Our first virtual field trip July11 @ 10 am

After two highly successful Zoom meetings — with Dr. Matt Daughtery on Invasive Insects and Jorge Ochoa on Botanical Blunders –, the chapter is going to attempt a video tour of a member’s garden.  If you are a chapter member, you should have received a newsletter with the Zoom links.  If not, please let us know.

Our host moved into his house in Cheviot Hills in early 2011. After removing several overgrown trees on the property, he started his collection with a few citrus and stone fruit trees. Growing fruit trees for the first time, he found that there was a lot to learn and over time it became a serious part of his life.   For nine years now, he has been adding trees and learning more about the best practices for fruit tree gardening.  Many of his trees are grafted or started from rooted cuttings. The garden is watered with drip irrigation.

Our host is a member of both the West LA and the LA chapters.  Holding degrees in economics, business, finance, and IT, he began gardening as an amateur, like most of us.  Another of his hobbies is as a volunteer scuba instructor for LA County Department of Parks and Recreation.

ZOOM MEETING with Jorge Ochoa: Saturday June 13, 2020 @ 10 am

 Topic: Botanical Blunders

Plants have a reputation for being misrepresented in advertisement, movies, and media.  Come and learn the truth behind the many errors that people make about plants, fruits, and veggies!

Jorge has academic credentials from both Cal Poly Pomona and Long Beach City College.  He is currently the Horticulture Department Chair of Long Beach City College and a frequent guest lecturer throughout Southern California. Jorge is that rare instructor – one with the uncanny ability to make any subject interesting and easily understood.

Jorge last spoke to us about passionfruit, one of his favorite topics.  Many of you probably have a vine from his cuttings.

If you are a chapter member, you will receive an email reminder  about  the meeting on June 12.        In that reminder, you will receive a duplicate of the Zoom invitation that went out with your newsletter.

If you are not yet a member but are interested in attending, please let us know and we will give you the login info.



Free Screening of the Biggest Little Farm

If you haven’t seen this, it is a fantastic way to spend Earth Day. Members of the LA Chapter were heavily involved in helping this farm get off the ground, so you may well see some familiar faces.

Thanks to the City of Santa Monica, a free online screening will take place on April 22nd. Sign up here

Field Trip to a Member Garden,  Saturday January 11, 2020 @ 10 to noon

Members Only will meet at Jane’s in Cheviot Hills  for a winter field trip.  We will see pruning, mulching, composting and composting equipment. We will have a question-and-answer session among the members, which we didn’t have time for at our December Holiday Party.  Jane has a Mission fig that could use pruning, and she would be happy to share the cuttings with members. Several mulberry varieties and Wonderful and Fleishman pomegranates, all of which are easily rooted, will be pruned and shared. Winter means that Jane has an abundance of self-seeding annuals including Cerinthe and Nigella, which she will share with us.  She notes that these are pollinator magnets!

Jane’s front yard is flat, but the back has three levels and is not as easily accessible, so wear garden shoes.  Weather and other factors permitting, we may walk around the neighborhood to observe other fruit trees.  There will be coffee and tea; Jane requests that you please bring your reusable cup if you can.  Light rain will not cancel the field trip, but saturated ground from heavy rain will cancel it as walking on saturated clay compacts it.

Jane notes that there is plenty of unrestricted parking.


Natural Beekeeping Conference – January 18th & 19th – 8 am to 5 pm

Another non-CRFG activity but I attended the last HoneyLove conference a couple of years ago and if you are keeping bees or are interested in the girls pollinating your trees, it should definitely NOT be missed.

• Michael Bush
• Les Crowder
• Dr. May Berenbaum
• Robin Jones
• Michael Thiele
• Sam Comfort
• Laura Bee Ferguson
• Kate Franzman
• Solomon Parker
• Sarah Red-Laird
• Amanda Shaw
• Jacqueline Freeman
• Anna Marie Despiris
• Fonta Molyneauxis
• Matt Reed
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
• Rob and Chelsea McFarland
…plus a stellar lineup of your local favorites in our Breakout Room!
Stay tuned… new speakers are being added daily!! 


Natural Beekeeping Conference

Fruit Tree Pruning Demonstration – Sunday, January 19th, 2PM to 4PM

Do you have fruit trees or fruiting vines you are interested in pruning?  Do you have questions such as: How do I plan and prepare for an orchard?   How do I get a bountiful crop?   What do I need to know before pruning? What are the best times to prune?   What is winter chill?   How is it effecting your crop?

If so, join Greener Way Associates, located at 10708 Northgate Street, Culver City 90230 for a pruning demonstration.  Landscape Architect and Consulting Arborist Pieter Severynen will hold a fruit tree pruning demonstration in the Culver City Greener Way, which will include tree shapes, long-term health and maintenance techniques, pruning tools, and decisions to make before pruning.  Stay for refreshments and Pieter will answer your questions!

Pieter has been pruning fruit trees for over 50 years. He teaches arboriculture at UCLA. He has represented the American Society of Landscape Architects in the preparation of the recently published 10th Edition of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, prestigiously rated “Guide for Plant Appraisal” which shows tree appraisers how to evaluate trees. He maintains an active consulting practice, writes tree reports, advises homeowners on planting and maintenance of fruit and shade trees, holds tree pruning demonstrations, and lectures on climate change.   In this hands-on demonstration, Pieter will welcome questions specific to your trees!

This is not a CRFG activity; however, it is highly recommended!

Suggested donation for this jam-packed session is $20.  To RSVP for the Culver City address or for more information email: Suzanne@GreenerWayAssociates.org or Phone/text: 310-204-0570

Field Trip to La Verne Nursery! November 9th @ 9 am (Note new time)

This field trip is for WLA and LA chapter members ONLY.   The online address per Google Maps is WRONG.   The nursery has been without electricity due to wind/fires. Specific directions and actual available plants will be emailed to you as soon as the nursery can get them to us.

We will have a tour of La Verne Nursery at their huge Piru Facility.  La Verne is one of the premier sources of tropical and subtropical fruiting plants in our area.  We all probably have at least a plant or two from their nursery.  Daniel Nelson, Director of Nursery Operations, will be our tour guide.  He will discuss such topics as mass propagation, container culture, and specific care instructions for various fruit trees, as well as answer any questions our members may have.  This is a rare chance to see how a large nursery goes about producing many thousands of plants a year and to learn from Dann’s professional expertise.  We will be able to see their propagation facilities and techniques.  Perhaps we will see how their nursery grafts new scion wood to rootstock.

Although La Verne Nursery does not sell retail, as special guests we will be able to purchase trees after the tour at near-wholesale prices.  The last time we purchased trees from La Verne Nursery, the plants were large, healthy, and beautiful!  Everyone was immensely pleased with the plants purchased.

You can pre-order any plants that you want (before we get to the nursery).  Go online to see what plants are available at: http://www.lavernenursery.com/current-availability.html.    This list shows what plants the nursery has in abundance and may not include all the possibilities you will find when you are there.  As noted above, we will receive a more complete list of available trees by the end of this week and that list will be emailed to you as soon as it is received.  Please note that you cannot order online. Select your plants and email Susan Guggenheim to tell her what plants you want to order.

All sales will be cash; buyers will be responsible for paying for and transporting their own purchases at the end of the tour.

The nursery is some distance from West LA, so plan to carpool.   Members of the LA Chapter are welcome.  Only CRFG members may attend the field trip.


Shaw Macademia Nut Cracker/Sorter & Husker

All chapters received the following from the Trust Department at City National. If you are growing macadamia nuts, it might be worth investigating.  I have more photos available to anyone interested.  The deceased was a long time life member of CRFG.

<<Good afternoon,

We manage the estate of an exotic fruit and nut hobbyist who passed away in 2017.  This gentleman planted an extensive orchard on his property, including several dozen macadamia nut trees.  The property is now in escrow and will be sold within the next few weeks, so we are hoping to sell a Shaw Macadamia Nut Cracker/Sorter and a Husker (unknown manufacturer).  The cracker/sorter were purchased new from Mr. Shaw in November 2011 and were used for less than six years, so they are in very good condition.  The machines have not had any maintenance for the past two years, but my orchard manager has used them occasionally and they do work as expected.

We are removing all of the personal property at this time, and would prefer that these machines go to someone who could use them rather than having them dismantled and disposed of as garbage.  The machines are located in the Mountaingate community in West Los Angeles, west of the 405 and between the Skirball Center and the Getty Center.  The machines would need to be picked up one day next week (October 22-25), as we cannot deliver or pack and ship them.

The purchase price is negotiable.  I will be working away from the office tomorrow and all of next week, so please call my cell at (818) 631-6790 if you have any questions.

Thank you,


Wanda Rapp

City National Bank
VP, Sr Trust Real Estate Officer
555 S Flower St, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071