The freeze is coming. Remember that the coldest is just before dawn. Clear, cloudless skies are more likely to give us lower temperatures and freezing; windy cold is worse than just cold. Cover tender plants before you go to bed and uncover them when it is no longer freezing.
Q: This last year we have had very little fruit on our kumquat, although the tree had been ample with fruit before. The tree appears to be healthy, just no fruit. The only difference I can think of is that in previous years I covered the tree whenever the temperature was below freezing.
Q: We have 14-year-old pine trees with large water berms under them for collecting water. The inside of these berms are full of pine needles that I hoped would help hold moisture but they do not deteriorate. Should they be left under the trees or be removed?
Q: I am having trouble finding a tree to replace ash trees. I want something that doesn’t grow so tall and does well in our climate. We took out our ash trees because they were giant and the roots were all at the surface. I am now guessing we have a soil issue. True?
Q: I have two 20-year-old ash trees that appear to be dying. I have attached pictures. The smaller tree is a Modesto ash and it started losing limbs about a year ago. The bark is now separating and it looks like an old stump with a few sprouts. The other is a Rayburn ash. Its limbs started dying this summer, but the limb deaths are accelerating.
Q: Last week we planted several fruit trees and have established trees as well. Would you recommend applying fertilizer around these trees now? Spikes or granular type of fertilizer?
This has not been unusual weather. It’s the norm. But watch out! February can be dangerous for plants. December 1990 was one of the coldest months on record, but February 1989 was much more damaging to plants.
For those who would like quality roses, Plant World Nursery on West Charleston Boulevard has brought in Weeks roses. These are high quality roses. They will cost more than roses produced for mass merchandisers but they are high quality. For a recommended rose for the desert, visit my blog and search for “best roses for the desert.”