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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mariposa Daily News 2012

Mariposa County Pruning Workshops to be Held During January 2013

January is the prime time to prune your fruit trees. It helps them stay healthy and encourages the best fruit possible.

Mariposa Master Gardeners is sponsoring two workshops this month. The first is Jan.5 from 10 a.m. to noon, hosted by Master Gardener Helen Bauman at 10701 Highway 49 North, Coulterville, in a mature home orchard. The second is Jan. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m., hosted by Master Gardener Helen Willoughby-Peck at 3204 River Haven Drive, Mariposa, in a younger home orchard. Maxwell Norton, a fruit-tree specialist and interim county farm advisor, will be there to demonstrate and answer questions.

To register and get directions, go to cemariposa.ucdavis.edu/Master_Gardener, or call (209) 966-2417.  Wear warm clothing and be prepared in case of rain.

There are several reasons for pruning the trees while they're dormant:

*Control size for easier care and easier picking

*Increase strength of limbs

*Control amount of fruit

*Bring more sunlight into the whole tree

*Renew the fruiting wood

*Remove dead, broken or crossing branches.

At the workshops, you'll learn about types of cuts, the best kind of pruners to use, and eliminating whole limbs to open the tree up.

Here are some reasons for good pruning from the  University of California web site homeorchard.ucdavis.edu: (select "Pruning and Training"):

*Prune young trees fairly heavily to encourage good growth without fruit for the first three years.

*The horizontal branches bear more fruit, so keeping them cut back means better fruit on stronger branches.

*New growth occurs when you make a cut; the more buds you cut off, the more vigorous the fruit will be.

*Make clean cuts within a quarter-inch of a bud; don't leave stubs.

*For peaches and nectarines, remove 50 percent of last year's growth; for figs, apples, pears, plums and apricots, 20 percent; for cherries, do summer pruning in the first five years.
Master Gardener volunteers are trained by the University of California and dedicated to educating and advising local home gardeners. For other information, advice or home garden questions, call or drop by the Mariposa Master Gardener help desk on Tuesdays 9 a.m. to noon or Thursdays 2-5 p.m. (until spring, Thursdays only), 5009 Fairgrounds Road; (209) 966-7078. Or call 852-9711 for the North County answer line.

California Highway Patrol Reminds Everyone the Best New Year’s Resolution is to Designate a Sober Driver


Impaired driving can quickly turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The safest resolution a person can make this year is to always plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebration begins.  To help ensure the state’s motorists keep this lifesaving commitment, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing to ring in the New Year with an increased enforcement presence throughout the state.

Over last New Year’s holiday, 25 people were killed in collisions throughout California; the majority of those who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Additionally, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI).

“Safety is the California Highway Patrol’s priority year round,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Hopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination.”

The New Year’s Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins Friday, December 28 at 6 p.m. and continues through Tuesday, January 1 at 11:59 p.m.  The increased enforcement effort follows a similar one that occurred during the recent Christmas holiday.  Throughout that 102-hour reporting period in California, 39 people were killed in collisions and CHP officers arrested 1,170 drivers for DUI.

“This New Year, resolve to make a difference and save lives,” added Commissioner Farrow.  “By removing impaired drivers from our roadways, this tragic loss of life can be greatly reduced.”

Serving as an additional set of eyes for law enforcement, the public is also encouraged to report drivers who they suspect may be under the influence.  When calling 911, be prepared to provide a description of the vehicle, including a license plate number, the location, and its direction of travel.

“Our ultimate goal is to help prevent avoidable tragedy by encouraging the public to make responsible choices such as designating a sober driver, buckling up, and traveling at a speed safe for conditions,” added Commissioner Farrow.

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