Showing posts from June, 2018

Saltcedar Eradication Takes Patience and Persistence

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson Guest author: Dr. Leslie Beck, NMSU Extension Weed Specialist

I have a saltcedar I inherited when I moved into my rental home in Zuni, NM. I have cut it back to a stump as best I could without a chainsaw or any power tools, but it incessantly puts out shoots and tries to stage a comeback. What is the simplest way to permanently kill this invasive beast? -Tammy P., Zuni, NM Answer: You are not alone in your saltcedar frustrations. I invited NMSU Extension Weed Specialist, Dr. Leslie Beck, to review your options:
“Saltcedar is a highly invasive and difficult-to-control noxious weed throughout the Southwestern states. Many of its growth characteristics contribute to its difficult management, most notably the primary root system, which can penetrate more than 30 feet deep in the soil, and aggressive lateral rhizomes that are responsible for many of the shoots that return after cutting. The plant crown (where the main body of the plant …

Osmotic Pressure Inside Nectarines Forced Sap to Ooze Delicately and then the Wind Whipped It Around

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson
Question: What’s the deal with these clear, stiff, noodle-like formations on my nectarines? Have you ever seen anything like this? -Amos A., Albuquerque, NM UPDATE: Amos reported that he tasted the ooze and it had no particular flavor. More updates expected as fruit ripen. Figure 1. Sap exudate oozing out of these nectarines was whipped around by the wind before it had a chance to dry and solidify, making extremely rare decorative formations (photo credit A. Arber).
Answer: Wow, I have never seen anything like this before! However, I’m only on month ten as the state Extension Horticulture Specialist for NMSU, and I have never grown nectarines before, so I shared your strange photos with several experts from around the state. All agree that the images show extremely rare, spiraling strands of hardened nectarine sap, but there’s no real cause for alarm or recommended action. NMSU Bernalillo County Extension Horticulture Agent, Sara Moran, sugg…

Old Trees Deserve Extra Care: They Cannot Live Forever, but You can Help them Live Longer!

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson Question: Are trees immortal? -2nd Grade Student at La Promesa Elementary, Veguita, NM Answer: Sadly, no. Even under the best possible circumstances, trees cannot live forever. Many trees can have impressively long lifespans, though. Of the top four oldest documented trees in New Mexico, one of them is right there near you in Socorro County: a Chihuahua white pine in the San Mateo Mountains that is over 600 years old. The others are a Douglas fir at El Malpais that is about 1,275 years old, a limber pine about 1,670 years old, and a Rocky Mountain juniper at over 1,900 years old. One famous old tree was another Douglas fir near Grants named Yoda that was known to be over 650 years old and was only 7 feet tall. Yoda died in 2014, and the documented cause of death was a combination of increased temperatures and drought. Notice anything that those trees have in common? They are all evergreen trees. In fact, on a list of old trees published by …

You Can Help Avoid Plant Sunburn

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson Reprint from June 2010. Written by Dr. Curtis Smith, retired NMSU Extension Horticulture Specialist, with additions by Marisa Thompson. 
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