Q. My old apple tree died. Can I plant another fruit tree in the same spot?
A. Apple trees are susceptible to "replant disease." A new tree planted in the same place never will grow as well. I would suggest an ornamental tree or shrub.
Q. I am feeding out some cattle for beef. During the past few months, it seems like they aren't gaining weight as well as expected and I'm feeding them the same amount. The weather has been cold. Could that be the problem?
A. Yes, the weather can affect animal performance. If temperatures get into the teens, like they have been recently, it will definitely affect weight gain. Cold, wind and cold combined with wet conditions all increase the energy requirement for the cattle. If temperatures get cold and stay that way for a significant length of time, it is necessary to adjust the amount of feed for the cattle.
Q. I have to take a few branches off ornamental trees in my yard. When is the best time to prune?
A. The best time to prune is late winter (late February or early March) before new growth begins. When pruned at this time, some trees "bleed" fresh sap. This doesn't hurt the trees but can stain the bark. Common "bleeders," including certain maples, dogwood, walnut, elm and birch, can be pruned during early summer to avoid the problem. Pruning paint should not be applied, because it doesn't help stop bleeding or prevent decay.
Q. When is the Mid-Columbia Hay Growers Association/WSU Extension hay meeting and what is on the agenda?
A. The Mid-Columbia Hay Growers Association annual meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the ATEC Building at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.
We will be highlighting timothy hay production, with information on production practices, growth and development, new varieties, rotation after timothy and nitrogen fertilization of timothy.
Also included will be results from the 2013 Alfalfa Variety Trial and, of course, a report from our export panel. For more information and to register, go to www.wa-hay.org.
-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.