Monday, November 23, 2009

Prunus Problems

I didn't realize it had gotten so bad.  I noticed a little sap a while back, but did not realize I should be alarmed.  We have 2 trees in the prunus family, a cherry and a plum.  They both seem to have a pretty severe case of bacterial canker. I thought it was a borer at first, but they tend to make a mess down at the crown (just above the roots).  This starts at the graft and peels and oozes its way up the trunk.

It is really sad because the trees seem healthy otherwise but I am afraid their trunks are too small to withstand it.  Our friend Eva said we will probably need to destroy the trees and we read all kinds of scary things that lead us to believe we won't be able to plant any stone fruit.  No peaches, no apricots, no plums, no cherries.... I have found some resources that suggest copper spray may control it and that is spread by bacteria on the green leaves, not the cankers, but others say not so much and that the bacteria can live in the bark and become systemic.

If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.  Should I try to nurse these trees along or cut my losses and yank them out.  Should I risk planting again?  Maybe in the front yard?  My neighbors behind the back yard have plums.  I have not gotten a chance to look at their trees.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Brain Hurts!

I was walking the dog and came upon this crushed can.
Bud Light and Clamato together at last!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time Sure Flies!

It has been almost a month since I wrote anything.  First I got sick with something flu like (maybe swine flu, who knows?).  Then we also built a bathroom upstairs.  The old one was a disaster area when we bought this place and had to be gutted just to get rid of the mold under the floor and shower.  Then I went to the Association of Moving Image Archivists in St. Louis, MO. Then we continued with the bathroom.  Then we finished painting the house and now it is raining.

Now I know this is not a home improvement blog, or at least I don't want it to be, but we tried to be on the eco-side by getting a watersense certified toilet.  This is an EPA related program that requires toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less and clear out a certain amount of solid waste at the same time. I have seen estimates of 3-5 gallons per flush on older toilets and 1.6 gallons on newer ones.  A lot of those 1.6 gallon toilets were not very good and required multiple flushes to do the job.  Our new toilet is made by Toto and is very very good. One quick small quiet flush.

We also used a low flow shower head that uses 1.5 gallons per minute.  So far I am not totally thrilled with it.  Several months ago I went to the water department and they gave me a free cheapo shower head that uses 2 gallons per minute and has a "massage" setting.  It was free and even put less steam on the mirror than the head we got with our original faucet (theoretically you could save electricity if  you use an exhaust fan in the bathroom).  According to shower heads from before 1992 shower heads used about 5.5 gpm and now Federal regulations require them to use no more than 2.5 gpm. I guess 1.5 is below average and that is what I am all about.

We are very happy to be able to do the same tasks with less water. Not only will it help reduce demand on a scarce resource, it will save money on our water bill.  We didn't realize it when we got the toilet, but you can get rebates toward a new toilet in many municipalities. We did manage to get a rebate when we bought a washing machine, for selecting an efficient model.

Next step is to start collecting rainwater.