August 29, 2007

Georgia Pecan trees to excel this year



Even though Georgia suffered a late freeze and a record drought in 2007, the state's Pecan trees are set to produce one of the best crops of nuts in recent history. The UGA Cooperative extension service estimates that our beloved Carya illinoensis will provide 90 million to 95 million pounds of pecans this season.

Earlier this year, many Pecans in the central and eastern part of the state sustained damage from the frost, but apparently most trees recovered and have set a bumper crop of nuts. Growers estimate that the 2007 crop will be double that of last year's pitiful crop, which was one of the state's lowest in pecan production.

The current drought conditions are damaging; but have had an unexpected consequence: the drought has kept insects and diseases from ruining the Pecan nuts. Aphids, mites, and scab are common pests of Pecan trees. In addition, farmers have had the rare option of spraying less chemical controls such as insecticides and fungicides. In some cases, farmers have sprayed half as much pesticides as they usually do.

August 23, 2007

Grant available to improve Atlanta commnuity parks

Park Pride is accepting applications for its Community Micro-Grants Program. The program provides City of Atlanta communities matching grants of up to $500 for public greenspace improvement projects.

Since the program’s inception last fall, Park Pride has awarded 45 grants ranging from $150-$500 to community groups in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. Examples of worthwhile projects: building a new playground, creation of a nature trail, park beautification, and the addition of amenities such as picnic tables and flower beds.

Neighborhood groups need to submit proposals to their Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU). The NPU then reviews proposals and recommends the award of a Park Pride micro-grant. Each of the City’s 24 NPUs may recommend grants totaling $500 for projects within their jurisdiction.

The Park Pride Micro-Grant application deadline is September 30th. Awards will be announced October 15th. For questions call Allison Barnett at (404) 817-6760.

August 19, 2007

Mystery Peach Tree Revealed

Rosalind Bentley, writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has gone public with a little-known tree mystery. Her August 10 article revealed the location of a desparate Prunus persica growing near the intersection of Peachtree Hills Avenue and Peachtree Street.

Peach trees, keeping with the trend of confusing street names, are altogether rare along Peachtree Street. This tree appears by all counts a naturalized specimen, possibly sprouted years ago from a peach pit! And I thought Atlanta was only populated with transplants.

Read the entire article at the AJC.