NOW IS THE TIME
Eunice Messner

DECIDUOUS TREES

We were too late in getting bud wood for testing the pear, but Charles Allen is taking charge and has an order in for next year. Elsewhere in this newsletter is information on trees to be offered for sale at the Scion
Wood Exchange in January. (You'll like the price!)

If the winds have blown off all the leaves of your stone fruit trees, now is the time to finish fine pruning (you did summer prune after your tree fruited didn't you?) .Then, now is also the time to apply the first
of your lime-sulfur sprays for brown rot, scab and peach leaf-curl. I've never had to spray my apricot trees, but if you do - be sure not to use a lime sulfur spray that includes copper. Roots grow mostly in the winter time; so cover the soil with enriched mulch or compost for a microbial food source and the greatest source of slow-release nitrogen. Also, a heavy mulch gives you more winter chill.

Did you see the Armstrong Nurseries' ad that offers a new ultra-dwarf 'Fuji' apple? It is self-fertile; grows 5' to 6' tall and 5' wide and does well in containers. They also offer the 'Sunshine Blue blueberry (Frank Raco's source does not include this variety).

I really like these quotes from the avid horticulturist, Thomas Jefferson: "The greatest service that can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture." And, "The failure of one thing is repaired by the success of another."

MED FLY SCARE

Some of my mangos exhibited a rotting of the fruit --radiating from a single puncture wound. Even the husk became discolored. I talked with the Dept. of Agriculture and they assured me -unless there were maggots, it was not Mediterranean Fruit Fly. What a relief! But does anyone know what could be the possible cause?
Growers in Valley Center (San Diego County) are not so lucky. They are in quarantine after recent med-fly finds. Sterile flies are still being released locally.

EXPERIMENT

I've planted as many as one-hundred mango seedlings with only a very small percentage surviving the winter without a green house. This year I planted 24 polyembryonic 'Thomson' seeds in the ground in a sunny spot and covered them with a rigid plastic material for protection. A south-facing, heat-holding concrete wall is on the backside.

My next project is stumping (one-half now; the other half next year) a 30' 'Pina' mango tree. I will graft the sprouts over next summer to my 'Carnival' mango. The nearby 'Manila' mango was grafted over in a like manner two years ago.

eunicemessner@yahoo.com