How is California’s record drought affecting your pines and oaks — and what can you do about it?
That’s the topic of a free Mariposa County Master Gardeners workshop on Saturday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at Lake Don Pedro Elementary School, 2411 Hidalgo Road, La Grange.
Please register so there are enough materials to go around. Register at (209) 966-2417 or online at http://cemariposa.ucanr.edu.
Speakers are Beverly Bulaon, entomologist and forester for the central Sierra, and Rebecca Miller-Cripps of the Natural Resources Program.
Bulaon will address the mass die-off of Foothill and Ponderosa Pines and the role of the bark beetle in their destruction.
The bark beetle is about the size of a grain of rice, but when they attack trees that are stressed, particularly in times of drought, they can be pine killers. When trees are getting enough water, they can protect themselves from beetles by exuding pitch, which keeps the beetles from settling in.
But with fire, drought or destruction, they can’t muster their resources. You can help keep them healthy. One strategy for protection is to thin dense stands of trees so there is less competition for water. Other ideas will be presented at the workshop.
Miller-Cripps is an oaks expert, and will discuss oaks and how to care for them during this stressful time.
Different species of oaks have different water needs, so it’s important to know what kind of oaks you have on your property. The oak’s location also is a factor for its health – compacted soil – for instance a driveway running under an oak – can cause problems. Never plant irrigation-intensive plants under an oak.
Directions to Lake Don Pedro Elementary:
From Mariposa, there are two routes; both will take more than an hour.
1: Take Highway 49 north to Bear Valley Road, turn left. Take Bear Valley into Hornitos and turn right on Hornitos Road/J16/Merced Falls Road. Cross the river and turn left. Go to Merced Falls Road and turn right. Continue to Ranchito and turn left, turn right on Banderilla; school at end of road.
2: Take Highway 49 north to 132 west. Turn left on Hidalgo.
From Sonora: Take Highway 49 south to 108/120, turn left on LaGrange Road (J59). Turn Left on Bonds Flat Road at the Hacienda. Turn right on 132 then left on Hidalgo. About 45 minutes.