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Past Questions and Answers | January 2018


Question #1

Question:  We have 3 butternut trees about 5 years old. we've never got any nuts. the last 2 years we've gotten the string things a few nuts form but fall off the tree too early and when we opened the nut there is a slug like creature in them. Any help would be appreciated! also what fertilizer would you use?

  Vicki Riese, E. Concord, NY

 

ANSWER:   I would not fertilize the tree because if planted in the proper location it should not need it. Fertilizing can cause weak growth of the tree and may not increase fruit production.The reason it took awhile to get fruit is that the trees needed to mature. As far as the slug in the nut, this is caused by a weevil that enters the nut's shell when it hits the ground and remains there. The best solution is to pick up the nuts as soon as they fall.

Question #2

Question:  Hi and thank you for your wonderful website! I have a new mini-orchard (zone 9b) planted late winter/very early spring of this year consisting of cherries, peaches, pears/Asian pears, and a Brown Turkey fig. Also have previously established (by home's original owner) apple (probably Granny Smith), lemon (probably Eureka), orange (Late Lane). I knew absolutely nothing 1 yr. ago about fruit trees but have been doing a lot of reading, reaching out to experienced folks/nurseries in my local area, visit the U or C Ag Extension website to access their publications, etc., over the past year. So now I have bits and pieces of important information regarding the care of my little family of trees but am having trouble organizing it into a plan and choosing the right products off the shelf, making the right decisions. I am a recently retired Veterinarian so am familiar with antifungals, insecticides as they pertain to animals but given my rank beginner-ness I'm a bit lost. (Your month by month "to-do" calendar has been very helpful!). My question is that I have discovered borers at the base of 3 of 6 of my young cherry trees, was able to remove several larvae but know that won't correct the bigger picture. 1) How do I organize a plan to treat cherry tree borers and apply a dormant spray oil. Treat all 6 trees? What products and order do you recommend regarding treating the borers and integrating that into (I'm assuming) standard winter care with horticultural oil for fungal and other parasitic diseases? I have Liqui-Cop (8% metallic copper/qt), Fertilome containing Spinosad (A & D), Neem Oil 70%, the Bayer liquid product containing Imitacloprid 0.23% for use with fruit/vegetables. Am happy also to stock other things that are more appropriate including Dormant Oil Spray.... I'm sorry to write so much info. Grateful for any advise you could share with me. Thank you! Kris Hare

  Kris Hare, Paradise, CA

 

ANSWER:   First, congrats on your retirement. Second, the reason you have bores in your cherry trees is the fact that they have presented to the insect world that they are weak. Being successful in completely getting rid of this pest is not going to happen. All you can do is somewhat reduce the number of bores. The first thing I would do would be to get a Pyrethrin based bark spray. This is a preventative measure but I will still use it on the trunk and main branches. There is no need to apply to the leaves. Timing is everything with this approach and I would start way before the leaves leaf out. You want to make sure that you have treatment on the bark when the eggs hatch so that the larvae crawls over the treated bark and dies. The second thing I would do would be to set up some sticky traps. These will catch adults before they have a chance to lay eggs.

Question #3

Question:  Why should I use pole saw?

  Dhaka

 

ANSWER:   A pole saw is simply a saw on a pole. This type of saw is wonderful for pruning branches while still keeping you on the ground. No ladder needed to prune a tree but this type of saw is limited to the length of pole.


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Gardening-tip:



Use Edgings

Nothing finishes off a flower bed like low, long flowering edging plants.

Alyssum, lobelia, and dianthus are great for just this purpose.

For good continual flowering, also fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer like a 15-15-15.


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