A new pest is threatening trees in Los Angeles County--the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB). The beetle bores through a tree's bark and spreads a fungus that attacks the wood, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients the tree needs to survive. Eventually, branch dieback and death of the tree can occur. With the ability to attack a wide range of trees, this pest has already killed a large number of avocados internationally, box elders, oaks and other species along streets and in botanical gardens and backyards in Los Angeles County.
In response, UC Cooperative Extension will co-host a hands-on workshop with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Monica Mountains and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Homeowners will learn from experts how to identify new oak threats, including PSHB and GSOB, and a variety of common, rate and emerging insects and diseases. It is also an opportunity to meet local tree care and pest management professionals and hear ways to contribute to local monitoring efforts.
New Oak Threats Workshop
January 12, 2013 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino
Advance registration is required with a $25 fee
To register, please visit UC ANR's Pest and Diseases of Southern California Oaks
"These pests have the potential to seriously impact trees at homes, streets, parks adn wildlands. It's quite frightening," said Sabrina Drill, natural resources advisor in Los Angeles County. "We need homeowners and tree care workers to be on the lookout to prevent the spread of this thing, particularly through firewood movement," she added.
To learn more about Southern California's oak trees, please visit UC ANR's Pest and Diseases of Southern California.
To get information on Cooperative Extension's natural resources program, please visit UCCE's Natural Resources.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Above Photo: Michelle Obama works in the White House Kitchen Garden (White House photo.)
California will be well represented on Friday, Oct. 19, when Michelle Obama's kitchen garden-a model vegetable garden on the south lawn of the White House-is the site of a national "Tweetup." Rose Hayden-Smith, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources sustainable food systems initiative leader, will be part of the White House Social Fall Garden Tour.
Follow the event in real time from 5 a.m. to 12 noon Pacific Time on Twitter using the tag #whgarden.
White House Social is a series of in-person meetings of people who engage with the White House through social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Hayden-Smith has followed Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the White House on Twitter since Obama's election in 2008. She won the invitation after entering a contest that asked contestants to describe in 140 characters why they wanted to visit the White House garden.
"I'm really excited to be part of this," said Hayden-Smith, who is also a UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Ventura County, specializing in 4-H youth, family and community development. "The fact that the Obamas are cultivating a food-producing garden on the grounds of the White House says really wonderful things about our country. The First Family is showing its concern about the health of Americans and reducing childhood obesity. That's something we at UC Cooperative Extension care a great deal about."
Hayden-Smith Tweets as "Victory Grower" (@victorygrower), a persona she created to reflect her interest in a national revival of the Victory Garden movement, in which increasing food production was considered vital to bolstering national security by creating a more secure food supply.
"It's a different 'victory' now, but many of the goals are the same," Hayden-Smith said. "Gardens connect people with food and food production. Food is fundamental. It's what everyone shares in common. As we are entering a more challenging era of increased population and pressure on resources, it is vital for people to understand how to cultivate food."
Hayden-Smith travels to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. On Thursday, she and her colleague Rachel Surls (@rachelsurls), UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Los Angeles County, will tour urban garden projects in the nation's capital. They will be Tweeting about their tour on Thursday afternoon using the tag #urbanag.
Though not an official part of White House Social, Surls will have a brief tour of the White House Kitchen Garden on Friday. She will Tweet on Friday using the tag #whgarden.
Surls and Hayden-Smith are joining wtih UC Agriculture and Natural Resources to promote urban agriculture in California, an effort that is expected to generate multiple benefits. Gardening provides a way for people to be physically active, to improve food access, to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and to reconnect people with agriculture.
ASABE selected Pittenger and Shaw based on their extensive research on estimating water needs of non-turf landscape plants and their history of providing education programs for green industry professionals who manage landscape irrigation.
"The past and current approaches have not been reliable in the numbers they produce, and they give users a false sense of precision while failing to achieve the intended conservation of water. The new method will be simple to use and based on 20 years of research findings," said Pittenger. "It is a great opportunity to see research-based information play an important role in public policy and standards adopted by the industry," he added.
ASABE is a 9,000-member international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering in agriculture, food and biological systems. It is recognized worldwide as a standards developing organization with more than 240 standards in current publication.
For more information on the development of the standard procedure for landscape water needs, please contact Dennis Pittenger at (951) 827-3320, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on UC Cooperative Extension's offerings in environmental horticulture, please visit UCCE-LA's website.
As part of the University of California, Cooperative Extension was established in 1914 to connect local communities to their state's land grant university. An office in each county in California responds to the changing needs of its local populations, designing and carrying out research-based programs in the areas of food, health, agriculture, horticulture and the environment.
It is our pleasure to announce that one of the projects selected is "UC ANR: A Resource for Urban Agriculture." The project will be conducted by a statewide team of UC ANR staff and UC faculty, led by the following investigators: Rachel Surls (Principal Investigator), sustainable food systems advisor for LA County; Aziz Baameur (Co PI), farm advisor for Santa Clara County; Gail Feenstra (Co PI), food systems coordinator at UC Davis; Shermain Hardesty (Co PI), extension specialist at UC Davis; Cheryl Wilen (Co PI), area integrated pest management advisor. Three collaborators are also involved in the project: Ryan Galt, professor of agricultural sustainability at UC Davis; N. Claire Napawan, professor of landscape architecture at UC Davis; and Brenda Wolford, nutrition, family and consumer science advisor in Los Angeles County.
The network of researchers, who were awarded $50,000 over two years, will conduct a needs assessment related to urban agriculture in the state. Then, based on identified needs, they will develop research-based resources for the urban agriculture community, including web-based information on urban agriculture topics and policy briefs.
Very small-scale urban agriculture is increasingly playing an important role in local and community food systems. Due to the growing demand for locally produced food, small-scale farmers are growing food in community gardens, vacant lots and rooftops. In response, California cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, have changed zoning codes to support the growth of urban agriculture. This project will help UC ANR and local Cooperative Extension staff offer research-based information to guide urban farmers and inform public policies and decisions in this growing field.
Congratulations to Rachel Surls and her network of researchers!
For information about UC Cooperative Extension's gardening and horticulture programs, please visit our site.
Do you wonder why your tomatoes are so tiny or why there are so few? Do you wonder when to start lettuce seeds so you can harvest throughout the winter to avoid the high prices at the stores? Maybe, you're not sure when to prune your roses for lots of color next year. Well, the Los Angeles County Master Gardeners can help you. Trained by the experts from the University of California and having had many years of gardening experience, they know the answers to the challenges gardeners face.
Throughout the year, you can call the Master Gardener Helpline at (323) 260-3238 to leave a message. Or you can email your question with a photograph of your gardening problem to email@example.com. Master Gardener volunteers will respond within three days.
The Los Angeles County Master Food Preservers will also be at the fair. Learn how to pickle and make jellies and jams. They will be conducting demonstrations on two stages: The Culinary Styles Stage (under the racetrack grandstand) and the Farm House Kitchen (at FairView Farms across from the Big Red Barn).
To contact the Master Food Preservers Program and request volunteers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the Los Angeles County Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers is to train volunteers to teach low-resource communities how to grow and eat more fruits and vegetables, preserve the excess from their gardens, and employ food safety practices at home.
For more information, please visit the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program and the Master Food Preserver Program. To find out more about UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County, please visit our website.