Saturday, December 19, 2015

Possible Sewer Damage Has Homeowner Singing the Bamboo Blues

Here at the Arboretum bamboo (like this Phyllastachys aurea) can obtain epic proportions. 

Q. My neighbor has recently planted giant clumping bamboo over the common plumbing easement for the city sewage line where their line and mine run. Do we have a potential future issue with these roots attacking and obstructing the waste line? If so what can we done about it that I can recommend to them.

A. That all depends on how deep, old and well maintained your sewage line is. Bamboo have fibrous roots that generally go no deeper than 24 inches. If your sewage line is relatively shallow (2 feet or less) then it is probably not up to code because many city codes require burial of sewer lines at least 2 feet below grade and it will have problems with the bamboo roots, but only if the line is also leaking -which should be fixed anyway. If you are up to code and your line is not leaking you should not have any problems with the roots of any bamboo or tree for that matter. So getting to the root of the problem -plant/sewer problems are almost always the fault of faulty, leaking, cheap, or not installed to code sewer lines and not the fault of the plant.

So what should you do if you're concerned? Have a plumber check your lines if your worried -it's not your neighbor's responsibility to check and see if your plumbing is up to code. You also might want to mention to your neighbor (during the dinner you've invited them to in order to smooth out your relations) that bamboo is, in general, a huge water hog that really isn't compatible with our current water conservation paradigm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wanderings in the Arboretum Collection: Spine of the Cross

Colletia paradoxa

Located in the southwestern corner of the Water Conservation Garden, a strange and formidable looking plant, Colletia paradoxa (syn. Colletia cruciata), is blooming. A member of the same family as Jujubes and Ceanothus, the plant itself resembles a kind of cactus. It has mostly no leaves but instead has flattened triangular stems that give the plant its unique look. It eventually grows up to 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Besides looking like a cactus the stems are stiff, tipped with spines, and quite dangerous –this is not a plant for right next to your basketball court. It is, however, a great plant for keeping people out of areas they are not supposed to be in.

The flowers are quite spectacular; small, white  1/8” to ¼”   wide and bell shaped blooms that cluster around the flat stems like popcorn. They are rumored to smell like custard, however I did not notice any smell coming from them as I was photographing them.

The plant, which is commonly called espina de la cruz (spine of the cross) in Spanish,  is found in the montane hills of Uruguay, Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina and parts of Chile. Although it is very drought tolerant here, the areas that it’s native to aren’t particularly dry. The specimen here in the Water Conservation, according to our accession records, came from Humboldt University; that is Humboldt University in Berlin Germany. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wanderings in the Arboretum Collection: 臭茉莉 Chòu mò lì (Stink Jasmine; Glory Bower)

Clerodendrum chinense bloom.

Located in a patch of ground on the west side of the tropical greenhouse, the weedy looking green shoots of the Clerodendrum chinense pop up over an area of about 100 or so square feet. A native of China, this interesting plant has the nickname there of “Stink Jasmine”. Smelling the white, capitate clusters of blooms you are immediately impressed with their pleasant jasmine-like scent that somewhat borders on that of Gardenias. Why the “Stink Jasmine” moniker for this un-mint-like member of the mint (formerly the verbena) family?
Clerodendrum chinense plant

The answer to this riddle is quickly obtained with one ‘scratch and sniff’ of its leaves: they smell like rancid peanut butter. This same smell can be noticed on the Tree of Heaven (Ailianthus altissima) with which Clerodendrum chinense shares the first part of their common names in Chinese ( 臭茉莉 (Chòu mò lì ) meaning Stink Jasmine and 臭椿(Chòu Chun) meaning Stink Tree -being the symbol for ‘stink’ in Chinese). This specimen was first obtained from San Marcos Growers in 1994 under its old name Clerondendrun phillipinum. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wanderings In The Arboretum Collection: Nuxia floribunda

This medium sized tree sits prominently on the north edge of the Bauer lawn and is in full bloom right now. It’s pom-pom like clusters of fluffy white blooms have a not unpleasant slight sweet scent, adding to the already pleasant shade it throws on the bench located underneath its canopy on its south side. It’s shape makes it quite a pleasant looking tree, having a classic umbrella appearance.
Nuxia floribunda on the north edge of the Bauer lawn. 

It is native to South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where it can be found in forests between 900 and 4,000 feet. Although it used to be in the Buddleia family it has recently been placed in the mint order in the relatively obscure Stilbaceae family. This particular specimen derives from plant material obtained from the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in South Africa. It has been widely planted in South Africa as an ornamental, and its bark and roots have medicinal value. 

Nuxia floribunda's sweet smelling, frothy white flowers are quite attractive. 

Nuxia's gnarled base add to its appeal. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bougies, Italian Cypress, Oxalis, Oranges and Ginkgos: Selected Plant Information Questions for November

Q. I live in Northridge, CA and have Rosenkas (a variety of Bougainvillea that is used as a ground-cover)  that are 2 years old. They have almost no bracts on them, and very long branches (over 4 feet long).  They are planted in the ground - not in containers, 2 feet apart and were planted as a ground cover.  They are hand watered; no more than once a week.  I haven't used any fertilizer, but have amended the soil with homemade compost.   Maybe the compost contains too much nitrogen? The plants do get more than 1/2 day of sunlight.  Could you let me know approx. how many inches should be cut off the branches when I prune them in spring? Some are close to 72" long.
What is the best fertilizer to use and during what season should this be applied?  Also, at what time of the year should they be pruned? 

A. The following things will cause bougainvilleas to favor vegetative growth over producing bracts and flowers:
1.          Too much nitrogen. I have never seen a bougainvillea in need of fertilization.
2.         Too much water. They should be watered no more than once a week after being in the ground for two years.
3.         Too little light. Bougies should be in at least half day full sun.

Remember to prune your bougainvilleas after all danger of frost is past -usually after the middle of March.
Homemade compost is nitrogenous enough to cause them to favor green growth and not flowers.  Suggest cut each plant back by at least ½ in late March.

Cheers,   Frank

Q. I have an 80 year old Italian cypress that is about 75 feet tall.  There is sap running from the tree.  The sap seems to be coming from an old place where a branch was sawed off maybe over 20 years ago.  It is about 8-10 feet from the base of the tree.  I can't tell if the sap is coming from a place higher in the tree and then dripping off from where the branch was, or, if the sap is coming from the place where the branch was itself.  I live in Atwater village, and am under Los Angeles' water restrictions.  Is this something to be concerned with?

A. .If the tree is otherwise healthy I wouldn’t worry about it –do keep an eye on it though.  I would also keep a 4” thick layer of bark mulch underneath the canopy of the cypress. This will help by keeping even the drying of the soil under the tree and it will decompose to help feed beneficial microorganisms that live in its root zone.

Cheers,   Frank

 Q.  I have a marathon 3 lawn.  It has a oxalis infestation.  Can you recommend a good spray or chemical to use?
A. Oxalis thrives in soils that are dryer than is optimal for Marathon grass. Once were off water restrictions and you can water your marathon more frequently the oxalis should abate.  Sometimes the seed load from oxalis infestations make it tough to control even if you water correctly, if that's the case then the judicious use of pre and post emergent pesticides may be necessary.  For a list of herbicides and their use, please refer to the University of California Davis page at:

 Q. Given all the heat is it now too late to feed roses?  Any difference if in pots. 

A. Nix on the rose feeding right now, there's a new pest that loves new growth called the chilli thrip. Same goes for the pots. 

Cheers,   Frank

Q. I have a large dwarf naval orange that is about 20 years old that is producing adequate and tasty fruit.  The tree is losing lots and leaves and large branches are dying off.  Outside of leaf miner damage I don’t see any other signs of pests.  Do You have any suggestions about what to do with it?

A. Wait till after we've had a significant rain (about two months after that actually) and then re-evaluate. Water restrictions here have made conditions rife for significant salt buildup in the soil, which can lead to dying off of branches. A good soaking (2-3 inches of rain) should alleviate that. Do not fertilize your trees until next year.

Cheers,   Frank

Q. Which male ginkgo tree would work best in a front yard in La Crescenta? We need it as a shade tree and would prefer a fast grower (fruitless).  And, do you know of any nurseries that sell your suggestion?

A. I would plant Fairmont or Princeton Sentry.  They're going to grow a bit faster than the wider than tall Autumn Gold variety. You can find them here:

Cheers,   Frank

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chilli Thrips: Rose Disfiguring Pest Possibly Transported by Recent Hurricane

In just the last month a new pest has appeared on roses. It’s damage includes distorted and elongated foliage, scarred flower buds, and brown, angular spots on the new growth of the roses. The culprit has been identified: chilli thrips.

Previously a pest of tropical and semitropical areas of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean,
the 'chilli thrips’ distorting and disfiguring damage can be mistaken for other conditions. Herbicide damage, micro-nutrient deficiency, even excessive aphid infestation can lead to damage that looks much like these tiny, almost impossible to see pests.

Chilli thrips damage
The pests are small, and may have come in on the remnants of hurricane Dolores, which broke up over Southern California this last July (the thrips were first discovered in mid-August of this year). At 2 millimeters long, they’re not much larger than a grain of sand. This makes them incredibly mobile as they can be swept up into the atmosphere on strong winds and deposited hundreds if not thousands of miles away. They are thought to have originated in the Caribbean, an area prone to massive hurricanes that can travel from the far eastern Atlantic Ocean all the way over across Mexico into the Pacific. It’s as if they were living in an international airport for wind distributed insects.

Besides taking them to their destination, the hurricane also created the perfect conditions for their survival. The warm rains and overcast sunlight combined to create loads of soft, easily infested foliage on the roses that are the ideal conditions for this pest which feeds mostly on new growth.

So how can you take care of this? There is a possibility that the insects might not make it through the winter. They are tropical pests and may not have the ability or the strategy (hiding in leaf buds of nearby host plants that can keep them alive through the winter) to make it through one of our average winters. However this is an El Nino year and that means that winter temperatures might not dip low enough to kill of this pest. There is also the possibility that insect predators like insectivorous mites and others could start to find them tasty and effect control that way.  For those experiencing infestations of this mite in greenhouses and areas where they are established there is a predacious mite that you can purchase to control it.

If you are facing an infestation it is recommended that you remove all infested foliage from your plants, bag it where you cut it, and dump it in a landfill. Composting the foliage can lead to a greater level of infestation in yours and your neighbors yard as the tiny little pests slough off of the infested foliage as you are carrying it to your compost pile.

There are pesticide strategies as well. Spraying fine horticultural oils like Monterey Horticultural Oil and alternating those sprays with products containing Spinosad can help bring damage to roses down to manageable levels.

Is this just a fluke due to El Nino? No, probably not. Los Angeles County entomologist Gevork Arakelian says the new pest introduction rate has increased to about two new pests a month. This may be due to the El Nino conditions making it possible for pests established to the south of us to head northward, and also the lack of funding for agricultural interdiction programs designed to keep pests from arriving here via our ports, airports and borders.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inexpensive 3D Trap Aids in the Detection of PSHB

There is finally some good news coming out of efforts to control the Polyhphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB). With over 200 common landscape and native trees being attacked by this pest, and over 36 host trees it can breed in, the term 'apocalyptic' is hardly an exagerated one for this pest. Up until the last 6 months things were looking kind of grim, with only regular trunk spraying of contact insecticides being an effective control. Because of the huge list of hosts and trees under attack and non-hetrogenous nature of the ornamental trees (good scientific experiments require multiple samples of uniform subjects, something hard to find with the mature trees the beetle attacks), progress in controlling the beetle has been slow. However the use of 3D printing has allowed custom traps specific for this beetle to manufactured en mass for deployment in the field. These custom traps will allow researchers to better determine the effectiveness of prospective treatments in the field. Also, at least one parasite specific for PSHB may have been discovered in Taiwan. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Worries About a Weeping Fig


There is a weeping fig tree growing 6 feet away from our home in the neighbors yard and it is about 1.5 - 2 stories tall.  I was wondering if this is hazardous to the pavement, foundation or pipes since I hear they have a vigorous root system.  There are no signs of damage yet. but to prevent it from growing larger, what are things that can be done?

I also have a Sycamore tree in the front yard maybe 15 feet away from the house that is 27 years old.  Should I be worried of future issues with these trees?


Hi Sara,

Most tree issues are best dealt with when they appear, except those that involve safety. If you are worried about the tree failing have a consultant (preferably an ASCA consultant), evaluate the tree for safety. That being said there are several things you can do to help mitigate damage from yours and your neighbors' trees.

1.       Don’t attract the tree.
a.       Trees roots grow where there is water. If your neighbor has a tree with damaging roots that you are worrying about, make sure the area on your property adjacent the tree is a low water use landscape that doesn’t attract thirsty tree roots.
2.       Cut ‘em off at the pass.
a.       If you are dealing with a particularly pernicious plant, like bamboo, you can trench between the roots and your property down to 3-4 feet and then install a barrier of very thick PVC plastic. You can purchase such plastic at bamboo wholesalers. Although mainly for bamboo, this barrier can work for trees as well.
3.       Cut em back?.
a.       Cutting the roots of your neighbors trees could cause them to fail, so do consult an arborist (see introduction) before you consider this option.

Cheers,   Frank

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mushrooms Mass on Local Lawn

Question:  My front lawn has been inundated by mushrooms.  I just picked 1/2 pail this morning and now I have another 1/2 pail out on the lawn. What can I do?

Answer: Mushrooms can pop up in a lawn anytime the conditions are right. Some come during winter rains, others during summer humidity, and still others when there is enough moisture to precipitate dew out on the lawn. Even lawns that are watered only once a week can produce mushrooms. Besides in some cases producing an unsightly band of darker and then lighter colored grass, few mushrooms contribute to lawn diseases.  Many people feel that mushrooms are unattractive and they look for a way to kill the fungus.  The actual mushroom is simply the fruit of a fungus.  Killing the mushroom does not remove or-kill-the mycelia, or fungi, causing their growth.
Still some may consider these unattractive or a nuisance. What can be done to help lessen their occurrence? Below are some options that can help reduce the number and occurrences of mushrooms:

1.  Reduce amount of moisture in the area:  Mushrooms thrive in moist soils, refrain from, or slow down, the amount of irrigating or water you do to the location. This will not get rid of all the mushrooms, but can in some cases decrease their numbers.

2.  Eliminate decaying elements that enhance the growth of mushrooms:
  • ·         Remove grass clippings after mowing, raking them with a rake or using a bag grass catcher on the mower.
  • ·         De-thatch your lawn. Some lawns, especially tropical grasses like Bermuda and Saint Augustine, build up a layer of dead stems and roots that encourages mushroom growth.
  • ·         Have tree stumps ground and removed. Leaving tree stumps in the ground can encourage fungi that will infest other trees and cause heart rot. Also, buried wood over two inches thick from trees that were infested with Oak root fungus (Armellaria mellea) can encourage infestations of the fungus in trees whose roots come in contact with it, as well as producing large clusters of honey colored mushrooms.

3.  Increase the amount of light in the area mushrooms grow in; this can work for some mushrooms that do not need the sun to stimulate their fruiting, but does not work for all mushrooms.

4. Change your brand of mulch or compost: Some mulches and composts are very friendly to mushroom growth. If your using wood mulch make sure that that it is composed mostly of bark –under composted wood chips are great chow for mushroom producing fungi. If you’re using compost or amendment that is high in under-composted steer or horse manure you are likewise treating mushroom producing fungi to a very nutritious meal.

4. Learn to enjoy the fungi. In most cases mushroom producing fungi is not harmful to your lawn.

6. Have your mushrooms identified. You can bring your mushrooms to a local mycological society meeting and have them identified. This is very good idea if you feel that your dog or neighbor children might eat the fungi off of your lawn

7. Replace you lawn with ground cover and landscaping less susceptible to mushroom growth. Low water use landscape is less likely to harbor mushroom mycelia, and the period of mushroom production is much more likely to be shorter than that of a lawn. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pasadena Tree Failure Due to 'Summer Limb Drop', Lack of Adequate Root Crown Among Other Things

Last month when a large Mediterranean pine fell in Pasadena, seriously injuring two children, I was interviewed by KNBC as to what could cause trees to fail during the summer. I mentioned several causes, one of which involved water rushing up to the limbs but not being able to escape due to high humidity and low wind-speed reducing the amount of water that is eliminated normally due to transpiration. Apparently Ted Lubushkof, the independent consulting arborist who was hired by the city of Pasadena, cited that as the main cause of the failure. Summer limb drop is quite common, it's just that it rarely occurs at the same time people are underneath the trees.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Edible Seeds of Common L.A. Area Ornamental Tree May Be Attracting Rats

I received an email about branches and leaves coming off of a Chinese elm. Turns out that the branches that were coming down were laden with the seeds of the tree (it had recently flowered and was now going to seed). A little web-jogging turned up an "Eat the Weeds" blog page  that states that Chinese elm tree seeds (called samaras) are edible.  So why were these seed covered branches falling?  Either rodents looking for an elm tree seed meal were causing them to fall as they greedily chomped down on the seeds, or maybe even the local parrot flock -as parrots love edible seeds.

Edible winged seeds of the Chinese elm. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Discovering a New Bug

Turns out the pest is called the 'Golden Mealybug', it's a type of mealybug that attacks only Australian members of the Araucaria family (Norfolk Island Pines, Bunya Bunya trees, Queensland Karis etc.) and as such is not considered an important pest by the state of California. A volunteer for another Arboretum (Fullerton?) wrote about this bug in her blog. Apparently it's been around for a while.
Golden Mealybug on Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya Bumya tree).

A few weeks ago I was wandering through the Australian section looking for that perfect shot and getting ready for a talk I was going to give on Australian trees ideal for our gardens. Halfway through the trek I noticed the trunk of a Lophostemon conferta just covered in what looked like very active uber mealy bugs (see below). I took pictures of it with both my Nikon D5000 and my iPhone. I then sent pictures and a video of the pest via an app called 'Report A Pest' from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It was a Saturday and I didn't think much of it because the last time I used it several weeks went by before I was contacted back, besides I planned to send the info to Gevork Arakelian as soon as I got back in the office on Tuesday but...

Here's one of the pix I sent to the California State Dept. of Agriculture vie the 'Report a Pest' app. 

Here's the video I sent. I've since added some cool music to it.

...monday roles around and I get an urgent message from Jerry Turney over at the County Ag Commissioner's office -seems the state thought my little insect was a big deal. The next day I was back at work and Gevork comes over first thing and we go out to look at the pest. As both Jerry and Gevork previously guessed from the images it was not a mealybug at all but a mealybug and scale predator beetle larvae know as the "Mealybug Destroyer". 
While we were out there Gevork noticed that the mealybug destroyer was feeding on a previously unknown (to Southern California) pest that was feeding on the Bunya-bunya trees located next to the Lophostemon tree-trunk that the mealybug destroyer was first found on.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ah, Somebody Agrees With Me

Recently I did an Off Ramp show for KPCC where I warned of the perils of knee-jerk reactions to the drought, like planting a bunch of drought tolerant plants right before summer and during a time when the more frequent waterings they would need to establish could be eliminated by new water restrictions. I took a lot of flack for saying that right now is not the best time to eliminate your lawn, and that until then you can slow down, but not eliminate, the watering on your lawn until such time as you can decide what to do with it. I got some support in this article below. I like support.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eight Things That Can Help Your Roses (and other high water use plants) Get Through The Drought

Roses have a long history in both western and eastern cultures, and rose gardens are considered a symbol of prosperity and wealth. Although there are many roses, both native to California and the old world, that are fairly drought tolerant, the dominant rose you’re going to find in most people’s gardens are hybrid teas, followed by the smaller floribunda types and the large grandifloras and climbing roses. These just about all have Chinese tea roses in their ancestry, a rose that, by itself, is not very hardy to Southern California’s dry, arid climate. This means that most of the roses that are popular today have moderate to heavy water needs. Even though roses benefit from a 2 to 3 times a week watering schedule there are some methods and techniques you can use to help your roses get through the drought and, if they have to,  being watered only once a week. Here they are:

1.     Mulch

 Bark mulches (small to medium size) are best for roses. Apply a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around your roses. Mulch helps even out the drying process of the soil, and as an added benefit, compounds that are released during the mulches slow decay are beneficial to your roses and detrimental to diseases and pests.

2.     Put ‘em on a diet.

 Feeding your roses produces growth that is more likely to lose water, so do not feed your roses until next year in the early spring.

3.     Apply Sunscreen

Kaolin powder spray can be applied to your roses to help them get through the drought. The fine, white clay acts as a sunscreen, keeping leaves cooler and lowering the amount of water they lose during the day. As an added bonus it also deters damaging insects. You will have to reapply after a rainstorm and the roses will look a little ghostly with their coating of fine white clay.

4. Strip 'em

If you remove all the leaves from your rose and leave the buds, the resulting foliage will adapt to the roses new, restricted watering schedule.

5.     Get them to the castle and close the drawbridge

Next winter, when transplanting is ideal, aggregate your roses into a single, high maintenance bed where you can control the watering and give them that special care.

6.   Let ‘em wear shades

Erect shade structures over your roses. 10%-20% shade cloth should do just fine. There new, more shaded digs will keep water loss from them to a minimum.

7.   Cover them with plastic (not what you think)

Spray on anti-transpirants are solutions that leave a plastic film covering the leaves and branches of the rose that can help your them get through particularly dry periods, but don’t overuse them.  One popular brand is Wilt-Pruf, another is Cloudcover. This is a last resort, and some experts believe that anti-transpirants aren’t that effective.

8.   Get used to their new ‘rough’ look.

Once you've applied some of the above strategies, watering roses only once a week, even in the dead of summer, probably will not kill them. However they may be a little (or a lot) rough around the edges. Get used to the browning and yellowing leaves that are sign of the plants adjusting to their new water regime.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hunkering Down With Your Lawn to Survive the Drought

So you're not going give up your lawn until they pry it from the dry parched ground it's now growing in. What can you do to help it survive until you can find a reasonable California friendly replacement? Below are a few ideas:

  1. Mow your lawn on your lawnmowers highest setting; cutting grass low stimulates growth which encourages water loss. Mature grass leaves develop a thicker cuticle (skin) which helps them stand up to drought much more readily.
  2. If your lawn is old and water runs off of it when you irrigate, rent a power lawn aerator and aerate your lawn. Aerators remove 3”4” plugs from your lawn which allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil beneath your lawn. Remember to irrigate for to runoff the day before you aerate in order to allow for the deep penetration of the aerator tines.
  3. Cut back your lawn watering to once a week for 10-20 minutes. Do not allow the irrigation water to run off, if it does, stop the irrigation and resume an hour later; if you haven’t aerated your lawn do so.
  4. Do not walk, play games on , or have parties on your dormant lawn; it is now very susceptible to physical damage and the repair process takes both water and nutrients from the grass that it needs to get through the drought.
  5. Do not feed your lawn; nitrogen makes lawns more prone to drying out. 
  6. If you really can’t stand your lawn being the golden state’s official color then you can make it green with lawn dye. It will not look the same close up, but most people view lawns from a distance.  
  7. Use this time contemplating your close-to-death lawn’s replacement later on with either more drought tolerant grasses, water saving ground-covers, or a major reduction in its size.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Historic Tree Tour at 1 pm May 2nd During Wild West Days

Join me tomorrow at 1pm for a tour of some of the historic trees of the Arboretum. Here's a map of the trees that were here before the Arboretum was the Arboretum.

Hipster Horticulture: A Recipe for Kale Chips

For those of you who took my hipster horticulture class here's a recipe for great tasting kale chips from Bonnie Colcher:

"To make kale chips themselves, I just tear the kale into little pieces, sprinkle with olive oil and salt, and bake at 250 degrees for about 20 min.

However, here's a recipe for Cashew Cheese Kale Chips:

First you'll need to make the cashew cheese. You'll need:

  • 2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 cup water, or more to make the mixture a goopy mushy paste like "sauce"
Blend in a blender or food processor until desired consistency.
Wash, dry and tear 2 heads of curly kale into bite size pieces.
In a large bowl, massage the cashew cheese into the kale.
Transfer in single layers onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Cook in the oven at a low heat, 200 degrees or so, until the chips begin to crisp.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A List of Some of the Water Saving Rebate Programs Available in Southern California

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Various Cities)

Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers

$200 per controller for less than one acre of irrigated landscape; $35 per station for 1 acre or more of irrigated landscape. For a list of qualifying models, go to the SoCal Water$mart. Applying for this rebate will make you ineligible to receive a rebate for the Soil Moisture System item below.

$200.00 per unit
(<1 acre)

$35.00 per station
(≥1 acre)
Soil Moisture Sensor System
Must include a sensor and a calibrator and an irrigation controller. For a list of qualifying models, go to SoCal Water$mart. Applying for this rebate will make you ineligible to receive the rebate for the Weather-Based Irrigation Controller item above.

$200.00 per unit
(<1 acre)

$35.00 per station
(≥1 acre)
Rotating Nozzles

Must purchase a minimum of 15 nozzles to qualify for a rebate. For a list of qualifying models, go to SoCal Water$mart.

$8.00 per nozzle
(Limit 1 rebate application per household)
Turf Replacement

Replace turf grass with California Friendly plants, mulch, and permeable pathways. Must get pre-approval of application before starting project. To see project samples and additional landscape information, go to Landscape.

$3.75 per square foot for the first 1,500 square feet, and $2 per square foot thereafter with no cap
*You must get a pre-approval before starting your project.

(Limit 1 rebate application per household)
Rain Barrels

Minimum 50 gallons in size. Maximum of four (4) rain barrels per home. For Rain Barrel Guidelines, go to SoCal Water$mart.

$100 per barrel

Other City Lawn Replacement Programs

City of Los Angeles
RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS: For the residential turf replacement rebate program, all applications must be submitted online through the SoCal Water$mart website. Effective November 1, 2014, LADWP's single family residential program provides $3.75 per square foot for the first 1,500 square feet, and $2.00 per square foot thereafter with no cap for replacing turf with water wise landscaping features.

       Rebate up to $4,50/square foot when you replace lawn with sustainable landscaping. Program conditions and eligibility have changed. New Program Details

Rebates start at:
       $80/controller for less than 1 acre of landscape
       $35/station for more than 1 acre of landscape

Rain Barrel and Cistern Rebate

       Large Cistern Rebate: up to $2,000 each (max 2) and must be 500 gallons or more
       Small Cistern Rebate: up to $500 each (max 4) and must be 200 to 499 gallons
       Rain Barrel Rebate: up to $200 each (max 8 barrels) and must be less than 200 gallons

       Up to $40 per downspout  (no max).