Tree Care Disasters

...find. A local blog I just discovered Weeding Wild Suburbia, has a nice summary of things you can do to prevent trees from falling down in the next storm. See her posts, Cleaning Up After the Storm, Tree Care Part 2, and Selecting and Planting Trees for Long Term Success. One things I noticed after the storm were huge trees with shallow root systems that topled over. It’s the result of combining trees and lawns–keeping the lawn green...

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Gardening Resources in Los Angeles County

...st Tree Care LA (Nick Araya, ISA Certified Arborist and Oscar Sanchez). Nick and Oscar did a great job with our trees. If you care about your trees, hire a certified arborist not just some dude with a chainsaw. It costs is nothing when you consider how much you’ll pay to fix the damage from a limb falling down on your roof in the next big winter storm. Fruit Trees/Berries Bay Laurel Nursery (mail order bare root). Order in the fall for Ja...

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The glass is half full–even if it’s full of greywater

...of nature that you just have to shrug off. This year we’ve had lots of failures in the agricultural line. It’s been the theme of the year. For instance, we lost the grape which covers our back porch to Pierce’s disease. No shade for us this summer. Then we had to pull out our citrus trees because there’s a new citrus disease in California, very similar to Pierce’s disease. We blogged about the crookedness and incomp...

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Least Favorite Plant: Ficus benjamina

...220;L.A.’s favorite underappreciated, unheralded, unfavorite curbside flora. I have no real love for these trees, per se, no sentimental attachment. They just express form and mass and scale and human intervention in a way that I enjoy, like nothing else in the urban landscape as I encounter it.” He’s wise to be neutral. A civil insurection broke out in Santa Monica over plans to replace ficus trees with ginko trees in the downt...

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DIY Christmas Trees

...palled to think that somebody actually drank that much soda. On the other hand, the structure is really nice and it looks pretty all lit up: 2) And the hardback book tree, made out of a cut-up book. The cool thing about this one is that the cover stays intact, so you can close it up and store it on your book shelf until next season: Now, I know some people get cranky about book desecration, but even as a bo...

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Damned Figs!

...May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.”-Matthew 21:18-19 We find it hard to cut down a mature tree, especially a fruit tree. But after living with a substandard fig tree for ten years we finally understood this biblical episode, and chopped the sucker down. Our holy land type climate in Los Angeles makes it a cinch to grow figs. It also makes it possible for all the fig trees in the neighborhood to...

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Loquat Season

For some mysterious reason our corner of Los Angeles has an abundance of loquat trees (Eriobotrya japonica) that, at this time of year, produce prodigious amounts of fruit that mostly goes to waste. Many of these trees live in public spaces, the parkway and people’s front yards making them prime candidates for urban foraging i.e. free food. The tree itself has a vaguely tropical appearance with waxy leaves that look like the sort of plasti...

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Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3

...old, just to be safe. To make it extra safe — and useful — I’ve been letting the worms have at it. I’m using it as part of the mix that forms the worm bedding, so cat poo will become worm poo and the garden will be delighted. That’s how I plan to dispose of all of it, bit by bit. If I didn’t have the worm bin, I’d call it done and spread it under fruit trees or ornamental plantings. Lessons Learned: 1) Ma...

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A Review of Masanobu Fukuoka’s Sowing Seeds in the Desert

...nd the Central Valley of California. Fukuoka suggests carpet bombing these areas with seed pellets (a how-to for making seed pellets is included in an appendix). And the content of those seed balls? Whatever will re-vegetate the landscape most effectively regardless of whether those plants are native or not in order to achieve what Fukuoka calls a “second Genesis.” As he puts it, I would mix the seeds of all plants–forest trees,...

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