Cris Bessette

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since May 20, 2011
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North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
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Recent posts by Cris Bessette

Anne Miller wrote:Yes, Cris

My cedar-type trees are known as Junipers though I don't feel they are red cedars.

Does any one know what kind of junipers grow in Texas?  I think I have forgotten this.

I'm not sure if other types of juniper carry cedar apple rust, the best thing to do would be to look at your junipers and see if you spot any "teliohorns"
1 month ago

Anne Miller wrote:Scott, do you live where cedar-type trees grow?

Maybe taking some leaves to your County Extension Agent might confirm what is going on.

That looks like Cedar Rust damage to me:

Maybe someone else might know what is going on.

Junipers also carry this (also called "red cedar").  I lost a number of apple trees and other types of trees not realizing the junipers all over my property were known disease carriers.  
I cut 20+ of junipers down last year and I'm hoping my three remaining apple trees will recover.
1 month ago

r ranson wrote:Any other solutions?

I've tried the lot and um, the scale bugs are winning.  

I have two in-ground satsuma mandarin trees in my greenhouse and have been fighting scale for about 4 years now.  Up till recently, I've been spraying them with an alcohol/water/horticultural oil mix a couple of times a year, but just have not been seeing good results.  

Last weekend I decided to declare war.  I brought out the spray, but also a good pair of glasses (to clearly see the branches/leaves up close) and a toothbrush.  I sat by each tree and painstakingly sprayed every single branch and leaf, while scrubbing the visible scale off every leaf, branch, junction between leaves/branches/trunk with the toothbrush.  I cut off every dead branch or overly damaged bits of my trees and threw them outside the greenhouse.

My plan is to go back every month or so and examine the trees up close for any sign of activity.  I think in the past I was assuming just spraying the trees would get rid of the scale, but I think the physical removal of every insect I can see will make the spray much more effective.
1 month ago
A favorite Christmas was here in rural North Georgia.  Me, my sister, mom and stepdad decided we were going to cut down our own tree in the woods behind our house.  We came home with a 10 foot tall white pine that took up 1/3 of the entire living room.  

It was absurdly huge, and being a white pine, the branches were far apart and it looked like a giant version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  The whole thing was decorated with homemade ornaments, I still have some of these 30+ years later.
2 months ago

Steven Rodenberg wrote:Cris Bessette

You are now in Zone 8A/8B.  Your kumquats should do a lot better now.

Funny thing is that my one remaining kumquat tree got chewed up by my dog recently.   After years in the ground, surviving
7-8 winters unprotected, the dog has probably killed it.   On the other hand, my citrangequat tree is doing better than ever has.
2 months ago

r ranson wrote:
As for Vitimine D absorbtion.  It depends on genetics and diet, but from what my doctors have told me, most of it is absorbed through the eyes.  This is contrary to what they taught me in school way back when, so I'm guessing they got more information since then.  

I looked that up and everything I see says both.  obviously the skin has a much larger surface area than the eyes, so it makes sense that there would be more absorption through it.  
8 months ago
Thank you, I'll go through those links as I have time, it does look pretty thorough.
11 months ago
I've noticed in a number of areas on my property that there are little to no earth worms.  A few of these places are garden beds I've worked for years on adding mulch and organic material to.  Obviously I'm missing something or there is something in the soil that is driving them away?
11 months ago
Sometimes it takes time.

I've been plugging away with permaculture on my two acres for about 8 years now.   I've been admittedly disappointed with the results for the most part until the last two years when suddenly there is much improvement.

A lot of my property was a garden for a past owner.  The "till it to death and pour artificial fertilizers on it"  type of garden.   The soil was dead.  No earth worms, no organic matter.  I decided to start turning it into a part of my food forest, planted trees, bushes,etc.  then waited, adding mulch, nitrogen fixers,etc. either things didn't grow at all or just languished unchanged from year to year until the last year or so.  Suddenly this year things are taking off, trees have doubled or quadrupled in size in the last two growing seasons.  

I think basically my soil was just so worn out it literally took 8 years or so for it to rebuild to the point where things will grow.
I know this is probably more specific to garden beds, vegetable patches,etc, but my food forest essentially really started to take off when I decided to stop cutting the majority of the grass and "weeds".   My two cherry trees turned into a mini orchard of about eight trees because new trees sprouted from the far-ranging roots of the original trees.

A blueberry bush came up in one place I stopped mowing (must have been planted and forgotten by a previous owner of the property) .  Clover started spreading everywhere in an area with low fertility.  Five or more American persimmon trees came up and at least three have started fruiting now in the last year or so.

Basically when it comes to weeding/mowing/etc.  I look at the area and only remove that which might be invasive, use space or light I want for something else or something nasty (poison ivy).