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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What tree is this?

Posted: 02/04/2013 at 16:28

Very difficult to tell as we can't zoom into the photo (upload a larger one if you can), but judging by the twisted stems and growth habit, my guess would be Wisteria.

Does is have flowers, and if so, can you describe them?

is will you use the extra hour next weekend

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 23:45

Verdun, how about one of these:

Should at least keep you warm!

Sweet pepper seed germination - epic failure!

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 23:34

I usually give them up to 3 weeks, so yours are at my limit.  Peppers, especially F1 hybrids, can be a bit difficult I find.  I always plant about a dozen extra cheaper (non-F1) pepper seeds so I at least have something in case of failure.  F1 pepper seeds are very expensive for what you get and I have never had more than about 50% germinate of all the types I've tried.

It might be worth complaining to the supplier as having one germinate pretty much proves you gave them the right conditions.

Strange fungus-like growth on tree

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 20:22

It spreads by spores in the air (which are released from the 'brackets'), but these need to fall on an open wound (eg where a branch has broken or been cut off) of another tree and even then probably won't infect it.  It may only infect certain species. Not very much is really known about fungi like this to be perfectly honest.

Strange fungus-like growth on tree

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 18:40

Hi tropidog, those are 'bracket fungi', the fruiting body of a fungus which grows in the heartwood of the tree and will likely eventually kill it.  There is, unfortunately, no way to control it.  You could try cutting off any branches which are showing the brackets, but the fungus could well be in the main trunk.  If it is a large tree, it could become dangerous as the fungi will severely weaken the wood itself and branches can fall off at any time, so I would strongly recommend asking a local tree surgeon to take a look.



Posted: 01/04/2013 at 18:06

Good idea, nut, just in case the neighbour has done a real hack job (which sounds quite likely!)

Peony Tree

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 18:00

Heheh, Tina - I'm like that too - this Bob flourishes only in a very narrow range of temperatures!

Pear tree

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 17:55

Hi preksha, that is Pear Rust and all you can do is inspect the tree regularly and remove any leaves which have the orange spots.  According to the RHS there is no chemical control, unfortunately.

Lots of us had no apples last year.  It was due to lack of bees to pollinate them.  The early heatwave we had encouraged the trees to flower, but then it went cold and the bees stayed at home.  You can try hand-pollinating them using a small, soft paintbrush etc (a makeup brush works well.)  This will only work if you have self-pollinating apples, or if you have more than one tree in blossom, in which case keep going from tree to tree to try and get a mix of pollen on the brush.  

Hellebore flowers

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 17:47

Just found a couple of babies have appeared near my hybrids.

Unfortunately one has decided to come up right in the centre of my favourite aquilegia which is just showing leaves..  Looks like I'll have to dig the whole lot up and try and tease them apart, otherwise it'll have to be a sacrifice!

Peony Tree

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 17:42

Hi Brumbull, planting depth for tree peonies depends on whether they are grown on their own roots, or grafted.  If in doubt, see the RHS advice, here:


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