- Author: Rachel A. Surls
Nothing heralds the coming of summer in Los Angeles quite like the bloom of our jacaranda trees. Jacarandas produce loads of incredible purple flowers in May and June, with trees lining entire streets in some parts of town. Our in-house tree expert at UC Cooperative Extension, Environmental Horticulture Advisor Donald Hodel, likes jacarandas not only because of their flowers, but also because they have a nice canopy—lacy, airy, and not too dense-which lets light through and makes it possible to grow other plants underneath.
Don shared some suggestions for anyone who might be considering a jacaranda as part of their landscape.Jacarandas require adequate space. Keep in mind that they will grow 30 feet tall and up to 30 feet wide.
- When in bloom, the trees drop lots of flowers which can stain patios, cars, and even carpets if they are tracked into the house. It’s best to plant jacarandas where they can drop their flowers on lawns or groundcover.
- Jacarandas tend to produce water sprouts, vigorous upright shoots that grow straight up out of the branches. These should be thinned out if possible because they damage overall branch structure of the tree and are often weakly attached.
- Once established, jacarandas can get by on winter rain, but need to be irrigated during summer and fall.
- For established trees, it’s best to withhold water and fertilizer in the winter because this will ensure more flowers in the spring.
- Jacarandas are a South American tree, native to Argentina, and belong to the trumpet vine family along with other flowering trees such as Catalpa and Paulownia.
- Author: Dohee Kim
Dennis Pittenger, UC Cooperative Extension’s area environmental horticulture advisor, is the recipient of the 2011 Arboriculture Research Award from the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). The award recognizes "outstanding contribution to research that has contributed substantially to the sum knowledge of
arboriculture." Pittenger received the award at the organization's 77th Annual Conference in La Jolla, Calif.
“I am honored to receive this award because it represents recognition from members of an industry I have attempted to serve in my research program,” said Pittenger. “Also, much of my research contribution is the result of effective collaborations with my UC colleagues,” he added.
Pittenger has been with UC Cooperative Extension for nearly 30 years. His research focuses on landscape water needs, tree species selection and tree root management. He has authored and co-authored more than 155 publications, including the well-known “California Master Gardener Handbook.”
Pittenger earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s in horticulture from Ohio State University.
For more information on Cooperative Extension’s offerings in environmental horticulture, please visit http://celosangeles.ucdavis.edu/. 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.