Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Garden Doctor: How to keep an old olive tree alive

By
From page A7 | October 14, 2012 |

Coming up

* Fall gardening workshops and plant sale: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 20, Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road. Free classes on bee-friendly gardening, edible landscaping and backyard and worm composting

* Davis Fall Festival: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, Central Park, Third and C streets. Plant sales, exhibits, fun for all ages

* Pumpkin Smash and Bash: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland. Visit www.aghistory.org for details

Question: We transplanted an olive tree from our old house five years ago and it seems to be doing surprisingly well. We water it almost daily for about 20 minutes. I notice that it has some dead branches, and also something that looks like “sawdust” from the tree on the branches and ground. What should we do to keep this nice old tree alive?

Answer: Olea europaea are evergreen trees that thrive in our hot, dry summers because they originally came from the Mediterranean region. They need full sun, and look best when grown in deep, rich soil, but will also grow in shallow, alkaline or stony soil and with little fertilizer. Olive trees are deer- and wind-resistant and often the mature trees have an interesting, gnarled trunk and branch pattern.

There are fruiting and fruitless varieties, although most fruitless trees occasionally will bear fruit. Young trees gain height rapidly but continued growth slows considerably, eventually reaching 25 to 30 feet.

You should cut back on the watering, especially with cooler weather and winter rains coming. Dead branches can be pruned at any time. The “sawdust” sighting is a sign of carpenter bees. Looking similar to bumble bees and often larger in size, female carpenter bees bore into wood, especially dead wood, to make nests, depositing food (pollen) and a single egg. Pruning back dead wood should prevent a majority of the problem. For the most part, the bees are considered beneficial because they are excellent pollinators.

Question: How do I get rid of stink bugs? I have found them in and around my house.

Answer: Stink bugs are not new to the California home gardener and have been discussed in articles dating back to 1952. There are several varieties of stink bug and it is important that you identify which one you have. Visit www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/pmg/garden/veges/pests/id/idstinkbug.html to pinpoint your particular pest. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, a newcomer that arrived in the United States from Asia in the 1990s, is a pest of agricultural crops in many states.

As their common name suggests, all share the ability to stink when disturbed, a most annoying behavior. Stink bugs seek shelter as the days become colder. They congregate in large numbers on outside walls and will invade homes through small cracks. In the garden they will seek shelter under boards in refuse piles, weedy areas and in areas where they won’t be disturbed. Preventive measures would start with cleaning up such areas.

Examine the exterior of house to prevent them from coming inside. When found inside, vacuum furniture and then dispose of the bag.

Hand picking these bugs and their eggs is another effective control method. The eggs will be white to pale green and are laid on the underside of leaves in clusters of 20 to 30.

The bugs are spread easily because they are hitchhikers. They have been found in vehicles and in furniture where they are undisturbed. Both the adult and nymphs suck juices from fruits and seeds. Their sucking creates pockmarks and damages the flesh, making it pithy, brown or corky. Their appetites include tomatoes, legumes, pears, stone fruits, citrus, grapes, berries, fig and vegetables, as well as shade trees.

Speaking of bugs in general, fall is a good time to clean up your garden. Prevention is usually the best practice. Weed at least one more time to eliminate potential sites for overwintering insects, snails and slugs, and to reduce spring weeding. Take out dead and spent annuals. If you have a large bare area for next year’s garden, think about planting a cover crop. Have fun as you think about and plan next year’s garden.

Question: I saw a cool plant on Putah Creek by Old Davis Road.  It is a large shrub with white trumpet flowers (three to four inches long), purplish stems, and lobed fuzzy leaves. Is it a native? Can I put it in my garden? 

Answer: You and the Garden Doctor must enjoy walking in the same area. There are several impressive examples of this plant growing near the east end of Putah Creek, near the parking lot at Davis Commons. What you are probably seeing is commonly called Jimson weed, datura or devil’s claw, and is native to Mexico. It is very poisonous, so be careful in handling it.

Many domestic varieties are available, some at local garden centers, that would do better in the home garden (although probably also toxic). You can look for these plants with the name Brugmansia. They are tender perennials, and may freeze completely but are likely to grow back. Slugs and snails seem to enjoy eating them, without fatal consequences.

— Send questions, addressed to the “Garden Doctor,” by email to mgyolo@ucdavis.edu, voice mail to 530-666-8737 or regular mail to UCCE Master Gardeners, 70 Cottonwood St., Woodland, CA 95695. Be sure to include your contact information, because any questions not answered in the Garden Doctor column will be answered with a phone call or email to you. You can request the Yolo Gardener newsletter delivered by email and learn more about the Master Gardener program in Yolo County at http://ceyolo.ucdavis.edu/Gardening_and_Master_Gardening

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

 
Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

 
Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Feeling shunned after tragedy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6