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Southwest Yard and Garden

This column comes through the Grant County Extension Service out of New Mexico State University.

Question:

We are building our Extension Master Gardener library. What are your favorite plant books?
- Lin Y., Valencia County, NM

Answer:

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson

saltcedarFigure 1. Invasive saltcedar, also known as tamarisk, near Isleta Pueblo (photo credit M. Thompson

I have a saltcedar I inherited when I moved into my rental home in Zuni, NM. I have cut it back to a stump as best I could without a chainsaw or any power tools, but it incessantly puts out shoots and tries to stage a comeback. What is the simplest way to permanently kill this invasive beast?
- Tammy P., Zuni, NM

Answer:
You are not alone in your saltcedar frustrations. I invited NMSU Extension Weed Specialist, Dr. Leslie Beck, to review your options:

goodlings willow 1Goodding’s willow tree in Taos, New Mexico is both the state and national champion for its species at 110 feet tall and 351 inches in circumference.

goodings willow 2Local arborist, Paul Jones, nominated it in the Big Tree Program (photo credit Santa Fe New Mexican).

Question: 

Are trees immortal?
- 2nd Grade Student at La Promesa Elementary, Veguita, NM

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson

Southwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson

peachThese two branches from the same peach tree at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas on May 29 have noticeably different peach sizes (photo credit M. Thompson).

wilting leaf pic scot nelsonSouthwest Yard & Garden by Dr. Marisa Thompson

Question:

The newly installed plants in my garden are wilting and looking terrible even though I’m trying my best to keep them well watered. Suggestions?
- Doug H., Deming, NM

Answer:
One thing I like about your question is that it sounds like you haven’t given up. Many people who struggle with gardening get discouraged and think anyone who is successful must have a green thumb. That’s not the case at all. As an Extension Master Gardener volunteer in Albuquerque once said, “The best gardeners have killed the most number of plants.” It’s not a contest…but if it were, I might just win.

cottonwood leaves rsCottonwood leaves alongside Tierra Blanca Creek, near Kingston, NM in September
(photo credit M. Thompson).

Question:

What is your favorite tree species?

- Adan O., Albuquerque, NM

Southwest Yard and Garden

Planting Your Containerized Christmas Tree

Question:

We bought a live, potted Christmas tree this year. When and how should we plant it in our yard?

- Tammy Z., Albuquerque, NM