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Re: Rhododendron question

I'm up outside Boston now with my older sister- we
went to Garden in the Woods- and both Rhodies and
mountain laurel were in lovely bloom.
When we came home to plant a couple of plants she
picked up there (including an adorable double rue
anemone) we also noticed a zillion caterpillers on her
birch tree.  We cut all the branches with them off and
put them in a bucket then went inside to see what they
were (good or bad?)-  turns out they were birch sawfly
caterpillers.  We promptly put all in a plastic
garbage back and sealed it shut.  yuck!


--- Maria <marolsh@verizon.net> wrote:

> Hello all,
> I've been lurking as usual, and Daryl's comment on a
> "fluke of the 
> weather" prompted a question. There are virtually no
> buds on the native 
> Rhododendron maximum here, and I didn't see any
> blooming mountain 
> laurel either. I've noticed that some years are much
> better than 
> others, but the almost total absence of blooms is
> strange to me. Any 
> ideas why they didn't set buds?
>   The local throngs of deer have taken to eating the
> rhodies, though 
> they don't seem to relish them much. At around 30
> inches above the 
> ground, almost half of the leaves have been
> devoured, leaving the stems 
> in a spiky spiral arrangement. Very ugly!
> Maria in NE PA
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