Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2001
Regional Report

Local Buzz

Quarantine for Sudden Oak Death
A quarantine is being proposed to halt the spread of Sudden Oak Death, the fungus disease that is killing California's native oak trees. The regulatory package will go into effect immediately if passed into law.

The quarantine will prohibit plant and wood products from leaving the counties where the disease has been identified: Marin, Sonoma, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

The fear is that native oaks may go the way of the American chestnut trees on the East Coast if this situation isn't remedied. The concern is not only for oaks, but for rhododendrons, California bay laurel, madrone, huckleberry, and arrowwood plants since all of these are also affected by this fast-mutating fungus.

Favorite or New Plant

Sword Fern
Sword fern (Nephrolepis) is a handsome, upright-growing fern with fragile-looking foliage that can grow in full shade. This is one tough fern. In ideal conditions, it requires regular water, well-drained fibrous soil, and regular applications of diluted liquid fertilizer. However, sword fern will stand up to much abuse. It spreads by underground rhizomes and will quickly fill a planter or flower bed. Don't touch the fronds as they unroll; the oils from your hands will cause them to burn. It also makes an excellent cut green in flower arrangements.


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