Group_avatar_placeholder_03 New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Plant Information Office

If you are asking a question related to plant identification, please take a few minutes to review our guide about best practices for photographing plants:

Please note that this group is focused on questions related to home gardening, specifically plants and insects. We reserve the right to refer you directly to your county extension office for questions related to the application of pesticides or fungicides. We do not answer any questions that do not relate to plants or insects. We also do not answer questions about food safety. Our service is staffed with two part-time employees and a team of volunteers; we will do our best to answer your question as quickly as possible!

(This group currently has 5 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Apple trees

Hi, I have a couple of apple trees on property I purchased a year ago. I planted some new ones but really don't want to cut these down. They did have some fruit which the deer ate. they need trimming and I would like to find out if they are heirloom. Would a picture help. They are two different types and no one knows how long they have been in this area. Thanks, Apple Tree Lover

Steuben County New York Posted 6 days ago

Arborvitae drowning

3ft newly planted in pot (July) arborvitae water logged from gutter and browning. Will it recover? Soil has yet to dry out (now 3 weeks) even with drainage plug removed. What to do? As no information available anywhere.

Tompkins County New York Posted 8 days ago

A few of these have popped up in my backyard... Any idea what they are?

They're quite flat, they get stuck on their backs easily (don't seem too smart), and they fly.

New York Posted 11 days ago

What are these berries

I just bought a house in may and have 2 of these trees in my backyard. During summer the berries weren't ripe yet and were green. Now they are black. Just wondering if they're safe as I have 2 dogs and they're now falling off the trees. I haven't seen either of them trying to eat them so far.

Monroe County New York rhamnus cathartica common buckthorn Posted 12 days ago

Why is my crab apple tree mutating?

The image is of a crab apple tree in my front yard. The last few years it has started to mutate into a normal apple tree for some reason. I really noticed it for the first time last year when it had a few apples at the top half of the tree. This year the top half of the tree is almost completely apples. I don't understand it. I have followed the branches and they merge into the same trunks, so they do not appear to be two trees growing together. I am confused and wondering why/how this could happen. I am also curious ( as a side question ) why my apple trees lose all of their leaves so early. I have two other apple trees which appear to have the same fruit as the top half of this crab apple tree and they all start to lose their leaves at the end of July. Can you shed any light on this - Thanks

Onondaga County New York Posted 12 days ago

What is this spider?

What is this spider? was in my room this morning feel physically ill

New York Posted 14 days ago

Blue spruce blight

I had several blue spruces with blight cut down and made into wood chips. I was going to place these chips around my gardens and under other spruce trees. Will the blight in the wood that was chipped be able to infect other non-blue spruces?? Should I use these wood chips?? Also, these chips from the blue spruces with blight were combined with chips from ash and cherry trees. Probably 50% blue spruce with blight and other 50% non infected wood.

Tompkins County New York Posted 14 days ago

my garden is dying

One bush (petunia, hydrangea, dogwood, and more) or tree after another is displaying the following symptoms: Red/burgundy leaves typically at the tips and then takes over entire leaves, and start killing off branches. Symptom starts on the side getting the most sun.

I tested soil and it's nutrient deficient, but fertilizing has not stopped the die off.

Orange County New York Posted 15 days ago

Cimicifuga leaf edge browning

I have a cimicifuga that is relatively young. It has just a few leaves. There are several flower stalks coming out, but the leaves are turning brown/black shortly after they come out. It is planted in part shade. I am not sure what to do.

Cayuga County New York Posted 16 days ago

Blue spruce

I have a 60 foot beautiful blue spruce and my neighbor without my consent sawed off some branches that were growing over my fence this past July and now the tree from that point is turning brown the branches are dieing I feel he killed my tree!!!! I am so upset and heart broken I love this tree. Is there any way I can save it?

New York County New York Posted 20 days ago