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Time to Shop for Fruit Trees

January 24, 2002

The selection of deciduous fruit trees and grapes and berries is the greatest now, when they are also sold bare root. When shopping for a variety of apple, apricot, peach, plum or nectarine, be sure it is one that will produce fruit in our climate. Many won't in areas with mild winters.

Prune deciduous trees in your yard now. Apples and apricots need the least aggressive pruning, just enough to encourage new growth that will keep fruit coming in the years ahead. Do not prune off the short branches called spurs, which actually produce the fruit. Peaches and nectarines need quite a bit of pruning, and plums fall in between.

After pruning, it's important to apply one of the nonpoisonous dormant sprays that contain an oil to smother pests and a natural fungicide to kill diseases. Use fixed copper or lime sulfur sprays on peaches and nectarines to prevent peach leaf curl.

It is one of the best times to plant California natives and perennials and most trees and shrubs (including camellias coming into bloom) that won't be harmed by sudden frost. Wait for warmer weather to plant citrus and bougainvilleas.

Los Angeles Times Saturday February 2, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 1 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Fruit trees--A photo caption for a Jan. 24 Southern California Living story about fruit trees misstated the number of apple trees in Paula McHargue's yard. She has two apple trees, not 32.

Southern California Camellia Society show, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge. Free with garden admission of $5 for adults. (818) 952-4410.

"Introducing Native Plants Into the Curriculum," with Christine Chen, at Theodore Payne Foundation, 10 a.m. Saturday, 10459 Tuxford St., Sun Valley. Admission $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Registration required. (818) 768-1802.

Ralph Moore, founder of Sequoia Nursery in Visalia, will deliver the second annual "Great Rosarians of the World" lecture, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Admission $15. Reservation and prepayment required. (626) 405-3507.

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