Persimmons and Parthenocarpy

I have a persimmon tree purchased 9 years ago. In the past 3 years, the fruit hasn’t grown larger than a grape, changing color but not expanding in size.  The tree receives sun all day long.  W...

Ambrosia Beetles Attack Avocado Trees

My huge avocado tree has been attacked by ambrosia beetles. My tree trimmer says there is nothing to be done to save it. I’ve lived with this tree for 30 years and don’t want to lose it. ...

Orange Tree and Avocado Tree Problems

Orange and avocado are the most sensible fruit trees to grow in a sub-tropical urban environment such as Los Angeles.  Given plenty of sun, both are relatively pest-free trees and produce dependably ...

Backyard Orchard in Long Beach

Yard space in America is disappearing.  From 1999-2014,  the average size lot in America shrank from 9,600 to 8,600 square feet.  During that same period, the average size home increased from  2,100 ...

The History of Fruit Tree Grafting

No one knows when grafting of plants began.  Initially, grafting was thought to be an extension of vegetative or clonal propagation by cuttings.  Just as softwood (shoot) or hardwood cuttings, detach...

Citrus Colors

Did you ever wonder why limes are green and every other type of citrus fruit is either orange or yellow?  The reason for this, I recently learned, is that limes (and lime trees) are the most cold sen...

Yucca, Tangerine, and Hellebore

  What do a yucca tree, a tangerine tree, and a hellebore have in common?  Not much, really, except that, if you live in the San Fernando Valley, you can grow all three of them in your own backy...

Primrose Jasmine, Thickets, Cherimoyas

The more I learn about primrose jasmine, the more I like it.  This time of year, it’s nice to look at, too.  Long shoots are bedazzled with butter yellow blooms.  Primrose jasmine will cover a ...

The Avocado is a Shy Fruit

The first time you taste an avocado, it does nothing for you.  You really do not know what to make of it.  It’s not sweet or tart.  It’s more gooey than creamy.  There may even be somethi...