- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
A recent article in the Redding Record-Searchlight said the program is an offshoot the UC Davis Arboretum All-stars program, in which standout plants at the arboretum are promoted to home gardeners. Five years ago, arboretum officials decided to extend their program across California.
"Our hope is that all California gardens slowly transition to more eco-friendly gardens using less water and fewer chemicals - if any chemicals at all," the article quoted Karrie Reid, UC Davis Arboretum trials manager.
To see how the plants do in California's diversity of climates, Reid called in the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, who provide garden education programs in 52 California counties. Arboretum All-Stars are now being field tests in 13 trial gardens from Redding in the north to San Diego in the south.
Master Gardeners apply no pesticides or fertilizers, and monitor and rate the plants on a scale from one to five each month. Eventually, those that are deemed tough enough will be marketed with the "Arboretum All-Stars" label.