1. gophers -2. cherry pruning/grafting #165928 - Ask Extension


1. gophers -2. cherry pruning/grafting #165928

Asked February 03, 2014, 6:44 PM EST

1. I'd like to build a raised bed with a screen underneath to keep out gophers. If I use standard hardware cloth, will the zinc plating contaminate the soil? What's best? 2. I'd like to graft some good-sized fruiting cherry branches onto some trees that froze back to root stock. Is this a good time? (I've heard that cherries can get infected if they are pruned or grafted this time of year.)

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

1.  I wonder if you have moles rather than gophers as they are generally more common in Washington County.  Gophers make a mound in the shape of a horseshoe whereas mole mounds are similar to a small volcano.  The first publication listed below has photos of mounds to help you differentiate between the two and describes your options for management.  Buried hardware cloth has a rather short life in our acid-reacting soil of about 3 years or so.
- “Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Cropland”    http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/PNW/PNW0627.pdf - “Controlling Moles” http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/18890/ec987.pdf
- “Pocket Gophers” http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7433.html

- “Wildlife Integrated Pest Management” (An hour-long webinar which include monitoring the problem, managing the habitat and controlling the rodents.) https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/p7dhy6ekz79/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

2.  It’s true that cherry trees can have a bacterial infection.  In such instances, it’s wise to prune when the weather is dry.
“Propagation of plants by Budding and Grafting” explains grafting in detail.  http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/boulder/horticulture/pdf/Grafting%20Manual.pdf

Jean R. Natter Replied February 05, 2014, 10:55 PM EST

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