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Droughts Evil Twin

Posted on Oct 3, 2016

Droughts Evil Twin

Drought means changing not only our outdoor water use, but also the way we tend our gardens. In the Do Not Do category should be leaf blowers. Which, dry soil and drive mold and contaminants into the atmosphere and, count on it, into our lungs. Most gravely at risk are gardeners, closely followed by children, the elderly, pets and wildlife.…

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Water Your Trees!

Posted on Jul 21, 2016

Water Your Trees!

Many trees and shrubs around here will die if they don’t get watered soon. People – the thrifty, the sustainability pure, and the tired – will all let low water turn into a no-water situation. Nothing can live without water! And when the plants die (it’s called permanent wilt), then the shrubs and trees will need to be replaced. And that…

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6 Ways To Kill Your Tree

Posted on Jun 26, 2016

6 Ways To Kill Your Tree

Urban trees live only a fraction of their natural lifespans. A tree that would live 80 years in the forest is expected to live an average of 20 years in the suburbs, and only seven in an urban setting. The most common cause of tree death is abuse and neglect from its number one pest, Homo sapiens. To prolong the…

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Pesticide Reform – Can One Buy Nature’s Pest Control?

Posted on Jun 15, 2016

Pesticide Reform – Can One Buy Nature’s Pest Control?

Buying large numbers of insects and releasing them in hopes of reducing garden pests is a biological pest control practice known as augmentative biological control which has become popular with home gardeners. Briefly, augmentative biological control involves releasing predator insects such as ladybug beetles and praying mantises to control herbivorous insect pests. The point of which is to avoid toxic…

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Trimming or Torture?

Posted on May 14, 2016

Trimming or Torture?

Most of what is called tree trimming, isn’t. It’s topping. The misguided practice of tree topping (also referred to as stubbing, dehorning, pollarding, heading, or torture) has risen to crisis proportions over the last decade.  Topping has become the urban forest’s major threat, dramatically shortening the lifespan of trees and creating hazardous trees in high-traffic areas. People often top trees…

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Pesticide Reform – Herbicides Don’t Solve Weed Problems

Posted on Apr 13, 2016

Pesticide Reform – Herbicides Don’t Solve Weed Problems

Herbicides are intensively marketed as simple, relatively inexpensive, and quick solutions to weed problems wherever they might occur. However, this simplistic approach needs a complete overhaul. Quite apart from whatever health and environmental problems an herbicide might cause, using an herbicide to solve a weed problem poses a basic contradiction. Herbicides almost never change the underlying conditions that promote the…

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Pesticide Reform – Dealing with Dandelions and Rethinking Pretty

Posted on Mar 18, 2016

Pesticide Reform – Dealing with Dandelions and Rethinking Pretty

While Southern California is paying residents to peel away millions of square feet of grass to alleviate pressure on water, lawn is still this highly tarmacked region’s single most ubiquitous mitigator of urban heat. Going forward, turf will not be the all-purpose groundcover that it once was but, for now, it has a significant place in the landscape. The ability…

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Don’t curb your enthusiasm

Posted on Mar 6, 2016

Don’t curb your enthusiasm

Planting on your own property is a given but medians and parkways contribute to your curb appeal and define the physical character of the community. They’re up front, in your face expressions of the residents. They can make a grand statement in sustainability and can be the hedgerows in our urban environment providing many benefits such as habitat for butterflies and…

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Combating Global Warming in Your Own Backyard

Posted on Jan 28, 2016

Combating Global Warming in Your Own Backyard

  Seventy percent of American households engage in some level of gardening or lawn care every year.  Some do it for beautiful flowers, lush grass, or fresh fruits and vegetables; some for the peace and quiet or the connection to nature. But there is another reason to grow plants in your yard: certain gardening practices can help combat global warming.…

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Meet One of Our Dedicated Partners

Posted on Jan 23, 2016

Meet One of Our Dedicated Partners

Sue Hubbel, author of Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs, dubbed lady beetles “the panda of the insect world.” It’s easy to believe that the phrase “cute as a bug” refers to the cheery, polka-dotted beetle. But, while even small children can recognize a typical lady beetle, ladybug to their market friendlier name, few of us really…

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