Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Chinese Pistache
One of my very favorite garden trees is the Chinese pistache (Pistachia chinensis). It is well suited to our climate, has a pleasing round shape, doesn't grow too tall, provides fabulous fall color, and best of all, drops all of its leaves over a two or three week period of time. It's a tidy tree that will produce turquoise clusters of seeds on coral colored stems after the leaves have dropped. Pistache trees benefit from early training to develop the desired rounded crown. The tree will withstand drought once established. Plant in fast draining soil in full sun for best results.

Tool or Gardening Product

Therapik, a small, portable hand-held device confirmed by the FDA to deliver bug bite relief, is proving to be a welcome weapon against pain and itching from insect bites and stings. Therapik has been shown to be an effective treatment for stings and bites from mosquitoes, bees, wasps, hornets, black flies, ants, fleas, ticks,
chiggers, and even jellyfish and stinging nettles. This unique treatment device soothes pain and itching and is safe for both adults and children.

Its design is based on a simple, scientifically proven principle: Most insect venom is thermolabile, or sensitive to heat. Therapiks patented technology delivers heat in the precise temperature range necessary to deactivate the venom from over 20,000 different species of insects and sea creatures. It is not for use on spider or snake bites. As the heat neutralizes the venom and increases blood flow to the affected area, there is a marked reduction in swelling, redness, pain, and itching. Therapik can be reapplied as often as necessary until sufficient bug bite relief is obtained. Most Therapik users find that one 20- to 30-second application is enough to stop the itch and pain permanently.

Small, lightweight and battery-powered, Therapik sells for $12.95 and is available at:


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