Dear Community Members and UCCE Partners Throughout San Bernardino County,
I hope this finds all of you and your families well and staying healthy. Please note that, due to COVID-19 concerns, all UCCE San Bernardino County face-to-face program activities, classes, and other events scheduled through April 30, 2020 have been postponed, canceled, or converted to zoom meetings or other distance learning formats. However, our academics, program managers, and community educators remain on the job and available to assist you via phone and email. Volunteer Master Gardeners continue to address your home horticulture inquiries through their telephone (909)387-2182 and email helplines (email@example.com).
Thank you for your understanding and your flexibility as we continue to provide research-based information in new and novel formats during this difficult time. Follow us on twitter (@MGPSanBern and @UCANRJHartin) and visit our website http://cesanbernardino.ucanr.edu/ for more updates including our Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Annual Report.
Have you ever thought about the parallel between preventive health care for people and integrated pest management (IPM) for plants? Both implement specific measures that reduce the risk of exposure to disease-causing organisms. According to experts, implementing preventive measures such as ‘physical distancing' (I prefer that term over ‘social distancing'), washing our hands thoroughly and regularly, covering our mouths when we cough, not touching our face, etc. greatly reduce our chance of contracting COVID-19.
In the plant world, IPM practices and principles that promote healthy plants greatly reduce the chance of damage from diseases and other pests. With a little extra time on your hands, implement these IPM practices for a healthier garden and landscape: match plants to their preferred climates and microclimates; select disease resistant plant varieties; provide well drained, healthy soil amended with compost and other organic products when appropriate; apply the right amount of water and nutrients at the right time, etc.
A ‘silver lining' of adopting these practices is that the need for pesticides is greatly reduced which keep our waterways clean, and preserves (and even enhances) populations of beneficial microbes, pollinators and wildlife.
Here are some other ‘silver linings' that I want to share with you in hopes they will provide some inspiration for you to ‘landscape greener' during what I hope is some extra downtime.
• Fewer vehicles on the roads has temporarily improved our air quality. With some extra time on our hands, we can all contribute to a more permanent solution by planting a tree or two! Trees store carbon dioxide that reduces pollution, cool urban heat islands, provide shade, reduce interior energy use and costs, provide habitat, connect us with nature, and beautify our neighborhoods.
• Stay in touch with family, friends, and even co-workers at a distance via 'walking chats' that improve our physical health and even reduce stress by increasing the “feel good” hormone serotonin. Keep it up and it just might earn you a place in the “100 mile a month walking club.”
• With more time to catch up on reading, consider downloading free UC ANR publications such as: ‘Sustainable Landscaping in California' anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8504.pdf that provides tips on water savings, use of soil amendments and mulch, reducing pesticide use, and more.
• More time on our hands provides an opportunity to stock our ‘little free library' with vegetable and flower seeds for our neighbors. Don't have an official ‘library'? Build your own ‘seed sharing box!' Or, donate seeds and plants to a local food bank or other non-profit.
I hope that you and your loved ones stay well and healthy! We will get through this together.
The Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) (Agrilus auroguttatus) continues to kill native oaks in several areas of Southern California. Susceptible oaks include coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepis), and California black oak (Q. kelloggii). In many cases, GSOB has damaged or killed mature oaks valued for their beauty, wildlife habitat, and shade. Areas with large numbers of native oaks are particularly at risk. Unfortunately, oaks that are injured over several years from multiple generations of the GSOB often die.
Although GSOB was first identified in San Diego County in 2004 it wasn't until 2008 that oak deaths were linked directly to GSOB. By 2010, GSOB killed over 20,000 oak trees growing in forests, parks, and urban areas in San Diego County. Later infestations occurred in Idlyllwild (2012), Orange County (2014), and Los Angeles County (2015). The three most recent outbreaks have all occurred in San Bernardino County. The first occurred in Oak Glen in 2018 followed by infestations in California black oaks in the Sugarloaf area of Big Bear in August 2019 and in Wrightwood in early November 2019.
The GSOB is native to southeastern Arizona where it is not destructive to otherwise healthy native oaks. This may be due to natural enemies and/or resistant oak species that have co-evolved with GSOB. Damage. Damage occurs from larval feeding on the vascular (water and nutrient conducting tissues) system inside trunks and branches. Infested trees have black stained bark and may ooze sap underneath red bark blisters. Adult beetles leave a distinctive D-shaped exit hole.
Damage from GSOB adults feeding on leaves is not a major concern. Insect Identification. GSOB larvae are about 0.8 inches long, white and legless with two pincher-like spines on the end of their abdomen. Adult GSOB are smaller (about 0.4 inch long) and are mostly black with six gold spots on their forewings. Soft-bodied pupae resemble adults in size and shape and are found in the outer bark from late spring to early summer.
Prevention is important since there are no known control methods once trees become infested with GSOB. Keeping infected firewood onsite is the most effective way to stop its spread. Wood should never be moved offsite since this is the major method by which GSOB is spread. No known natural enemies have been identified and insecticides are not generally effective. Monitoring susceptible trees species and identifying and reporting new infestations early are both important.
If you believe there is an infested oak on your property please submit photos of the entire tree, a close up of a leaf (to confirm the species), and a close up of the surface of the bark on the main trunk. If possible, include a photo of an unsharpened #2 pencil tip next to any visible exit holes since are both around .15 inches wide. https://ucanr.edu/sites/gsobinfo/Help_Monitor/Report_Goldspotted_Oak_Borer_Symptoms/ A team of scientists from UC, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CALFIRE and the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies are working collaboratively to reduce the devastation from this insect and identify effective biological control agents.
The University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County, along with our other UCCE programs (4-H, Master Food Preserver, and EFNEP), hosted an 'Open House' to ring in some holiday cheer! The fun (and delectable) event was attended by staff from neighboring San Bernardino County offices and a fun time was had by all.
Best wishes for a safe and joyful holiday season! Check our calendar for free half-day classes filled with great pointers on growing and preserving food in home, school, and community gardens and selecting and caring for beautiful, environmentally friendly landscape plants coming up in January! https://mgsb.ucanr.edu
I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the 56 newly accepted trainees in our UC Cooperative Extension San Bernardino County Master Gardener class that starts Tuesday, October 1st in Loma Linda. We are excited to meet and greet those of you taking the class in person as well as our online desert and mountain students. The first evening we will go over the syllabus outlining the subject matter we'll be covering over the next 18 weeks, distribute training materials, and discuss expectations. Our team is here to help you navigate the volunteer management system (VMS), become familiar with events and activities current Master Gardeners are involved in, and - most of all - to help guide you and to address questions and any concerns you have along the way.
Thank you for choosing to become a UC Master Gardener volunteer. We look forward to helping you help your community save water and reduce the impacts of urban heat islands through the incorporation of drought-resistant sustainable landscaping; enhance food security and health by expanding home, school, and community food gardens; and enhance the health, well-being and sense of community by promoting an appreciation of nature and outdoor activities.
I also want to assure you that both the midterm and final exam are intended to help you help the public, not memorize endless facts and figures with little practical value. Therefore both exams are open book, open notes. Our main goal educationally during the class is to familiarize you with credible UC ANR resources to enable you to provide accurate information to the public. Topics include the selection and care of fruits, vegetables, and landscape plants; integrated pest management stressing prevention; soil/water relations and irrigation to maximize plant health and minimize water waste; sustainable food systems; plant propagation; prevention and control of weeds and invasive plants; helping mitigate the impacts of climate-change with well placed trees; and more.
Main contacts for the UCCE Master Gardener Program of San Bernardino County:
Master Gardener Coordinator: Maggie O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office/Promotion Manager: Robin Rowe (email@example.com)
See you Tuesday!
Janet Hartin, UCCE Area Environmental Horticulture Advisor (San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties), Master Gardener Manager (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties), UCCE County Co-Director (San Bernardino County)
UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County are partnering with UCCE Area Environmental Horticulture Advisor Janet Hartin, the Chino Basin Water Conservation District (CBWCD), the United States Forest Service, and Mountain States Wholesale Nursery on two 'climate-ready landscape trees' studies. The goal of the projects is to identify tree species that will remain healthy under drought and higher temperatures in the greater Los Angeles basin. Twelve tree species that are native or non-native but adaptable to California conditions were selected for the study at UC Riverside (top photo) due to their expected potential to mitigate impacts of climate change. In addition, the potential ability of a four-inch layer of organic mulch to reduce soil evaporation and weed growth is being assessed on four of the twelve species in a second study at CBWCD in Montclair (bottom photo). Species included are Parkinsonia x Desert Museum (Desert Museum Palo Verde), Prosopis glandulosa 'Maverick' (Maverick Mesquite), Chilopsis lineris 'Bubba' (Desert Willow) and Pistacia 'Red Push' (Red Push Pistache). Trees were planted in late 2016 and received adequate irrigation for one year to assure adequate early growth. Irrigation was tapered off in 2017 and trees now receive no supplemental irrigation. The first round of results will be reported in December, 2019. Nine UCCE Master Gardeners are assisting in the CBWCD research project (bottom photo).
Follow this link to a recent story in the Orange County Register by Janet Hartin on the importance of planting shade trees today for tomorrow's future.Shade Trees Cool Urban Heat Islands.
'Think Green' for our children's children!