- Author: Melissa Gable
For the past seven years, the heart of the Master Gardener Program has been Pam Geisel. At the statewide office, Pam has worked hard to advocate on behalf of the Master Gardeners. She secures funding for statewide trainings, supports the creation of new programs, as well as creates and maintains alignment to UC Cooperative Extension initiatives. During her time as Director, Pam has been the visionary behind the program cohesiveness that gives us professionalism and credibility throughout the state.
This Thursday, Pam is retiring and I am looking to the over 4500 Master Gardeners in our state to help me thank her. To Pam: Your passion for the Master Gardener Program is contagious and we are incredibly grateful for your hard work and tireless support. You so greatly deserve and have so fully earned all of the joy ahead of you in your retirement. Thank you for being a friend, a leader and an educator to all of us.
In recognition of Pam's valuable intellectual contributions, she has been granted Emeritus status with the University. This is great news for us – Pam will make herself available as an expert speaker for presentations so she can continue to enrich our learning. She will also be volunteering as a Glenn County Master Gardener, serving on the Master Gardener Steering Committee, and has generously offered to assist with preparations for the 2014 Conference. I suppose in her free time, she might also get in a bit of gardening, traveling, biking, cooking and enjoying time with her husband, Ralph.
As for Pam's position, my name is Missy Gable and
Pam, we can't thank you enough!
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
-- Mary Louise Flint, Associate Director, Urban and Community IPM and Extension Entomologist
Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum, was brought from Europe into the U.S. as an ornamental in the 1880s and now occurs throughout North America. In California it is most commonly found at lower elevations and coastal regions but it is continuing to spread into other areas.
Although made famous by Shakespeare and other literary giants as a murder weapon, cases of human poisoning are rare in California; however, poison hemlock is a serious concern to the livestock industry. Cattle, goats and horses are most sensitive to the plant’s toxic alkaloids but pigs, sheep, elk, turkeys and wild animals may also be poisoned.
A new Pest Note: Poison Hemlock outlines identification, biology, impact and management for poison hemlock. It also includes a map of the weed’s distribution in California and areas where it is spreading. Poison hemlock is a biannual plant which grows as a low rosette in its first year and, in the second year, develops tall, up to 6 feet high or more, branching stems that bear small white flowers in spring through early summer.
Find the Pest Note: Poison Hemlock at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74162.html. Authors are J.M. DiTomaso, Plant Sciences, UC Davis; J.A. Roncoroni, UCCE Napa; S.V. Swain, UCCE Marin County; and S.D. Wright, UCCE Tulare/Kings County.
- Author: Andrew Mason Sutherland
Bed bugs are quickly becoming major household nuisance pests. California has recently experienced a multitude of bed bug reports, with San Francisco now considered one of the Top 10 most infested cities in the country. Bed bug detection can be very difficult and almost always requires special training since bugs prefer to hide in dark, inaccessible cracks and crevices near their hosts’ resting spots. An experienced pest management professional can examine all possible harborages in a home, searching for the bugs themselves and signs of infestation such as the characteristic black fecal spotting and cast nymphal skins, although low-density infestations may escape detection.
Thankfully, several monitors are available that attract or intercept bed bugs. Bed bug monitors fall within one of two categories: active monitors and passive monitors. Active monitors employ attractants—heat, carbon dioxide, host odors (kairomones), pheromones, or a combination of these—to lure bed bugs out of their hiding areas and into a pitfall or sticky trap within the monitor. These devices have the potential to detect bed bugs in the absence of a host (vacant room). Passive monitors either exploit a bed bug’s affinity for dark crevices or rely on chance encounters with pitfalls or sticky traps. Interceptor monitors are pitfall devices that rely on the presence of a host (a sleeping human) to attract hungry bugs and trap them en route to their meal.
A team of UC researchers led by UC Berkeley entomologist Vernard Lewis recently evaluated a series of five bed bug monitors. Overall the study concluded that active monitors recovered a steady proportion of bed bugs as densities increased and that all monitors tested were able to detect bed bugs at low densities.
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
First identified in California in 2004, the goldspotted oak borer (GSOB), Agrilus auroguttatus, has killed more than 24,000 oak trees in San Diego County since its arrival, probably in the late 1990s. In 2012, it was detected in Riverside County and it is expected to spread northward in the state.
The most seriously damaged oaks are those in the red oak group including coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, and black oak, Q. kelloggi. It also infests canyon live oak, Q. chrysolepis but has not been found to kill the other native oak species in the area, the Englemann oak, Q. englemanni. So far losses have been most serious in parks and forested areas, but landscape trees are also being killed.
A new Pest Note from the UC IPM program outlines management guidelines for this serious pest. Flatheaded borers such as GSOB are difficult to manage and seriously infested trees cannot be saved. The primary way GSOB spreads into new areas is through the movement of infested wood and the authors recommend leaving infested wood on site for 2 years. If wood is to be moved, the Pest Note provides guidelines for treating it through containment, grinding, and debarking. Guidelines for replanting infested areas, less susceptible oak species, biological control, insecticide applications and developing GSOB management plans are also described.
Many other borers attack oaks but do not kill trees. GSOB infested trees can be distinguished by the characteristic D-shaped emergence holes it leaves behind. A special feature of the Pest Note is a table illustrating the emergence holes of borer species on southern California oaks. Many photos are also included.
The information in this Pest Note: Goldspotted Oak Borer is based primarily on research studies by the authors: Mary Louise Flint (UCIPM and Entomology/UC Davis), Tom Coleman and Steve Seybold (USDA/US Forest Service), and Mike Jones (Entomology/UC Davis). Find it at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74163.html
- Author: Aubrey Bray
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