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Got Gardening Questions?

Visit or call the Hotline
Wednesday 9am-12pm
Thursday 1-4pm

Call: 530-538-7201

Or drop by: The Butte County Cooperative Extension Office
2279-B Del Oro Avenue
Oroville, CA 95965

Email Us at mgbutte@ucanr.edu. Include a description and photos of the problem. See "Help Us Help You" below for what to include.

You can also catch us in person at local farmers markets or at one of our information booths. Check out where we'll be on the Events page.

Help Us Help You

You never can tell what's at the root of the problem. Below are some questions we may ask when you call:

  • Name of plant
  • Age of plant
  • Soil type (loam, sandy, clay)
  • Current watering methods (drip, sprinkler, hand)
  • Frequency of watering
  • Sun exposure
  • Evidence of insects or other damage – check on both sides of leaves
  • Recent changes that may effect the plant (watering, fertilizing)

Samples and photos related to your question are strongly encouraged. Drop them by the office any time, or email them to: mgbutte@ucanr.edu

What’s Hot Now?

mole surface burrow

by Jeanette Alosi

I have noticed a lot of underground rodent activity in my yard. How can I tell if I have gophers or moles?

Actually, gophers are rodents, and moles are mammals.  Moles eat worms and insects while gophers eat roots and other plant parts.  The easiest way to tell if you have moles or gophers is to look for surface burrows or tunnels created by the moles.  These shallow tunnels create a distinct raised ridge in the soil.  Gophers tend to dig deeper and do not create raised ridges.  Although moles usually do not eat plants, they tend to dislodge plant roots which dries them out.  Gophers, of course, will eat your plants!  Another way to tell the difference is to examine the dirt mounds.  Mole mounds are circular and gopher mounds are more crescent shaped.  Gophers are especially active creating mounds during this time of year when the soil is moist and easy to dig.  See UC IPM Pest Notes on Pocket Gophers and Moles for more information.


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