Getting shade in desert will ‘cost’ you plenty of water

April 16 there will be two events at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Orchard in North Las Vegas that might interest some of you.

First we have our Egg Day. Chef Ryan Taliaferro, formerly chef with the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas, will create several dishes from locally produced eggs and show you how to make them. An egg producer will be present to talk about how eggs from small-scale producers can be much different from mass-produced eggs coming from commercial sources. Seating is limited and the event costs $25 per person. To sign up call the master gardener help line at 257-5555.

The second event is for aspiring beekeepers. We are offering a class for those wanting their own bees or just to know about honeybees and the process of beekeeping. This class is taught by beekeeper Rodney Mehring, owner of Blue Lizard Farm in Caliente, Nev. Mehring is also our beekeeper at the orchard. His class will be all day, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; there is a class fee of $125, which includes lunch. To sign up or more information, call the master gardener help line at 257-5555.

Q: I have been asking my homeowners association for a shade tree in front of my condo. I did receive an Arizona ash, which is doing well. I want another one in my front yard. My understanding of the Arizona ash is that it is a good shade tree. After establishment it is supposed to be tolerant of less water, resist heat, wind and freezing. I truly love the African sumac but it reaches a height that the condo owner does not want and it requires pruning. What small shade tree less than 12-feet high is good for our desert surroundings?

A: I am surprised that the HOAs are not supportive of most small trees in residential landscapes. Yes, African sumac has some problems but it is a small tree, maturing at around a little more than 20 feet.

There simply are no shade trees maturing at 12 feet tall or less. When you look at the 20-foot category for small trees, the African sumac fits the definition of a small landscape tree. A general rule of thumb: When you want shade from any tree, desert or not, it will “cost” you in water. Water is used by plants to increase in height and density, thus equaling more shade.

Desert trees will survive on less water but they respond by giving less shade. You cannot just give a tree, desert tree or not, more water when it is growing and then, when it gets to the height you want, cut back on the water and have it stay the same. With less water its appearance, landscape function and acceptability will change.

This is a common misconception and we have demonstrated that through our research at the university. Both of these trees are suitable landscape trees. Both require some pruning, perhaps African sumac a bit more, but not an excessive amount unless it is done improperly. Both are about the same height when mature.

The African sumac will give more shade but it will require a bit more water. It is a bit more “messy.” The ash will give less shade (filtered shade) and will withstand drought conditions (water gets turned off for an extended period) better. Which you select depends on what you are trying to achieve and the end result of planting your tree.

Q: We purchased a home two years ago with two existing magnolia trees in our front yard. The trees are about 8 feet tall, have some leaves on them but they don’t look overly healthy. I’ve treated both trees with soil acidifier and a product that contains an insecticide and fertilizer each year. We also have an automatic fertilizer injector for the yard. Do you have any other recommendations for them?

A: I have said this before but it probably doesn’t hurt to say it again. When we plant trees, shrubs or any other plant for that matter that is out-of-place in our desert environment, then it will cost us more time, energy and money to take good care of it. Magnolia is clearly out of its element here in the desert. So it will require more from you to make it healthy and keep it in good shape.

The acidifier might be of some help but you can get excellent acidification from compost and decaying organic matter such as wood mulches.

I hope they are not planted in rock mulch. That will be their doom if they are. Try adding compost around the tree and watering it in if you can. The fertilizer you’re using is fine but I would also recommend an iron chelate, which contains EDDHA in the ingredients, as a fertilizer and apply it now.

You can skip the insecticide treatment. Magnolias are not a good choice for this climate and I will not give you a lot of hope in getting these to large trees. Enjoy them while you can. We don’t see many large ones here for a good reason.

Q: I have to build a small raised bed for vegetables and herbs. I want to provide protection from the wind, cold and, later, the summer heat. The sun screening in the stores is the 25-30 percent type. What is the best sun screening level for sun screen?

A: We generally use about a 30 percent shade cloth for most vegetables. Even at 30 percent this is too much shade for some vegetables such as okra, which does much better in full sun. Okra originated out of the area of northern Africa that we now call Ethiopia and Eritrea. This probably explains why they don’t like much shade and enjoy our full sun.

I would not go above 30 percent shade for those vegetables that we value for their flowers and subsequent fruit that develops from flowers. Decreasing light will affect flower production.

For leafy vegetables you can go higher in percent shade, perhaps in the 40 percent shade category.

Q: Do weed-and-feed products or fertilizers with insect killers affect the worms in my lawn?

A: Yes, they do, depending on the pesticide in the fertilizer. Insecticides are the worst on worms. Herbicides or weed killers are usually not as dangerous to earthworms but it really depends on the weed killer. Some pesticides can cause declining health in earthworms and impact their ability to ward off predators and diseases and impact their survival.

Q: Something is eating the leaves of my small grapefruit tree. I have checked it often to see if I could see the pest that was the culprit, even at night, and cannot find anything. What do you recommend?

A: Without seeing it I am not sure anything is eating your grapefruit leaves. Wind is the most common reason for damage to citrus leaves and it resembles feeding damage by insects. We did have some pretty good winds recently.

Wind damage looks most like tearing, shredding or ripping of leaves. I would not apply an insecticide if you are not convinced it is insect damage and then only if the damage is not recoverable by the tree without your assistance or if it interferes with fruit production.

Bob Morris is an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Direct gardening questions to the master gardener hot line at 257-5555 or contact Morris by email at morrisr@unce.unr.edu.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Life
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like