Can you help me figure out why the plants in my yard are dying?


Hi Hometalk world, My boyfriend and l purchased a fixer upper home located in South Georgia and the yard is dying! All the trees are starting to die, weeds have taken over. Can anyone tell me what this is on a branch off One of the Pecan trees, we have 5 in the yard and all seem to be dying. Any help will be appreciated,

q help my yard is dying can anyone help me
  7 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Oct 09, 2019

    Hi Lala,

    My suggest is to look up your local Extension Service. Here's a link to the one in the state of Georgia. Scroll down until you find a red box that says "Call Your Local Office" and click on "See County Preference" and put your information on the next page. Every state/county has an Extension Service and their job is to help will problems such as yours. They should be able to help you better than we can because they know your area plus you can take them samples of what you're seeing. I hope this helps. Wishing you the best.

    • LaLa LaLa on Oct 09, 2019


      Thank you so very much for your suggestion. I will look at the link you sent. Thank you again.

  • Debo Debo on Oct 09, 2019

    Congratulations on your purchase! My first thought when you said the home is a fixer upper was did the previous owners go through a foreclosure. I ask because unfortunately it’s not uncommon for people to be so angry at the bank they do destructive things to the home so it’s worth less and harder to sell for a good price. The first thing I would do is test the soil. Sadly I’ve seen kitchen and bathrooms demolished and trees and lawns poisoned with chemicals more often than not. Best of luck to you!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 09, 2019

    Have your soil tested at a co op or local office. It's been a basic drought in Alabama and without watering everything is dying. So that could contribute if you have similar issues there.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Oct 09, 2019

    That's Spanish moss you have there, by the look of it. It is parasitic to a lot of trees. If they are covered in the moss, you'll probably need a visit from a nurseryman or arborist to get rid of it. As for the lawn, most southern grasses like St. Augustine require 8 hours of direct sunlight. It will die back if it doesn't. So, if there is a decent amount of shade - you'll have to replace the grass with something that needs less sun. If you've got plenty of sun, then the soil itself may be so hard that the grass roots can't grow (but weed roots will!). You may need to lightly till or work the soil (I'd do it in sections) to see if this treatment will help. Also, in the south, minerals can be washed from the soil by all that rain. You can also try a nice organic lawn food with something like a 5/5/5 proportion to help it along. Best of luck with those trees.

  • Allison Allison on Oct 09, 2019

    I'm in the southeast, as well, we are suffering a severe drought at the moment. The growth on your tree branches is fruticose lichen, harmless to the tree, but indicative of slow growth. Mulch up your leaves, when they fall, with your mower and spread them around the trees, this will help to feed them. Add some compost. Do not stack it up against the trunks, let them breathe. In the spring mulch the trees to retain water. Pecan trees in this area are not fussy, most live on benign neglect and produce very well. As for the lawn, if your trees are shading the areas where you see dying grass, it's because they need sun. I started planting mondo grass plugs here and there and they will spread. It handles both full sun and deep shade and only grows to 3 or 4 inches. You can mow it or not. I'm likely never going to see a full lawn of it, as it's slow, but my heirs will appreciate it.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Oct 11, 2019

    Ignore the "moss" it's an air plant and isn't a parasite or part of the tree.

    You have powdery mildew. It comes from the plant not having enough air circulation/sunlight along with getting wet at night.

    Get some Neem oil and mix per the instructions on the container for garden use. Use a hand pump sprayer (all is available at Home Depot etc.) and spray the plants liberally but not while in direct sunlight as they will get burned.

    You can safely treat them once a week for a few weeks and then keep an eye on them. It really shouldn't take more than maybe 3 treatments to get this under control. Neem oil will also treat them for aphids, scale, mites and other parasites that can be attracted to them in their weakened state.

    At the same time, amend your soil if needed, with a good garden soil and mulch generously but not around the trunks. Keep them watered but not over watered and fertilize so they are strong. You will prevail! 😎🌳

  • LaLa LaLa on Oct 24, 2019

    I feel the pecan trees may be a loss- They look very sad and they did not produce any pecans.