Borers

broken tree branchBroken tree branch 2

tree in bloomToday there was this weird sliding, scraping sound, like someone dragging bags of newspaper in front of the house. I looked out the front door and saw nothing so I assumed someone had gone past on the road.

An hour later Frank went into the front yard and found the flowering almond/peach (not sure what it is, but it’s spectacular when it blooms) had shed a huge branch that used to lean out over our front yard. Borers of some sort are no doubt to blame. A pile of sawdust had been a constant under the branch and large gooey patches of sap glob down the trunk in several places. After consultation with the internet and the local garden shop the only way to eradicate the pests is to chop the tree down. A bit drastic. So we left it. After all, it’s been there for decades ooping its sap every year. For whatever reason, this year proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But there are still 2 large branches, each the size of a pretty large tree on their own, so the tree is far from gone.

The silver lining to thsi loss is there is now some real sunlight in the front yard and I can plant something else here. I want to get another lemon or orange going because those in the back yard are pretty old. And they have borers too. No doubt every tree of any age will in our yard – unless we chop them all down, that is.

Other pests continue in varying degrees of irritation. After my enthusiastic weeding a couple of days ago, Tash approvingly paid a visit and left a “gift”. I put more branches where she dug, but that’s not going to help the spring onions that she decimated. (If I’m honest, they weren’t doing well in that spot anyway.)

The aphids seem quite content in the celery and I’m not going to spray them again. The celery is still hanging in there, though not growing in anything like leaps and bounds. But the celery in a different, aphid free bed is growing at the same glacial pace so I think it’s just their rhythm (or maybe the lunar cycle that I keep ignoring at my peril).

The aphids are almost totally avoiding the hacked orange tree – only one little branch has been infested the last two days. And we’ve only found 2 stink bugs on our citrus in the last week.

Worms continue to love the horseradish leaves (or, should I say, “lace”) and one giant of a caterpillar munched a good portion of a bunch of tomatoes.

All in all, things are going well. No huge growth spurts, but most things are healthy and pest free. Still no tarragon, coriander or thyme. The radishes still don’t seem interested in forming bulbs. Whatever – I’m watching and waiting and now I have 4 ginger sprouts (3 from the batch planted 27 Nov and one, which appeared yesterday, from the batch planted 23 Nov) so all is right with my world.

About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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