long, narrow pond near a mature silver birch tree (betula utilis jaquemontii). The roots of the silverbirch seem to have found their way round the original pond, and some go right up to the edge where I have to work, at one point this is only about a metre from the tree.
If I cut some of the small (say, less than 15mm diameter) roots to make space for the widened foundation, will it seriously affect the tree, or will it just sprout new roots?
Second question:
I have tried digging carefully round the roots, removing soil and lowering the roots. Will the tree tolerate this treatment?

  • Posted: Mon. 23rd November 2020 10:51

Re: , my japonica is about 5 years old? or so. It has been fine until the last month. It is still green but all the leaves are drooping. I did feed it and water it two to three weeks ago, but it hasn't improved. Can't remember seeing it like this before.

from Norman Read

Check for capsid bugs

  • Posted: Mon. 22nd February 2016 21:45

Re: Planted a Fatsia 6 weeks ago and looked great from the day of planting. However, over the past week it is losing its lovely dark green colour and becoming paler with some of the leaves yellowing. Karen

from Norman Read

I've had a similar problem. There were two causes I found: Ours needed a feed (soluble MiracleGro did the trick), but more importantly it had an infestation of capsid bugs. The bugs are hard to spot, but are a few mm long and look futuristic. Their larvae chew into the leaves and roots, and thus damage the plant's circulation. If you have this problem, new shoots will turn black and die back. The bugs reproduce on a two-weekly cycle, so you have to treat them several times to eradicate them. I sprayed with a systemic insecticide (I used Provado) each two weeks for four or five doses, fed it twice (with the feeds separated by 2 months), and our Fatsia looks great again.

  • Posted: Sat. 22nd August 2015 09:53

Re: Re: Re: Foliage colour

from Norman Read

Could the pH of the soil have a bearing? They like neutral to alkaline soil.

  • Posted: Tue. 31st March 2015 12:19

Re: Re: Gaultheria mucronata 'Mulberry Wine'

from Norman Read

Thanks for the thoughts Elaine,

regards Norman

  • Posted: Sun. 30th November 2014 23:00

Gaultheria mucronata 'Mulberry Wine'

from Norman Read

I have a Gaultheria mucronata 'Mulberry Wine', and have read that I need a male plant to get the a female to fruit. How do I tell if I have a male or a female plant?

  • Posted: Sat. 29th November 2014 17:03
  • Last reply: No timestamp set

Train Cherry tree

from Norman Read

I was given a prunus avium 'stella' (cherry 'stella') for my birthday. It is already too tall to train onto the only available fence. The only space I have is on an open bit of lawn, where happily it will receive plenty of sun.
I want to be able to protect it with bird nets, and be able to harvest any fruit it produces, so don't want it to grow too tall. Can it successfully be trained to grow along horizontal wire(s). say 5 feet above ground?

  • Posted: Sun. 20th May 2012 10:56
  • Last reply: No timestamp set

Re: Re: Re: Re: acorus gramineus black patches

from Norman Read

Thanks Nicola. Any idea what might be wrong with the Acorus? They seem to be dying, whilst other plants planted right next to them on the same day are thriving!
regards, Norman

  • Posted: Thu. 17th May 2012 11:47

Re: Re: acorus gramineus black patches

from Norman Read

Hi Nicola, I put photos on Dropbox and sent you the link a few days ago. Have you managed to view them? It looks to me as though my acorus gramineus are dying. I am mystified as the marginals I planted right next to them are doing well. All planted at the same time. Any thoughts or advice you can offer will be much appreciated. regards Norman

  • Posted: Wed. 16th May 2012 11:53

Re: Re: acorus gramineus black patches

from Norman Read

I should add that you need to click on the first photo in Dropbox in order to see it much larger in a slide-show. Move from slide to slide using the left and right arrow keys.

regards, Norman

  • Posted: Wed. 9th May 2012 12:32