OSU Extension Service

Paperback mapleBy Kym Pokorny
When trees get dressed with the colors of fall, it’s time to go shopping.
“If you’re specifically interested in fall color, it will soon be the time to start looking,” said Neil Bell, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “There are already some trees starting to display color.”
First, though, Bell recommends doing some research. Walk around neighborhoods, parks and public gardens to get ideas.  If you can’t identify the trees you like, snap good photos, pick up several leaves or ask the owner for a cutting. Take them to the nursery or to your local OSU Extension office for identification. You can also cut out pictures from magazines and flip through garden books to find possibilities.

SpiderBy Kym Pokorny
In corners and along baseboards, on ceilings and spun between shrubs, spiders crawl through our lives this time of year.
“Spiders are on the move right now because they’re looking for a mate,” according to Gail Langellotto, an entomologist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.
“The domestic house spider is one that regularly makes its way into houses in fall and if you haven’t seen one in the past, it can be a startling sight,” she said. “If you include their legs, they’re about as big as a silver dollar.”

Russian lavenderBy Kym Pokorny

Hotter-than-usual temperatures and longer stretches between measurable moisture this year mean plants need more water from the end of a hose.

Choose plants that require less water and you’ll save time and money and help sustain Oregon’s water supply, said Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Training a fruit tree into an espalier takes a good dash of dedication


Espaliered treesBy Kym Pokorny

Espaliered trees bring fruit down to eye level. They allow for easy picking and take advantage of small spaces.

But don’t kid yourself into thinking espaliers are any easier than regular-sized trees, said Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

“Espalier is one of many ways to prune – or design -- a fruit tree,” he said. “It’s beautiful, it doesn’t take up a lot of room in the yard. There are a lot of reasons to do it, but it takes dedication and time. It’s like growing grapes or wisteria correctly.”

Apple treeBy Kym Pokorny
Anyone who buys or inherits a fruit tree faces the intimidating crossroads of how, when and if they should prune.
“It’s one of the most difficult things for people to understand,” said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “Ultimately, they make a few cuts and think, ‘Oh, I’m going to hurt the tree’ and run back into the house to watch TV.”

Stink bugBy Kym Pokorny

When leaves fall and days get shorter, stink bugs go on the move looking for a warm, dry place for winter. Often that means sharing our homes with these prehistoric-looking insects, whether we know it or not.
This year, it’s difficult not to know. Many homeowners have been inundated as the population of brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) keeps increasing.

Plant gallsBy Peg Herring
Oregon State University plans to use a $3 million grant to study two groups of bacteria that result in millions of dollars in losses annually to the nation’s nursery industry.
Researchers will study Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhodococcus fascians, which deform hundreds of common landscape plants, including hostas, Shasta daisies, petunias and pansies.

TulipsBy Kym Pokorny

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs, because of their fragrance, are popular to grow in pots indoors, but nearly all bulbs sold in the fall work well in pots that stay outdoors. “It’s easy to create a stunning display that begins to grow in the fall or middle of winter, then bursts into bloom in the spring or early summer,” said Heather Stoven, Oregon State University Extension horticulturist. “In fact, if you choose the right plants, you can create a bulb display that extends through the seasons.

Cherry DropsBy Kym Pokorny

Once a week from June 14 to mid-September, Harry Olson and Tobie Habeck commuted from Salem to Silverton to tend a U-shaped plot at The Oregon Garden. As they weeded and watered, the duo would hear docents tell their trams full of visitors about the little-known grafted vegetables overflowing from the raised beds and spilling onto the mulched aisles.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.