CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2010 |
Hank Brokaw, an avocado and citrus nurseryman who played a crucial role in the development of California's avocado industry, died Wednesday at his home in Santa Paula. He was 82. He had suffered several strokes over the last two years and had been in declining health, said his daughter Elena. Since the early years of the California avocado industry in the 1920s, the most serious problem confronting growers was a fungal disease later identified as Phytophthora cinnamomi , commonly known as avocado root rot. By the 1950s, scientists discovered a few individual seedlings that were tolerant to this disease and thus suited for use as rootstock, the bottom part of the tree on which the fruiting variety, such as Hass or Fuerte, would be grafted.
April 12, 2012
From the start, there were indications that the U.S. Forest Service didn't respond aggressively enough during the 2009 Station fire in the Angeles National Forest. Now there are signs that it moved too aggressively to plant a million seedlings in an attempt at post-fire reforestation. As Times staff writer Louis Sahagun reports, only about a fourth of the pine and fir seedlings have survived so far, less than a third of the hoped-for number. Dry conditions this year would have made things difficult in any event, but many mistakes were surprisingly avoidable: planting in areas that experts now agree are too steep and rocky for tree survival; planting species that either aren't native to the area or weren't growing in those specific areas before; planting at too low an elevation; and planting more trees than typically grow in these areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1986 |
Seedlings, some only a couple of inches tall, are sprouting in parts of a rare forest of Tecate cypress trees in fenced-off wilderness canyons in the extreme northeast corner of Orange County. Shaped like perfect little Christmas trees, they are growing brave and straight and green in reddish soil that is little more than finely crushed rock. Cones and fragments of bark have been found at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, indicating that they grew that far north about 30,000 years ago.
March 26, 2013 |
Companion planting is based on the idea that, like people, some plants do better with good neighbors. For tomatoes, strawberries and squash, one of the most popular of companion plants is borage ( Borago officinalis ). As a seedling, borage doesn't reveal its potential. The leaves are rough and fat, and as they get older, covered in fur. Only when the sparkling lavender star-shaped flowers appear in spring-summer does borage, also known as starflower, shows its potential: Bees and pest-killing wasps love the blooms.
March 23, 2013 |
BELVIDERE, N.J. - Amid the whir of fans and the glow of soft white light, workers tended to bright green seedlings sprouting in a giant greenhouse. Located about an hour's drive from Manhattan in the hills of northwestern New Jersey, the facility produces basil, chives, oregano and other herbs that are sold in grocery stores around New York City. But if Ken VandeVrede has his way the facility will one day be growing a much more valuable plant: marijuana. VandeVrede is chief operating officer at Terra Tech, a hydroponic equipment maker based in Irvine.
July 31, 2012 |
In the heart of the Wilshire Park historic district, Horacio Fuentes has built a garden with the feel of his native El Salvador. It begins by the sidewalk, where a pito coral tree grows, planted 15 years ago. It hasn't yet produced the dramatic red flowers that, when eaten, are said to prompt a deep sleep with intense, erotic dreams. Maybe it's too cold here, Fuentes said. He's had more success with his papayas. The plants are scattered around the frontyard, low enough to harvest, each with a cluster of ripening fruit pushing out from the main trunk.