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About Melodie Putnam

Melodie Putnam is Director of the Oregon State University Plant Clinic.

Brown rot – an aptly named and unwelcome disease of stone fruits

I have a sour cherry tree in my yard that declines a bit more each year. It is in sad shape, with seared-open main branches injured by sun scald and invaded by decay fungi. This all stemmed from leaf loss due to an ongoing and pervasive case of brown rot caused by the fungus Monilinia. This organism infects first through the flowers, usually after a rain while the flowers are open.

By |2020-08-11T15:15:03+00:00April 21st, 2020|Plant disease|0 Comments

Tea Scale: An unwanted hitch-hiker

Sunny days and warmer weather bring about thoughts of gardening: which plants are not performing as well as would be liked, which new ones would look better in that spot. If you are contemplating adding to your garden, be sure not to add an unwanted component: insect or mite pests (or disease) that might be tagging along with your new acquisition.

By |2020-08-11T15:15:03+00:00April 13th, 2020|Scales|0 Comments

Secretary of War brings back the flower of peace

The association of poinsettias with Christmas is said to have begun over 500 years ago. The plant has been growing in dry tropical forests, along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Guatemala, for even longer than that. In its native form, it grows as a lanky, long-stemmed small tree or large bush. The wild plant has brilliant red “flowers”, but the red bits are narrow, less eye-catching, and scarcely like those on the plants we see in garden centers.

By |2020-08-11T15:16:06+00:00December 17th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Garlic Gone Bad

Winter is the time to use your summer-grown garlic. Fortunately, we have great garlic-growing weather here in Western Oregon, although occasionally problems do arise. This week we are showing some common problems that can pop up and which are usually only found when you are cracking those heads, seeking the perfect cloves for your favorite potato and garlic soup.

By |2020-08-11T15:16:07+00:00November 26th, 2019|Garlic|0 Comments