UC Master Gardeners of Butte County
University of California
UC Master Gardeners of Butte County


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?

fruit tree prunning example

by Barbara Hill

Fruit thinning seems wasteful to me – I want more fruit, not less! Do I really need to do it?

Although it may seem counterintuitive, you and your fruit trees will both benefit by early spring thinning. Removing those tiny apples and plums now will result in a big payoff at harvest time, since fruit provided with plenty of elbow room will be larger and more flavorful, and less vulnerable to disease. Unburdening those limbs is an investment in future harvests, too, as trees overtaxed by an excess of fruit may be more prone to sun damage and disease, and overladen branches are susceptible to breakage. Plus, by consistently leaving too much fruit on the tree, we run the risk of eventually enduring years with next to no harvest at all: unthinned trees may become alternate bearing, a "feast or famine"-type cycle in which a tree produces excessively one year, and little the next.

Learn more about fruit thinning.


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