Problems of woody plants and their solutions
By Jim Leser
Cedaredge Tree Board
Have you ever had a garden question that you couldn't answer? Well I have and more than once a year. But there is help for you from many sources.
Today I am going to wear my two hats, that of a master gardener and that of a Cedaredge Tree Board member. My advice is to seek advice from several sources and choose what appears to be the best answer. This may not be the answer you were wanting.
Google is an excellent source for gardening information but you must carefully evaluate the source and the so called expert's credentials. Commercial sources can be sound but also may come with an underlying objective to sell you something the business markets.
You must also consider the location of the information. Advice obtained from North Carolina most likely will not have a fit for our area. Different climate and soil conditions can affect the utility of the advice.
Now let us get back to local sources of gardening information. CSU Extension has many publications, some of which are free while others have an associated fee. Extension also has a Master Gardener program. This is coordinated by Susan Rose at the Grand Junction Extension office. The Delta office is located at 525 Dodge Street.
The Master Gardener program consists of a network of individuals who have had extensive training in a special course. Their training continues as they learn more through continuing education workshops, special training sessions and on the job experience gained through addressing problems brought to them by people such as you.
You can contact the Delta CSU Extension office Monday through Friday at 874-2195 or bring pictures or plant specimens in for us to look at. We try to have someone manning the Master Gardener's desk each day.
We also have a diagnostic team that meets on Wednesday mornings. This group is made up of individuals that often have different knowledge strengths to bring to the table. We have a high level of success in diagnosing plant questions. My own specialty is insects since that was what I addressed during my 30 year career. Others are really good at plant identification, diseases, vegetables; well you get the idea.
Extension also opened an office this year at the Maloney House at the Hotchkiss fairgrounds, south of Heritage Hall. They are open for Master Gardener business on Tuesday from 1-3 pm. Any unresolved plant samples are taken to the Delta diagnostic team the next day.
There is one thing to remember when talking to a Master Gardener. We are only as good as our training, experience level, and most importantly, our ability to network with others via the computer, reference books and other individuals that may have better expertise to answer your question.
So far I have outlined what you can get through Master Gardener's that is free. If you need a yard visit, that will cost $25. These funds are used to provide scholarships for Master Gardeners to get additional training. A yard visit may be necessary to fully understand the problem and solutions to correct the problem.
Last but not least, the Cedaredge Tree Board does offer a Sick Tree Day in which we visit your yard to view your tree problems and make recommendations. This is a once-per-year service provided for free on a first come first served basis. Sign-up will begin in late June or early July for the July 14 visits. We can handle about 20-25 in a day and we always fill up.
The tree board is also going to host a booth on Saturday at AppleFest this year. It will be at the town hall. We will have Master Gardeners there to assist tree board members so that we can answer all gardening questions and not just ones pertaining to trees. We are also planning on a drawing for one of three very useful gardening reference books, ones that we use all the time.
So mark your calendar and come see us in October at AppleFest, or sign up for Sick Tree Day in July in Cedaredge. If you have more pressing problems, we are here for you at the Master Gardener's desk in both Delta and Hotchkiss. We can help you. All you need to do is ask.
Jim Leser retired to Cedaredge after a career with Texas A&M University Extension in entomology. He is a member of the Cedaredge Tree Board and a master gardener.blog comments powered by Disqus