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Ask the Expert

Wisconsin State Farmer
Magnolias are in profuse bloom across the state.

Q: What do Rose-breasted grosbeaks eat?

A: These birds are in the cardinal family and eat similar foods. Sunflower seed, safflower seed and other large seeds are best. These birds have just returned in the last week or so and continue to appear in larger numbers every day here in Wisconsin.

Q: Is it too early to put out hummingbird and oriole feeders?

A: Not at all. I get this question weekly and advise readers and listeners to get their feeders out. The first hummingbirds and orioles have been recorded in the state and will continue to expand and increase in number over the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Q: What's the best way to get rid of horseradish?

A: There is no easy method, unfortunately. Proper planning before planting horseradish is the best way to keep it under control. The best option is to dig deeply and remove as many of the roots and rootlets as possible, then fill the hole with new garden soil. Watch carefully for new shoots to appear and pull them as soon as they show up. This is an ongoing process and will require several seasons or years of monitoring it. Like any invasive species, there is no easy, one shot method.

Q: I'm seeing trees with large white flowers in bloom all over town. What are these?

A: These are likely star magnolias that are in profuse bloom across the state. Star magnolia comes in both tree and shrub form and blooms for a few weeks in April.