Avocado Tree Longevity

Q. I have an avocado tree that has been on the property for almost 70 years. What is its life expectancy? – Grace Hampton, Burbank A. That is very old for an avocado tree. The original ‘H...

When Italian Cypress Branches Bend . . .

Our very heavy snowstorm last month loaded and bent the branches of all of the Italian cypress trees encircling the backyard. The trees have grown very tall. However, they look quite grotesque and br...

Transplanting Trees

Q: I have a potted Japanese maple that is 8 years old and 6 feet tall. I would like to transplant it to my yard and need advice as to when this should be done, where I should locate it and what ferti...

Trees for the High Desert

Q: My daughter is building a house in California City, in the upper Antelope Valley. The area has a high-desert climate. I would like to give her about six trees to start her landscaping. These shoul...

Consider a Carrotwood

A friend who lives in Santa Clarita called me the other day with a problem or, to be more precise, a riddle. He wanted to know which evergreen tree he should plant next to his backyard pool. The tree...

Distinctive Broadleaf Evergreens

This is the time of year when flowers disappear and deciduous trees are denuded of their foliage. For serious plant watchers, it’s the time of year when foliage of evergreen trees, shrubs and g...

Pig’s Ear and Other Orpines

There it was. A gem of the winter garden, flowering like it was the middle of May. I am always startled by winter bloomers. Not by the occasional rose, or by winter annuals with their predictable and...

My Oh My(oporum)!

I was hoping you could solve a problem with my Myoporum laetum. I have 13 Myoporum trees as a 20-foot tall hedge. Two years ago, three of the plants started to get a strange leaf curl. The curl is ve...

Wind as Desiccating as Sun

If you live in a windy area, even the short days and cool temperatures of December do not allow any slacking off where watering is concerned. Wind can be just as desiccating as dry heat. Even on a ca...

Unforgettable Elephant Fig

Two recent e-mails raise several general questions on the subject of tree selection and care in the Valley: Q: We live in Porter Ranch, and up until six months ago had a spectacularly large coral tre...