Sunlight damaged limbs more prone to borer attack

Q: I was checking today after our big rain and noticed something weird low on the trunk of my peach tree. I touched this spot and a chunk of rotten wood came off. Was this an unnoticed borer attack or something to do with the rain? Can it be fixed?

A: Trees in good health recover from damage quickly, particularly when they’re young. Recovery depends on the extensiveness of the damage and tree health. Remove any loose bark and let this wound heal on its own without tree paint or anything added.

A great time to look for active borers in fruit trees is right after a rain. If there are borers active, you usually see a dark, reddish-brown jellylike ooze coming from the trunk or limbs. If I see this, I like to remove the damaged area down to healthy wood with a sharp, sanitized knife.

If you don’t see any oozing, then there are no borers present or the borers are not active. It’s possible it is old damage and the borers are gone. It is also possible it could be damage from something else.

Check to see if this damage is in a location where damage from borers is common. Locations for borer damage are commonly on upper surfaces of limbs exposed to direct sunlight and trunks or limbs facing west or south.

This is because borer damage is frequently found along with damage from intense sunlight or sunburn. If sunlight damages the top of limbs, then these damaged upper surfaces are more prone to attacks by borers than sides or the bottoms of limbs.

Sides of limbs or trunk facing south or west are more commonly attacked by borers than sides facing east or north. Again, this is because of damage by intense sunlight.

If trees are growing in a lawn or surrounded by weeds, damage to the trunk could be from a lawnmower or line trimmer rather than borers. Look to see if damage is at a height that could correspond to damage caused by a mower or line trimmer.

Make sure no weeds or grass grow within 3 feet of the trunk. Grass or weeds growing close to a tree should be dug out and replaced with wood chip mulch. This helps eliminate damage from mowers or line trimmers and reduces the number of pests that make it through the winter.

Another alternative is to lay old carpeting with woven backing on top of the soil surrounding the tree. This layer of carpeting smothers plants growing too close to the tree but allows air and water movement through it. If lawn mowers or line trimmers are used, they should always be kept away from the trunk.

Q: I have pomegranates that are a few years old. Every year they don’t produce flowers until late in the season when everyone is harvesting fruit. I am considering every option including removal of the plants.

A: Pomegranates produce flowers on new growth in late spring when many other fruit trees have already flowered. Pomegranates are slow starters in the spring but once they start flowering they continue to flower through most of the summer and year after year.

The balance between root and top growth affects flowering. The tree adjusts growth above ground to match growth and the size of its roots below ground. This root-to-shoot ratio affects flowering and fruiting.

If the top of the plant is cut back severely or damaged and the roots stay the same size, the top part of the plant grows rapidly and won’t produce flowers until the growth above ground again matches growth below ground. This ideal root-to-shoot ratio varies among plants, between species of plants and even among varieties.

I believe you are seeing a flush of rapid growth in the spring either because of loss of growth above ground. The top produces a lot of new growth at the expense of flowering. Flowering begins when that ideal root-to-shoot ratio is achieved again.

If you are pruning this pomegranate, do not prune it severely. If you are losing the size of the top because of freezing damage or mechanical injury, try to protect it. If this tree can maintain its root-to-shoot ratio from one year to the next, this problem will stop.

There is a difference in tolerance to freezing temperatures among varieties pomegranate. Some are more cold hardy than others. If winter cold damage occurs, it is possible your pomegranate is a different variety than your neighbors. The pomegranate variety Wonderful has been a solid performer in our climate.

Some pomegranates are “precocious,” meaning they flower and produce fruit at a young age but all of them should be flowering by the second or third year after planting. Some flower the first year after planting. Some flower possibly as late as the third year after planting.

If you can’t solve this problem through careful pruning, replace it with a fruit tree more cold hardy or suffers less from cold winter temperature damage.

Q: Two years ago, you correctly diagnosed our tomato plants with spider mites from pictures we sent. Last year we got spider mites again. We started most of our tomatoes from seed last year but bought a few plants from a local nursery and planted them in each of the vegetable beds. Is it common to get spider mites from nursery plants?

A: I don’t know how common it is for pests to be brought in from plant nurseries, but I know it is more common than I would like. I have personally witnessed and identified disease and insect problems coming from nursery plants (houseplants, transplants and landscape container plants) before they were planted.

Some plant problems are easy to see and others are not and don’t develop fully until later. Growing plants free of insect and disease problems requires knowledge about the pests, a clean growing area and a regular prevention and treatment program.

If possible, put plants in isolated areas until you are sure they are clean. This is a common recommendation when buying houseplants. Houseplants are frequently loaded with disease and insect problems and infest other plants once inside the house.

When bringing home plants, spray them with oils and soap and water before planting. Don’t bring home bargain bin or dumpster plants thinking you’ve got a deal. You are asking for trouble unless you know what you’re doing. Don’t risk contaminating pristine plants by mixing them with plants unknown to you.

As far as spider mites on tomatoes are concerned, inspect plants using the white paper method and a hand lens. Remove weeds growing in the containers, remove dying or damaged leaves, spray plants with soap sprays, and alternate with neem and other oils when you see them.

Q: Would you please give me your advice on pampas grass? I planted the grass in one area of my yard and it did not grow more than 3 feet tall. I moved it to an area which receives full sun a couple years ago. I believe I gave it the right amount of water and fertilizer. It doesn’t die out and it doesn’t grow taller than 3 feet or grow horizontally.

A: You did not mention if the pampas grass flowered or not. Flowering is a sign that it has reached maturity and won’t get any taller.

It sounds like you have a dwarf variety of pampas grass. They grow about 4 to 5 feet tall and no taller and about 3 feet wide. One variety from Monrovia Nursery is called Ivory Feathers and blooms in late summer or early fall.

A lack of water would show up as browning of the leaves and the plant would appear to be struggling. Pampas grass is very hardy in desert climates and should grow to their full height without any problems if they are getting enough water.

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.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
The Mob Museum
Saddle bronc rider Joey Sonnier earns spot at NFR after overcoming years of drug addiction
Joey Sonnier started saddle bronc riding at 18, but at 20 he began using methamphetamine to cope with the work of the rodeos and became addicted. At 39, after years of addiction and a low point that pushed him to rehab, he's qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Core Arena opens at the Plaza downtown in time for NFR
Core Arena, downtown's first permanent outdoor equestrian center, opens to the public at the Plaza. The arena will be used for events throughout the year, including the 10-day 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas
MountainView Hospital celebrates the opening of the new Sunrise Health GME Simulation Center.
MountainView Hospital celebrates the opening of the new Sunrise Health GME Simulation Center. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
NFR Preps Livestock for the Limelight
NFR’s Jed Pugsley discusses the care that goes into preparing the rodeo’s livestock for Las Vegas’ big event.
Grand Menorah lighting begins Hanukkah
Rabbi Shea Harlig led the ceremonial lighting of the menorah to begin Hanukkah at the Fremont Street Experience. There were also performances by the Desert Torah Academy's choir and the Dancing Dreidels. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Perla Gumm has spent the past few years collecting toys for kids for the LV Rescue Mission
Perla Gumm has spent the past few years collecting toys for kids for the LV Rescue Mission. It's something she started even before the rescue mission was her beneficiary; she just felt a need to collect toys and teamed up with them later. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Marvin Menzies on Cincinnati
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about Cincinnati and his own program. 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
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Joey Logano talks about Champions Week in Las Vegas
NASCAR champion Joey Logano talks about the future of Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 28, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rain hits Las Vegas Valley
Widespread rain hit the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Valley Hit with Rain, Clouds
Rain and clouds hit the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday afternoon.
Ducks have Lorenzi Park to themselves
Thursday’s rain kept people inside, leaving Lorenzi Park to the ducks.
Kyle Busch Reflects On Disappointing End To Nascar Season
Kyle Busch reflects on disappointing end to his 2018 season during NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 28, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Animal Foundation's Lost & Found offers community options for lost pets
The Lost & Found at The Animal Foundation allows members of the community to turn in lost pets or retrieve them. They recently started using the Finding Rover app that uses facial recognition to find and report lost pets.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is a Blast
Brookman Elementary School sets world record
All 776 students at Brookman Elementary School helped set a world record by connecting a chain of pipe cleaners that measured more than 11 miles. Student got 10 pipe cleaners for every book they read. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV’s football players painted the Fremont Cannon red in celebration to their victory against Reno.
UNLV’s football players painted the Fremont Cannon red outside of the Student Union in celebration to their victory against in-state rival the University of Reno. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Barn Buddies Rescue
Barn Buddies Rescue is a non-profit dedicated to the rescue of abused, neglected or abandoned farm animals.
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory over Southern Utah. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Marvin Menzies on beating Southern Utah
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the victory over Southern Utah. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Michigan State talks Las Vegas Invitational win
The Spartans defeated Texas 78-68 at Orleans Arena on Friday.
Three Square’s Maurice Johnson Talks About Food Waste
Three Square’s director of operations Maurice Johnson talks about food waste. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Armani Rogers on his return to playing
UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers talks about being back on the field. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Menzies on state of UNLV's team
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about where his team stands after four games. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez on possibly changing the UNR date
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about the idea of changing the UNR date to Nevada Day. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Women’s shelter gets $1.5 million dollar renovation
The Shade Tree, which offers food, shelter, facilities and services to women, gets a $1.5 million dollar renovation.
UNLV's Drew Tejchman on playing safety
UNLV wide receiver Drew Tejchman talks about also playing safety. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Hailey Dawson Day
Life
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.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like