Watering Trees During Drought

Watering Trees During Drought

To reach local people a version of this has been published on the Redlands Sustainability Network website

After five years of drought here in Southern California we have a tree crisis – in our city alone (Redlands) we have 1400 dead street and park trees. Some are young, but many are old ones that take decades to replace.

Many have been stressed by the continuing drought in California. In addition, well-meaning people have been removing lawns and changing to low-water landscapes — but their trees are not getting the water they need.

Here are some guidelines on watering your trees & useful resources: [Read more…]

Column Follow-up: Good tree trimmers, rain barrels and stopping the butchering of our trees

Column Follow-up: Good tree trimmers, rain barrels and stopping the butchering of our trees

My last column “Progress and Challenges in Redlands’ Natural World” was published in our local paper today. Toni Momberger, its progressive editor, has left and consequently so have her columnists until the new editor establishes his/her writers. My column’s messages apply to more than the inland area of Southern California where I live.  I’ve also had some follow-up questions and additional information to share. [Read more…]

Taking Care of Our Native Oaks during Drought

Taking Care of Our Native Oaks during Drought

I’ve had a number of queries regarding the proper watering of native California oaks during this drought. I wrote an article on Oak Tree Care in 2012, and most is current, but I wanted to re-tap some experts for tips during this drought. So along with a quick review and some good and bad pruning examples, here you go. [Read more…]

Great hikes: Head to the Crafton Hills

Great hikes: Head to the Crafton Hills

I’m always on the lookout for hikes that feature our area’s rich California native habitat and wildlife — and Crafton Hill’s Grape Street Trail in Yucaipa provides plenty of that. It’s an intermediate trail that takes you up a not-too-steep hill to nice views [Read more…]

Infected Firewood is Transporting Oak Beetle

Infected Firewood is Transporting Oak Beetle

When we moved from the San Diego area nearer to Los Angeles, old coast live oaks — the native oak that epitomizes California – were dying off from a new pest. We lived in the east part of San Diego County and were concerned about the pest as we heard reports of it moving westward. Especially since our property had a half-dozen 80-year-old oaks on our property.

Unfortunately, the beetle – the goldspotted oak borer or GSOB– that is causing this is moving north [Read more…]

Seek Local Native Plants for Cold (and Hot) Tolerance

Seek Local Native Plants for Cold (and Hot) Tolerance

“One of the advantages of growing local native plants is that the plants from your immediate vicinity are well adapted to our climate’s yearly fluctuations and can take those rare days with winter low temperatures and high temperatures in the sumners” – Bart O’Brien, RSABG

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our agave ‘Blue Flame’, coffee berry, Mexican feather grass and manzanita did well in recent cold snap

Here in California we’ve had some unusally cold weather this January [Read more…]

The Science of Trees

The Science of Trees

At our local horticulture group last month we were lucky to have speaker Paul Chaney, an ISA Certified Arborist who enlightened us on the science behind trees. Understanding their structure and how they grow helps us in turn to understand their best care, particularly pruning. [Read more…]