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Question: 159-5201
We planted yews this spring with the burlap intact. Since planting they have become increasing yellow with afew needles dropping. There doesn't seem to be any insects on them. What is the problem? Celina, Pawtucket, RI

Mort's Answer:
Quite often, the heavy burlap knot creates a water barrier between the new and old soil. It's a good idea to removerthe top of the burlap to eliminate the spongy quality of the burlap. Water is actually drawn from the old soil andcauses deprivation for the roots. Another possibility is that the yew was improperly dug and has fractured roots that have yet to heal. At any rate,I would advise the vendor of your problem. He will probably suggest waiting until spring to see, if the burlap was the problem.

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Question: 160-5201
One of my upright yews is turning yellow and dropping the leaves. My other yews seem fine. Any suggestions? Kevin, Attleboro, MA

Mort's Answer:
If there are rhododendron nearby and they are doing well, then we can eliminate weevil or root grubs. In this hot weather, there is a 99% chance that you have scale. On the needles near the stem, you will see tiny little helmets. Crush them with your thumb and a gray dust will appear. If it is squishy green inside, it is the buds for the new needles. I would spray with Kelthane as directed on package. Another product that has had good results and is organic is Neem. Neem or horticultural oil can be sprayed on in the early spring. Kelthane should be used on the mature scale now.

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