Agrilife extension sets lunch-n-learn

Brownwood Bulletin
Scott Anderson

The dates for the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service’s Annual Lunch-N-Learn Horticulture Series in Brown County have been set for the first Wednesday of the month April – July 2021.

True to its name, all the programs are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m.

The programs in this horticulture series are open to anyone interested in landscapes and gardening. Individual registration will be $25 for the series.

The specific dates for the Lunch-N-Lunch series are as follows:

· April 7th – Tomato Gardening, On-line virtual assisted program featuring Dr. Joe Masabani, Extension Vegetable Specialist. Held at the Brown County Extension Office, 605 Fisk Avenue, Brownwood. Bring your lunch.

· May 5th – Landscape Management Tour, held at Hardwicks Nursey, Early, Texas. Approximately 1.5 miles north of the mall in Early.

· June 2nd – Fresh Salsa. Held at Brown County Extension Office. Bring your lunch. Taste testing will be available.

· July 7th – Oak Wilt Management in Town/Your Yard featuring Robert Hawthorne, Texas Forest Service. Bring your lunch.

For more information contact the AgriLife Extension Office in Brown County at 325-646-0386.

Is it time to replace a yard tree?

If the trees and shrubs in your yard/landscape have some age on them it is probably time to make some close inspections patiently then decide if replacing that plant is the best option. Two droughts in ten years and the recent weeklong freeze are resulting in dead and damaged trees and shrubs.

With shrubs and trees and woody vines assessing damage can start with the twigs, they should be pliable or springy. A simple scratch test or cut test can reveal the damage. If you see green good if you see brown not good. The horticultural experts are saying to wait until the plants leaf back out this spring. If you heavily prune or cut them back now that may stimulate new growth which a later frost will harm and that might finish off heavily damaged trees and shrubs.

W are seeing lots of trees with broken limbs due to winter damage and trees with split trunks. Again, be patient as most of our trees and shrubs put on new growth around Easter. Many live oaks are dropping all their leaves and may appear to have oak wilt disease. Some may simply be frost damaged.

If you do decide to replace trees or shrubs, I suggest being very picky about the variety of plant you purchase as a replacement. Several of the “old standby” varieties have not done very well in the last 3 years or so.

After consulting with specialists, nursery owners and long-time landscape managers there are a few varieties of trees and shrubs that appear to have survived, grown, and have fewer problems in our area. The list includes:

Trees

Chinkapin Oak – Has some resistance to oak wilt

Bur Oak -Resistance to oak wilt but overly large acorns easily thrown from lawn mowers

Arizona Cypress- Needs large space

Arizona Walnut – May not be readily available

Chinese Pistache

Red Bud – Some trees damaged/some freeze problems recently

Mexican Plum

Mountain Laurel

Shrubs

Abelia

Mexican Buckeye -? Availability

Red Buckeye -? Availability

Indian Hawthorn – Needs full sun

Cenizo (Purple Sage)

There are many other varieties of trees and shrubs that will grow in our area and there are always exceptions. Those listed above have some what proven to survive and thrive with limited management and assistance.