Heat, borers plague landscapes over summer

Two major problems occurred to landscape plants and fruit trees these past few weeks during the summer. First was the heat. They were stressed. High temperatures seemed to linger longer than normal. In addition, minimum nighttime temperatures stayed elevated well into the 90s for more days than I remember in the past.

The second problem involved borers, mostly in fruit trees. Maybe more fruit trees have been planted, and there are now more borers than in the past. But I received many questions regarding tree decline, branches dying on mostly fruit trees and possible borer damage during July and August.

This year, I saw more sun damage to trees and grapes due to intense sunlight and high temperatures than I have seen in the past. Right now, in late August with cooling temperatures, they are starting to recover. I can see signs of new growth and this new growth looks healthy. That’s after a temperature drop of 10 degrees during the day and 5 to 7 degrees at night.

As I mentioned to someone in early July, we just need to get sensitive plants through the high temperatures of the summer. Not a problem with desert and desert-adapted plants.

With fruit trees, I had to add an extra day of watering when temperatures were consistently above 110 degrees. If damaged plants are not sensitive to winter cold, give younger trees an application of fertilizer in about three to four weeks after temperatures cool off.

Borers start causing damage in April but are difficult to discover because they are hidden inside plants. Nothing is obvious to the human eye even though internal damage to the plants is occurring. Sometimes, sap is seen from infested limbs or the trunk, particularly after a rain or the tree is wetted.

Plants can handle quite a bit of internal damage by borers before they start showing it. The appearance of borer damage is the death of a limb or two, usually during the heat of summer.

Q: I have tree sap coming from the trunk of my flowering plum tree. The top looks healthy, but I’m concerned the tree might have borers.

A: Plums are sappy trees. They exude a lot of sap from the trunk and limbs because of some sort of damage. The damage can be from high-temperature stress, sunburn, wounds and borer activity just under its outer surface.

But in midsummer, this damage is likely to be from borers. The next stage in damage to your tree is the death of a limb or two because the borers cut off the water supply from the roots. When damage is excessive in the trunk it can cause the entire tree to die quickly.

Remember this as a lesson learned. The borers were attracted to the tree because of damage from intense sunlight, sunburn, on the trunk. Select trees that have lower limbs and don’t be so quick to remove them.

Maintain the tree full of leaves and keep the lower limbs on the tree to shade as much of the trunk as possible. Fruit tree trunks and exposed lower limbs are painted with dilute white latex paint to reduce the sunburn which attracts borers.

When damage from borers to the trunk is light, sap is seen coming from damaged areas of plums but with no damage to the top of the tree. The larger trunks can handle more internal damage than single limbs before damage to the top is seen. The only way to know for sure is to take a sharp, sanitized knife, remove a layer of bark where the sap is located and look for damage.

I’m 90 percent sure the damage is from borers because of the sap and the time of year. Use the Bayer Tree and Shrub insect control product as a soil drench to kill any remaining borers. If the borers are killed now, it is possible the tree may avoid further damage and recover. Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself.

Mix the amount specified on the label with water in a 5-gallon bucket and pour it on the soil around the tree about 12 to 24 inches from the trunk. Rinse the bucket three times with water and pour that rinsate on the soil as well.

After rinsing, use soap and water and gloves to clean the bucket. Wear waterproof gloves when doing all this. Death of borers should be within 24 to 48 hours.

Q: We moved into this house a few months ago, and the fruit trees look bad during this summer. What can I do?

A: Right now just keep your trees alive during the heat. They will start to recover as temperatures cool down in September and October. It’s hard to know why they are declining without seeing them.

Most damage I see now is because trees are not watered enough, or they are watered daily, or they are infected with borers. When watering, make sure fruit trees get plenty of water but give them at least one day without water before the next irrigation.

Give the roots a chance to breathe. Avoid giving them tiny sips of water daily. This type of watering can be hard to manage and suffocate tree roots.

If concerned about the amount of water they receive during irrigations, build basins under the canopy and supplement them weekly with a hose.

Build the basins 4 inches high and wide enough that they occupy at least half the area under the tree canopy. A bigger basin is better. Make sure the basins are level along the bottom as well as the top.

Fill basins once a week with a hose. Don’t turn off the irrigation to them, but use the hose to supplement the amount of water applied.

Plants growing by themselves, not surrounded by other plants receiving water, require more applied water. This is because they are surrounded by dry soil. Fruit trees are often grown by themselves.

When temperatures cool down, add more drip emitters to a wider area under the tree’s canopy. If watering with only a basin, fill the basin three times a week right now. Later in October, back off to twice a week.

If you see sap coming from the trunk or limbs, or single branches have died, use a systemic insecticide as a soil drench around the tree to kill any remaining borers. Follow label directions for applying a soil drench. Avoid using systemic insecticides before or during flowering to protect honeybees and other insects that might visit the tree for pollination.

Q: I have spurge taking over my planting beds and lawn. In most cases, we need to spot kill it as it is mixed in with other plants and grass. What is the most effective way to get rid of spurge?

A: Spurge is an annual weed that spreads out horizontally with tiny leaves and a white, milky sap when you break the thin stems. They are a nuisance more than anything else and relatively easy to control with a surface mulch that shades the soil.

They have tiny flowers along the thin stems that produce seed quickly. This seed is dropped on the soil where it will grow if the mother plant is removed and they receive sunlight. They have the potential to produce new plants every 30 days through the summer.

They become a problem where there is plenty of sunlight and frequent irrigation. Avoid watering daily when possible.

Shade the surface of the soil with a surface mulch 2 to 3 inches deep. If spurge invades a lawn, mow the grass taller and don’t let maintenance people weed whack grass growing near sprinkler heads or bevel cut the edge of the lawn to make it look nice.

These two maintenance practices invite invasion by Bermuda grass and spurge. Mowing the grass taller and fertilizing it four times a year helps prevent invasion by spurge by increasing the shade on the soil.

As far as chemicals go, any of the pre-emergent weed killers available to homeowners will work but prevention will keep this weed at bay. Pre-emergent week killers require applications about every six to eight weeks starting in about March. However, this weed is easy to control by making other plants more competitive and using surface mulch.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert and professor emeritus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.

Extreme weather closes Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon
High winds and flooding closed the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area Thursday. Minor flooding across Highway 159 caused drivers to slow, but didn't close the road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like