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Southwest Yard and Garden

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

laura paskus crabapple tree wind damage 1Strong wind gusts in Albuquerque on Sept. 8, 2020, caused several major branches in the middle of this crabapple canopy to break. Photo credit Laura Paskus.

Question: I lost about 1/3 of my crabapple tree and probably more than 1/2 of a mimosa tree in the wind storm on Tuesday. Is there anything I should do to try to help them? 

Laura P., Albuquerque

img 6557Bright yellow mulberry leaf in the Los Lunas bosque on September 2, 2020. Photo credit M. Thompson.

Question: In my yard and around town, I have noticed tree leaves turning yellow in different areas on the tree and falling sporadically. It is primarily older mulberry trees. Is this due to nutrition deficiency, disease, drought, or all of the above? 

-J. White, Las Cruces

swgarden0902Pruning branches during the summer is the way to grow if your goal is to control tree size. Mulberry limbs were scraping the rain gutters at my house (shown above), so I’ll prune them back this month. Photo credits Marisa Thompson.Question: Is it okay to prune landscape trees now? Should we wait until it cools off a bit? Wait till fall?

- Submitted via Lynda Garvin, Sandoval County Extension Agriculture Agent 

squash bug eggs copySquash bug eggs on leaves and stems. Photo credits Bdm23, Wikimedia Commons (left) and Pollinator, Wikimedia Commons (right).

Question: Squash bugs decimated my plants and my crop last summer. What should I be doing now to prevent this from happening again? 

Sarah H., Las Cruces 

new mexico 2012 usda plant hardiness zone map2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map of New Mexico (https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/Downloads.aspx)

Question: After I bought a ‘Sea Green’ juniper I noticed the tag said “Hardy to 20°F.” Well, I live at almost 7,000 feet in Torrance County. When I looked online it said my zone is 6. I think maybe the tag is wrong. Do you agree?

Carolyn M., Torrance County

Question: Something is wrong with our apricots. The tree looks good, but the fruit are severely damaged. This is all over the tree. Leaves seem to be fine. Ideas?
-Question submitted via Bernalillo County Extension Agent Sara Moran

apricots 1Stippling on these apricots in Albuquerque may be signs of frost damage. Photo credit Concerned Gardener.

ash flowergall mite photo from nmsu plant diagnostic clinicAsh tree leaves from a sample submitted to the NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic in September 2019 look green and healthy. The rough, round, brown bits are galls formed by the ash flowergall mite, but they do not harm the tree itself. Photo credit NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

Question: Is there a systemic insecticide that can be used to control ash flowergall mites?

Question submitted by a Bernalillo County Extension Agent

img 6139Many roses are impressively drought- and heat-tolerant. A thick mulch layer and regular watering to a depth of 18-24 inches are great steps toward healthier, showier rose bushes. Photo credit M. Thompson.Question: Is it too late to prune my roses?