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Posts Tagged: landscape

Meet August 'Spotlight' UCCE Master Gardener Brenda Spoelstra

Brenda helping youth learn to garden at Micah House 3

I became a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener in San Bernardino County in January of 2019. I had learned about it from a friend who is an instructor with the UCCE Master Food Preserver program. She knew I liked...

micah house veggie garden 1
micah house veggie garden 1

Posted on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 7:45 PM
  • Author: Brenda Spoelstra
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Food, Health, Yard & Garden

Landscape Tree Irrigation to Maximize Tree Health, Benefits, and Beauty

Most trees in California need supplemental irrigation above and beyond what Mother Nature supplies naturally. Even drought-resistant species need regular watering through their first growing season due to their shallow roots. Once trees become established, it's important to water less often but more deeply to encourage deep rooting and structural balance above and below ground. Both under and overwatering can lead to unhealthy trees and even death if the situation is not corrected. Trees receiving too little or too much water exhibit similar symptoms since, in both cases, water is not available to the plant. Trees initially wilt, grow slowly, and develop yellow leaves. Over time, growth stops and leaves become brown and drop. Overwatered trees often develop lower crown and root rot from one or more disease-forming pathogens.

Knowing what type of soil you have (soil texture) is as important as knowing the water needs of your trees. Use the ‘feel test' (pictured below) to find out how much water your soil holds and how often to water. Heavier clay-based soils hold water longer and drain more slowly than sandier soils that need to be watered more often for shorter periods of time.

do a feel test of your soil to help you know when to water

Trees should not be watered on the same irrigation system used for lawns and groundcovers. Soaker hoses and drip systems allow trees to be watered less often but for longer periods of time than your lawn or groundcover. Avoid applying water too close to the trunk. Instead water half-way between the trunk and the dripline of the tree and outward. If you use a garden hose, apply the water on the lowest volume possible slowly, moving the hose every few hours to each of four quadrants around the tree. 

Applying a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the tree can reduce soil evaporation.  Use only non-flammable mulches in fire-prone areas within five feet from the house and non-contiguous for the first 30' away from the house. In all cases keep mulch a few inches away from tree trunks to keep the trunks dry.

Tip: Before planting a tree, make sure there is adequate drainage. Dig a hole where you want to plant it (the same depth of the pot, which is about one foot) and fill the hole with water. Let it completely drain and refill it. Measure the time it takes to drain one inch using a ruler. If it does not drain more than one inch an hour it is not a good location for your tree. Avoid adding compost or soil amendments to try to correct the problem since tree roots will likely grow in circles, staying within the confines of the amended hole rather than growing outward the confines of the amended hole rather than growing outward.

do a quick drainage test before planting a tree
Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 1:52 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment

UCCE Master Gardeners Participate in Research to Identify Trees That Withstand Climate Change

Nine UC Master Gardeners in San Bernardino County, the Chino Basin Water Conservation District (CBWCD), Inland Empire Resource Conservation District and Mountain States Wholesale Nursery are collaborating with UC Cooperative Extension Environmental Horticulture Advisor and Prinicpal Investigator Janet Hartin on a 'climate-ready landscape trees' study to determine the impacts of mulch on tree growth and health. The project is located at CBWCD in Montclair and includes four species of landscape trees from a larger study at UC Riverside consisting of 12 species without a mulch/no mulch comparison. Species included in the mulch trial are: Parkinsonia x Desert Museum (Desert Museum Palo Verde), Prosopis glandulosa 'Maverick' (Maverick Mesquite), Chilopsis lineris 'Bubba' (Desert Willow) and Pistacia 'Red Push' (Red Push Pistache). Trees were planted in late 2016 and received adequate irrigation for one year to assure adequate early growth. Irrigation was tapered off in 2017 and trees now receive no supplemental irrigation. The first round of results will be reported in July, 2019 by Janet at the annual American Society for Horticultural Science 'Climate Change in Urban Landscapes' session co-chaired by fellow UCCE Advisor Igor Lacan, former UC Davis Postdoctoral Researcher Lloyd Nackley (currently a Plant Physiologist/Nursery Specialist at Oregon State University) and Janet.  Thank you to all of our partners! 

EditedImage (23)
EditedImage (23)

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 1:57 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Sensors, drones, and CIMIS: UCCE Partners with EarthWatch and CBWCD to Save Water in Urban Landscapes

On Friday UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Coordinator Maggie O'Neill and I hosted a tour that showcased UC ANR Urban Water Use Specialist's Amir Haghverdi's landscape plots at the UCR Citrus Experiment Station. In attendance were CEO Scott Kania and Lead Scientist Mark Chandler from EarthWatch, Becky Rittenburg and Monica Curiel from Chino Basin Water Conservation District, and Darrel Jenerette, UC Riverside Professor of Landscape Ecology.    Our team is implementing an exciting citizen science project measuring water conservation based on implementing 'best practices' in urban landscapes in the greater Los Angeles Basin.   

Amir Haghverdi showing plots to EarthWatch, UCCE and CBWCD teams
Amir Haghverdi showing plots to EarthWatch, UCCE and CBWCD teams

EarthWatch, CBWCD, and UCCE San Bernardino team
EarthWatch, CBWCD, and UCCE San Bernardino team

Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8:58 AM

Free Class: Home Fruit--Producing and Preserving and Sustainable Lanscape Workshops. . .


Another Good Class Coming Up.  Mark your calendars, it's freeeee!

MG Higland March 31


Posted on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 6:19 PM
Tags: fruit (5), gardening (6), home-grown (2), landscape (2), mountain-grown (1), preserving (19), produce (2), sustainable (2)
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