December Tips of the Month


Save Water During the Winter Months

Installing a rain sensor to your existing irrigation controller can reduce your water bill during the rainy season.  The Hunter Mini-Clik Rain Sensor hydrates and dehydrates at the same rate as soil and is adjustable to detect 1/8”-1” of rainfall.  When it rains it will shut your system down temporarily and prevent water waste.  The Hunter sensor is compatible with most controllers and cost range from $200 to $250 installed.  Please call to schedule the installation of this water saving accessory.




Care for Christmas Trees - To prolong the freshness of a cut tree, saw an inch off the bottom of the trunk, and store the tree in a bucket of water in a shady area outdoors.  An anti-transpirant may be applied to the foliage to prolong the life of the tree.  Anti-transpirants reduce the loss of water from the leaves, and are available at your local nursery.  When ready to bring it indoors, saw off another inch of the trunk before setting the tree in a stand filled with water.  Pour a can of 7-up into the reservoir (sugar water).  Keep the reservoir full and check it daily. 

Care for your tree


Protect Frost-Sensitive Plants- Move tender or young plants under eaves or indoors when cold weather is predicted.  Use a fertilizer rich in calcium to help protect the plants from the cold.


Weed and Pest Control

Apply Dormant Spray - As soon as their leaves fall, spray deciduous flowering and fruit trees with dormant oil to smother over wintering aphids, mites, and scale.  If you have not already treated trees for peach leaf curl, do so now.  Add lime sulfur or fixed copper to the dormant oil.  Spray branches, crotches, and trunk, as well as the ground beneath the tree's drip line.  If it rains within 48 hours of spraying, repeat the treatment.  Spray again at the height of dormancy and again at the first bud swell (during late winter, just before spring).

 Prevent Beetle Damage - Prune eucalyptus, pine, and other trees susceptible to bark beetles now while the insects are inactive.  It is very important to discard or securely cover cut branches to prevent the beetles from laying eggs.  Beetles are attracted to the scent given off by stressed trees and will lay eggs under the tree bark after feeding.  Pines are especially susceptible because the insects are believed to transmit the pitch canker fungus during exploratory feeding on trees.  Pitch canker may result in extensive damage or even death of the tree.

Happy Holidays!