UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
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UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

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Pies

Photo By Diane Galvan

  Pies By Diane Galvan   UCCE Master Food Preserver    “I'd like to make and...

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM

In Praise of Bumble Bees

A yellow-faced bumble bee,Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

When was the last time you sighted a bumble bee? Photographed it? It's National Pollinator Week and one of our favorite...

A yellow-faced bumble bee,Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee,Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee,Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, leaving a foxglove in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, leaving a foxglove in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, leaving a foxglove in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 4:50 PM

The California's 2019 wildfire season takes off

As California grappled with a record-breaking heatwave last week and 236 wildfires, officials are bracing for the worst, reported Maanvi Singh in the Guardian.

The fires have been mostly fueled by grass and brush that came up during the state's especially wet winter and mild spring, according to a CAL FIRE official. UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor Lenya Quinn-Davidson said California's annual wildfire season is growing longer – beginning earlier in the spring and stretching later in the fall.

“It's not unusual for us to see this many small fires in June,” she said. “But 50 years ago, so many fires this early on – plus these extreme, high temperatures in June – would have been abnormal.”

It is difficult to predict how bad the rest of this fire season will be based on the number of fires so far, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.

"Our worst fire years aren't necessarily the years that we've had the highest number of fires,” he noted. “All it takes is one – one huge, destructive fire to ruin the whole year."

Lenya Quinn-Davidson, center, is the UC Cooperative Extension fire scientist serving Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity and Mendocino counties. She is pictured with Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, left, and Kelly Martin, right, at a Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange session.
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 9:36 AM

Cheers to 40 years! It's time to show off UC Master Gardener Program images of the past and present

The UC Master Gardener Program invites you to stroll down memory lane and share your favorite photos of being a UC Master Gardener volunteer. The program will be celebrating its 40th anniversary (1980 – 2020), and we need your help to tell our story.

Enter the 40th Anniversary Photo Contest for a chance to win prizes and receive recognition among the UC Master Gardener community.

How to enter
Entry is free and open to all past and present UC Master Gardener volunteers. Entries must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PST on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 using the online photo contest submission form.

Please read and review the official photo contest participation guidelines before entering.

  • Images must be smaller than 10MB
  • No limit on number of images
  • Winner selected by popular vote!

Winners
Photographs with the highest overall public votes will be designated as “People's Choice” winners. First, second and third place winners will receive prizes and be showcased on the statewide UC Master Gardener Program website, UC ANR Repository, UC Master Gardener social media channels, program marketing materials and the 2019 annual report. Winners will also be recognized by having their photo displayed in a gallery at the 2020 UC Master Gardener Program statewide conference.

More information about the 2019 UC Master Gardener 40th Anniversary Photo Contest can be found online:

We can't wait to see your beautiful photos!

Questions? Contact:

Donna Valadez
Marketing Assistant, Statewide Office
Email: dnvaladez@ucanr.edu

Enter your favorite photos from the past 40 years to celebrate our anniversary next year!
Our 40th year anniversary aims to honor all UC Master Gardener volunteers, past and present!
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 9:27 AM

Persimmon Tree Problems

Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

MGCC Help Desk Request:
  What's going on with my persimmon tree? I worked a bunch of compost into the soil around it in the spring and mulched with leaves. But it looks like it needs nutrients. What should I give it? This is its third year since planting. Thanks

Persimmon Tree (w/problems)
MGCC Help Desk Response:  Thank you for your question to the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk regarding your persimmon tree. The photo was very helpful.

Persimmons are generally disease free, but the black spots showing on some of the leaves look like fungal spots. I can't tell from the photo what type of fungus, but there are several that can occasionally affect persimmons. A wet spring, such as we have had, may exacerbate this, as can overhead watering, so you should make sure any nearby sprinklers do not hit the tree.  UC does not recommend any treatment other than good cultural care. Removing any fallen leaves also will help. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/DISEASES/leafspotdis.html

As long as the spotted leaves are green, I think it would be best to leave them on the tree, as the foliage looks a little sparse - those leaves are still making food for the tree. Now we have hotter and dry weather, leaf spot fungi will be less active.

As you mention, the tree does look like it could use a little help. Persimmons don't generally need a lot of fertilizer, but yours may benefit from a balanced fertilizer for fruit trees (follow package directions ). Make sure the mulch does not cover the bottom of the trunk just above the roots - this area should be clear so that air can get to the roots. When adding compost to the tree you do not need to work it into the soil, which may risk damaging the roots. Worms and other soil creatures will take care of incorporating the compost.  Persimmons don't need as much water as some other fruit trees, however, a young tree needs regular irrigation until established, and will do better later on with continued irrigation. The soil should not be overly wet, but do not let it dry out.

Persimmon (w/black spots)
You did not specify the tree type, but your tree looks like a Fuyu.  New growth in the spring on these trees tends to be bright yellowish green but should become dark green as the season progresses. As your tree grows you will want to prune back the longer branches, as the fruit will develop on new wood and can lead to broken branches if the load is too heavy.

The following links give more information about caring for persimmons.
http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/persimmon.html
and
http://sonomamg.ucanr.edu/The_Kitchen_Garden/FRUITS/Persimmon/

I hope this information will help your tree to do better, and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SMW)


Note:  UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available almost year-round to answer your gardening questions.  Except for a few holidays (e.g., last 2 weeks December), we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 2380 Bisso Lane, Concord, CA 94520. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 608-6683, email: ccmg@ucanr.edu, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/. MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Biog.


Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 12:09 AM

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