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The neighborhood around Oleander Drive, south of Bakersfield High School, has some of the best maintained historical estate homes in the Central Valley. True to its namesake, plenty of oleander bushes grace the landscapes. They come in the familiar white and bright pink tones, and also in salmon and light red.

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A large percentage of those bushes on Oleander Drive are dying, which I became aware of only recently, during the question and answer session following my presentation on drought tolerant plants at a Sierra Club meeting. The disease is called oleander leaf scorch, and it kills them slowly, a branch at a time, over the space of several years.

up you need a computer." On the other hand, given the wrong circumstances, an act so seemingly innocuous as shipping a crate of fruit or a transporting a potted plant across county lines can have major long term consequences, if they bring along a pest or pathogen.

Dieback and selective thinning

If the irrigation provided to a tree is reduced, the canopy should be thinned to reduce stress. Doing so before the heat of July and August arrives can be better for the tree.

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A word of caution; If you can reach a branch with a pruning pole from ground level, hire a reputable tree service. Don go climbing ladders to extend the reach of a pruning pole, (and stay off the roof with sharp objects, you know).

Aside from a cold snap back in December, we had an unusually mild winter. Trees and shrubs in town have nice lush canopies of foliage. With the long dry summer we expect, drought stress will be a certainty for many woody plants. Some of them cope better with it than others.

The flowering trees around my back patio, Pink Dawn chitalpa, are hybrids of catalpa and chilopsis, two North American trees, the latter a California native called desert willow. Recently I used a long pruning pole to cut several large wheelbarrow loads of dead bits from high up in the trees. This allows more light to reach the garden underneath, and gives visiting birds an easier path to navigate, not to mention presenting less fire potential.

The bacteria reproduce within the vascular tissue of plants, called xylem, which carries moisture up to the foliage, and also in the mouthparts of the insect. So much bacteria accumulates in the xylem that it blocks the sap flow, causing branches to desiccate and die. There is no cure, and the bacterium spreads throughout all the sap of the plant, not limited to visibly suffering foliage.

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Prada Quilted Backpack

Oleander leaf scorch was detected in Los Angeles County in the 1990s, soon Balenciaga Nano City Sale

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Removing infected oleander branches below the point where they are turning brown can improve the appearance of the shrub, but again there is no cure. As upper branches die off, new shoots will appear from near ground level, presenting fresh fodder for the sharpshooters. The best approach to prevent further Prada Quilted Backpack infections is to remove sick plants, so no more pests carry the bacteria to uninfected oleanders. Once a sharpshooter has fed from a diseased oleander, that insect can apparently infect every other oleander it feeds on for as long as it lives.

Insect taking its toll on local oleander

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Native oak trees including valley oak and coast live oak are fairly common in town, and this is a good time to trim dried up parts of their canopies.

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Pine trees shed needles as springtime ends, sometimes shedding so many that the tree might be assumed ill. If the needles are dry, not sticky with sap, and there are still a lot of healthy green pine needles, then the tree is most likely preparing naturally for a hot summer.

after the introduction of the glassy winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis), a pest from the East Coast and southern states. The sharpshooter is a drab, inch long insect, a strong flier that typically lives as solitary individuals, not in colonies, so controlling them is difficult at best. They feed in a manner reminiscent of mosquitoes, piercing and sucking plant juices. They are indiscriminate feeders, adaptable to take sap from dozens (if not hundreds) of types of landscape and fruiting plants. The bacterium they can vector (Xylella fastidiosa) includes several strains that attack different hosts. Pierce disease, which kills grapevines, and also almond leaf scorch and alfalfa dwarf disease are among them. It appears uncertain whether an individual insect can carry more than one strain of the pathogen.

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Prada Quilted Backpack

There are certainly other neighborhoods with infected oleanders. The symptoms of oleander leaf scorch are yellowing of all the foliage along some but not all the branches, followed by the affected branches dying. Removal of the whole plant is the only option, the earlier the better. It would be nice if tree service companies offered a discount for removing infected oleanders, to help facilitate the process.

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Most California native trees and shrubs naturally lose twigs and thin branches in summer heat. They turn brown and die while most of the foliage canopy remains healthy. This means less moisture is needed, Balenciaga Light Grey Bag

reducing drought stress. Sometimes dieback occurs due to insect infestations, or shaded branches within the canopy are no longer needed.

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