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Bob Morris

Bob Morris

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

Avoid bird damage with certain tactics

Question: What can be done to keep birds from eating all the fruit in an orchard? My brother has an orchard in southern Utah. There are about 100 trees, mostly dwarf and semi dwarf. Last year, birds got 90 percent of the fruit. He has tried scarecrows, but that didn’t work. He has also tried aluminum foil pie tins, but that only worked temporarily. Is there any solution for him other than buying netting to cover the trees?

Chemicals not a sure-fire way to kill ash tree

Question: I have a huge ash tree that I want to either stop from seeding or kill. I heard about a product that can stop seeding, but I am told due to the size of the tree, it is impossible to spray the blooms. This tree is at least 50 feet tall. It is a real nuisance.

Fruit tree selection based on chill hours

Question: I am in the process of ordering a couple of fruit trees online. What are the chill hours for Sun City Anthem in Henderson? I thought it was 300 hours or less. A couple of apricot trees you have recommended have been 400 and 500 hours (Blenheim and Royal Rosa), and I am wondering if that is too many.

Yellow bells prefer warm winter spots

Question: Last year, we planted a yellow bells plant. It appears to have died over winter. Do we need to trim it back to bring it back to life or just be patient and wait?

Backyard microclimates support tender citruses

Question: Inspired by you, I have planted a tree from your recommended tree list and another that I don’t think is in there, a Meyer lemon. I planted a lemon after seeing other people in the valley having success with it. I would like to know what precautions I should take growing a lemon tree here.

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Pecans too big, water intensive for desert

Question: We want to plant a pecan tree. Would you please recommend one for Las Vegas? If we plant one, can we cut it way back and keep it small like we did our other fruit trees?

Smaller fruit trees can deal with caliche

Question: While preparing my holes to plant my fruit trees, I encountered caliche. I’m able to dig down to about 18 inches by 24 inches across.

Fig cuttings must acclimate to outdoors

Question: I have several fig cuttings that are growing in a vermiculite and perlite mix inside the house. When is the best time to transplant them into the ground outside? Or do I have to go through an interim stage of a small pot with potting soil first?

Pollinating insects sometimes strike at right time

Question: We have small butterflies on our plum tree. There are hundreds of them. Are they pollinating our trees? The bees were here, but these have taken over.

Keeping kiwis protected paramount to success

Question: I recently purchased male and female Hardy Kiwi starts form Parks Seed Company. I was wondering if you might be able to give me any tips for growing them here in the Las Vegas Valley. I have done some reading on pruning and training them into a trunk and building a T-trellis. In what I have read, they need full sunlight, but I am of the mind that perhaps afternoon shade might be a bit better.

Texas laurel a persnickety plant

Question: My Texas mountain laurel has yellow leaves, and they continue to get more yellow as time goes by. It faces southwest, has two adjustable emitters turned down low, watering once a week for one hour in the winter.

Sapsucker damage is impossible to prevent

Question: Can you tell what is damaging my 7-year-old blue ghost tree? This damage is about 12 feet high on the north side, and there is a line of holes in the trunk.

Fruit trees prefer wood mulch to rock

Question: I have a good-sized area covered with rock mulch. A flowering plum tree is struggling in this area. Can a Myer’s lemon tree do well in a rock mulch setting?

Warm midwinter weather confusing to bulbs

Question: My crocuses and tulips are poking their heads out of the dirt in my garden. They’re growing. We have had great spring weather in January. Should I let them continue, or should I put some more dirt on them?

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