Can an old, neglected grapevine be revived? Horticulture expert Bob Morris answers that question and more.
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.
Maybe gardeners aren’t busy in Minnesota or Iowa during the winter, but for gardeners living in the Mojave Desert, it is probably our busiest time of year. I’m asked about spraying dormant oils on trees, but most people don’t know anything about them. It’s a shame because it’s probably the most important method to control bugs that may become problems during the coming year. It’s good insurance.
Q: I planted a Bosc pear tree seven years ago not realizing it required a second pollenizer pear tree. For several years, I did get a few pears even though the tree had lots of flowers. I think my neighbor’s pear tree was the pollenizer, but it seems to be failing. I have no room to plant a pollenizer pear tree. Not sure what to do.
Q: I recently installed an underground fertilizer injector, and I was told to discontinue fertilizing by hand. Does this injector replace fertilizing plants by hand? Is it beneficial as a supplement? If so, how often should it be used?
I know readers will be asking why their lemon or grapefruit did not produce any fruit this year. They will say, “The tree grew great, but it didn’t produce any fruit.”
Q: We are moving to a new house and want to plant a row of trees by the fence for privacy and security. A local nursery suggested Carolina cherry and Japanese privet, but we heard these trees will not do well in this climate. Another suggestion was the African sumac. What would you suggest? We want evergreen for privacy.
Q: Around town and in my neighborhood, many midlife trees are dying. In beautiful large trees, there are dead branches and sometimes just a fully dead tree. Some trees are planted in gravel and some in a yard. Do you notice that also?
Q: I have a small crape myrtle tree with leaves that were constantly wet this year. The ground and plants underneath were always wet. Now that the leaves are gone. I can see the branches are also wet. Another tree I have is perfectly dry and normal. What’s causing this and how can I correct it?
I have fruit tree pruning classes at 1 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. Saturdays during the month of December at Ahern Orchard in downtown Las Vegas. Class size is limited so you must enroll on Eventbrite or contact me.
The most effective pest control measures for fruit, shade or ornamental trees during 2019 will be applied this December and January. Many gardeners consider the application of oils as an “organic” method of controlling future pests. In the purest sense, it is not organic. But applications of oils during the winter reduce the need for “hard pesticides” later.
The time of pruning varies with the fruit tree but generally most fruit trees are pruned during the winter months, beginning at leaf drop. When you have a lot of fruit trees, pruning may start early and not end until after flowering has started in spring.
Q: My young acacia tree has abundant growth but only on the top half of the branches. Each of these branches is losing many leaves halfway up the branch. There is a lot of growth at the top of the tree but not much below. Am I watering too much or too little? I water every five days during the summer.