Report on great meeting April 9th

Boy, what an amazing meeting we had this past Saturday.   Andrew Schiavone and Jeff Micka  of Bartlett Tree Service gave us a jam-packed, info-filled survey of tree care from correct planting  (not too high and especially not too low);  through best irrigation practices (watering newly planted trees right at the root ball so the water doesn’t run around it and pool underneath;  then making sure to expand the watering radius as the tree grows);   and pruning (the rule of thirds, the hormonal importance of the branch collar) while making  fascinating detours through  the underground world  of  roots and soil  plus the cultural sources of most   insect problems and disease.  (not to ignore a recommended treatment for scale!)

Even those of us who have been growing fruit for years learned a lot. They highly recommended soil samplers to give us an accurate idea of our soil’s structure and moisture; and provided business cards and soil sample bags for anyone who wants to get their soil analyzed by their lab in North Carolina, especially for suspected root rots (this would be about $50).  And of course, they are available for consultations and remedial work in your orchards.  They can be reached via

BARTLETT TREE EXPERTS
2369 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
phone (
310) 454-2033
email aschiavone@Bartlett.com

For those of you who couldn’t make it to Culver City, I apologize for the poor quality of the Zoom.  Our dedicated and selfless facilities chair was home sick as was our Zoom host; while our fearless and innovative program chair had Master Gardener duties to fulfill. This left your humble ottoman trying to juggle all their duties while simultaneously setting up the tripod and attempting to video with low bandwidth.  If we are going to continue to Zoom live meetings, we need someone to take over the video job.  As it happens, the next two meetings will solely be via Zoom because our speakers are from out of the area.  May’s field trip, however, will also be a hybrid.  After that, if we cannot find anyone to take on the Zooming responsibilities, we will have to return to live meetings only. Barring another surge, it is so much more fun and informative to come to meetings than sit home in your jammies.  Plus, we had cookies!

LET IT ROT! August 11th @ 10 am

Denise  “Deni” Friese of Custom Landscapes (whose services include eco-friendly design, consultation and installation) will speak to us on August 11th about composting and mulching in the orchard.   If you heard her at our last field trip/workshop, you know she is incredibly knowledgeable.  This time she will have the floor mostly to herself (though I’m sure our membership will be contributing their voices and experience as well.)

[Deni adds: “I am an Eco-Friendly Landscaper, own business since 1995, I do design, consultation, installation, specialty maintenance and irrigation. Love putting in edible gardens. My specialty is knowing plants and what they need to thrive. I try to help my clients design their own “dream yard”. I have been a Plant-a-holic for many years and have way too many plants. Joined CRFG a few years ago and love it]

Also the renowned Charles Portney will be describing rare  fruit trees he has propagated and will be generously donating to the day’s plant raffle.  These raffles seem to be shaping up as only semiannual  events so don’t miss this one!  The next one probably won’t be until our Holiday Party in December.

On the same note, if you have plants of your own to donate, this is the time.   And if you happen to have any treepots (the tall skinny pots used for rooting plants with long taproots, they come between 8” and 14” deep) Charles desperately needs them to continue his generous work.  They look like this.

And per usual, snacks to share will always be welcome. Now that Jane has donated a lovely glass beverage holder, we will be having something to drink at most meetings, so either homegrown fruit or hand-held crunchy things will be appreciated by one and all.