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October 27, 2018

QuestionWe planted a new rather large tree this spring.  We were advised to water copiously all season.  How much water and how often should we water this fall and winter?  I am still watering religiously every week that we don’t have rainfall and am prepared to do so all winter if necessary.


AnswerOnce the weather becomes cooler the amount of water your tree needs will slow down, both due to less evaporation and slower growth.  We typically get ample rainfall in the fall and early winter, and this year we seem to be in a monsoon season.  Last year we were bone dry all fall and early winter, so watering was needed.  Normally I would advise watering once every three to four weeks in the winter if natural rainfall doesn’t occur. 


January 21, 2017

QuestionI am looking for some special types of trees and want to know where I can find them in Arkansas since I would rather buy locally.  If I do find them, when is the best time to plant a tree?


AnswerWe have some excellent nurseries in Arkansas and they all carry some different things.  I would check with your local nurseries. Even if they don't have the variety you are looking for, I bet they could get one ordered for you.  I always encourage gardeners to develop a relationship with their local nursery.  These folks want to carry products that their customers want to buy.  I think the best time of year to plant a tree is late October through November, but these trees are still dormant through early March, which can make planting your job easier.  The dormant season is November through February, but in reality container grown trees can be planted any time of the year as long as you are willing to water.  For many plants, late winter/early spring is when the best selection is available at local nurseries.


(July 2007)

QuestionWe planted a weeping willow tree this spring and it has been doing quite well. That is, until my husband completely girdled it with his weed eater. The bark has been broken all around the tree. Do you think it will survive, or should we just dig it up and plant another in the fall?

AnswerLawnmower and weed eater disease get a lot of landscape plants! Let me first forewarn you that weeping willows aren't particularly long-lived trees in Arkansas even without the help of the weed eater. They do need a water source, so if you have a pond or stream on property they will do better than in a standard landscape. If the tree has been girdled to the layer beneath the bark called the cambium layer, chances are good that the tree will die from that point up. That is the area where food and water move up and down the tree and once it is damaged, nothing makes it to the upper portions. You should see wilting and decline fairly soon, especially since it is summer. See what happens. You don't want to replant a tree in the summer anyway. Wait until November. Then, if need be, replant, but consider some other tree species as well.

(January 06)

QuestionIf things go as planned we will be moving into a new home in a couple of months. We want a couple of trees in front of the house. Would maple or dogwood be ok and if so is there a particular kind ? We will have close to 100 ft. across the lot. It is in the Hot Springs area.

AnswerDogwoods would be a good choice only as an understory plant. They need a bit of protection from the hottest afternoon sun. You may want to get some shade trees established. Red maples are great trees, but do be aware that they can have surface roots. To be guaranteed the red fall color, look for a named cultivar such as 'October Glory' or 'Red Sunset'. Some other good shade trees that are tough and durable are Little Leaf Linden--Tilia cordata, Lacebark Elm--Ulmus parvifolia and blackgum- Nyssa sylvatica.

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