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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” - “Controlling Moles”
- “Pocket Gophers”

- “Wildlife Integrated Pest Management” (An hour-long webinar which include monitoring the problem, managing the habitat and controlling the rodents.)

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.

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

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