Osu_vertical_2c_o_over_b_medium Oregon State Extension Service

Oregon State University has experts in a variety of topics, including gardening, horticulture, livestock, 4-H, family, childcare, managing money, forestry, natural resources, and many more. If we don't have the answer, we will find someone who does.

(This group currently has 4 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group


Does using bone meal when planting tulip, alium and daffodil bulbs deter gophers?

Crook County Oregon Posted about 2 hours ago

Marion berry cold tolerance

Hello, we were given four thornless Marion berry plants in 3-gallon pots that we will plant in the spring and train to a trellis. Would these plants survive and flourish in large containers, say 5-gallons or so? Would a Portland winter damage the roots that do not have the benefit of being insulated in the ground? Thanks very much

Multnomah County Oregon Posted about 4 hours ago

Raspberry vines

This summer, even though I followed pruning advice online, my raspberries got a great start but died off at the top, many of them dying completely, after setting fruit. I fertilized in early spring with compost. I was so puzzled and most of these plants were originally planted 4-5 years ago. I have seen die off in the past but not like this year when I took special precautions. I have pruned them every year but most recently was more careful about taking out older and dead canes. Do you have any idea what I am doing wrong? Or a way to correct the problem?

Jackson County Oregon Posted about 7 hours ago

Getting fruit tree starts from its branches

I've ordered these little plastic balls that you can put on a tree branch after peeling the skin off in a section and within a short time is will help produce roots. You can then cut that section of branch off and plant it and it will grow. My question is if I put it on an italian plum or a gravenstein apple tree will the rooting tree be the same type or will it become a wild plum or wild apple?

Marion County Oregon trees and shrubs fruit trees Posted about 8 hours ago

Sitka spruce turning brown

Hi, I have a Sitka spruce in my backyard in Lincoln City (Lincoln County) that has a bunch of areas turning brown. The browning is throughout the whole tree and not in any kind of pattern that I can tell. The only yard changes have been taking out grass to plant gardens. Any ideas what could be causing this?

Lincoln County Oregon forestry branch dieback trees sitka spruce Posted about 9 hours ago

Abnormal root rot

Good Day. I have already presented this issue regarding several plants that appeared to be poisoned or (?),in My yard starting in early 2019. I found an empty container of an insecticide called MERIT 75WP. Do You know if this product (Bayer), could kill the roots of plants and trees? Also,is there a place to send samples of soil/ rotten wood for testing? Is it expensive? This is anticipated to be malicious. I will attach the rotten tree pics again. Thank You. Don McFadden ps: I snapped a pic of the tree upright just before pushing it over with my hands. It was solid as could be 1 year ago. These pics were taken 10/31/20

Multnomah County Oregon trees Posted about 11 hours ago

Disappearing Carrots

Last year I planted carrots in one of our raised beds. We harvested them as needed and enjoyed them into the spring of this year. We planted again in a different raised bed this year, and as I pick them I find the lower halves have disappeared! At first I thought they had broken when I picked them, but there was nothing there when I dug down. What’s eating these carrots, and can I consume the portion that is left, or should I toss them out?

Polk County Oregon pest identification wildlife pest identification horticulture Posted 1 day ago

Funky leaves

My 2 year old persimmon gets scraggly rusting blotched leaves every season. I've read it's a fungus and it doesn't effect the fruit. The new leaves look fine but eventually they are affected. Is there a dormant spray I can use?

Shasta County California persimmon trees Posted 1 day ago

Pine cones

Why are the pine cones so small this year?

Oregon trees and shrubs pine trees Posted 2 days ago

Preparing a hellstrip for planting

We have a large 10x50 hellstrip (aka parking strip) that is currently a mix of grass and many weeds. We would like to plant a pollinator garden of resilient native species. Our dirt is very clay like and dense. I’ve ordered a bunch of bareroot plants to arrive end of feb or early March. Im wondering in the intervening months how to best prepare our soil and remove the grass. I’ve heard a number of techniques but am not sure which is best. Our neighbor just laid out cardboard over her grass over the winter to kill it then threw compost on top. I’m just worried this won’t loosen then underlying clay for roots to thrive. I’ve heard tilling this time of year is actually bad for future plant roots but would be a good way to loosen the soil and I could add compost to build nutrients. What would you suggest?

Multnomah County Oregon soil Posted 2 days ago