Q. Last summer I planted a dogwood and it did fine. Now it has no buds and its twigs have turned black. What is the problem?
A. It sounds like your dogwood has dieback or twig borer damage. Dieback are several diseases that cause new stems to decline. In this case, cut off the bad twigs and apply a fungicide. To check for borers, look for a small pinhole in the twig, apply pressure there and the twig will pop off. This is where the twig borer entered to lay her eggs. In this case, remove the affected twig and you could apply a borer spray.
Q. The entry to the community I live in is planted with eleagnus which is 10 – 14 years old. We are told that some of them are dying due to root rot. Can we replant in the same spot or will the new plants die also?
A. Replanting in the same spot is not the ideal situation but to complete a hedge this is often necessary. Remove the diseased plant and dig out as much soil as possible where the root ball was. Fill in with fresh soil and plant the new eleagnus in it.