Backyard Orchard Travails

A backyard orchard. What could be nicer? An orchard is the dream of every hemmed-in, hedged-in homeowner with a diminutive, sun-starved back yard. But an orchard may not be the storybook affair that ...

A Simple Guide to Tree Pruning

As winter arrives and plants go dormant, gardeners, too, should take a rest. Winter vegetables – peas, beets, cabbages and lettuce – need harvesting, and there are always a few weeds to p...

Citrus Fruiting Rhythms & Spinosad

Q. I have a Valencia orange tree, I believe it’s a dwarf (9 feet tall) and is about 20 years old. My problem is fruiting. Year before last the tree was full of normal sized oranges, last year I...

A Short History of the Hass Avocado

Q: We have saved the seeds of some exceptionally good supermarket tangerines recently whose label says “FLORIDA – Sunburst.” If we were to plant the seeds, would we get trees that w...

Persimmons, Mangoes, and Figs

With the recent precipitous rise in fuel prices and the forecast of a dry winter – which could lead to increased water prices – the cost of food could suddenly increase as well. Perhaps t...

Lemon Trees

We have a lemon tree in our backyard that bloomed very late this year. The lemons on the tree are still green and we do not know what to do. Should we take them off or leave them on the tree? Are gre...

Ficus Wears Many Hats

A Ficus tree means different things to different people. For the office employee, a Ficus is an indoor tree with downcast, yet glossy leaves. For the homeowner, the word “Ficus” conjures ...

How to Grow Pomegranates

USUALLY WHEN people think of exotic fruit trees, their thoughts turn to tropical species such as star fruit, cherimoya, miracle fruit, banana and sapote. These trees make you think of rain forests, l...

Best Fruit Trees

For a gardener, the only experience more frustrating than planting a fruit tree that does not bear fruit is planting a fruit tree that produces a very small crop. A tree that never bears fruit –...