Should Perennials Be Cut To Ground Before Winter And How To Care For Pine Trees With Blight

Question From: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States
Q: I am recently divorced after a 31 year marriage, and am new to caring for our outside plants. I dug up the annuals, but wondered if all the perennials (the only ones I know the names of are the hostas) should be cut to the ground? Is there any rule of thumb I could follow? Secondly, is there any way to reverse blight in 50 foot pine trees. I had 5 removed, but am hoping I can somehow save the remaining 16. Thank you very much!

A: For the trees, get an on-site inspection from a certified arborist. To find one in your area go to and enter you zip code. Mother Nature will teach you. Those that turn yellow and mushy are cut back. I leave the other standing until spring, but remove seed heads. Leave roses intact until forsythia blooms in spring.  Best and Happy Yardening, Nancy.