Fruit Trees

Fig Propagation and Garden Tour – Jun 20

Please join ABG for a very special event, the first of our “off site” summer season.  Jasmine Tokuda, a very successful Alameda grower of fruit trees and vines, both common and rare, is opening her garden for the evening. Jasmine will describe and demonstrate her technique for propagating fig trees through air-layering.  Jasmine will then lead a tour of her garden, giving us a peek into her tips and tricks for growing those varieties that challenge us in Alameda.

We invite attendees to stay for potluck and live music after the demo and tour. Because of the size of the garden, attendance is limited.  Preregistration is required at
If the event is already full when you try to sign up, please email to be put on the waiting list.

Street parking is extremely difficult, and carpooling is encouraged.  If you are disabled or are coming in a carpool of 3 or more, email at least three days in advance, and we’ll arrange for nearby parking.

Asian Citris Phyllids – Inspect Your Citrus Trees Now!

The Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing (HLB) disease are new and frightening citrus pests. The psyllid is a tiny mottled brown insect, about the size of an aphid.  It damages citrus directly by feeding on new leaf growth. More seriously, the insect spreads the bacterium associated with HLB.  HLB can kill a citrus tree in as little as five years, and there is no known cure. The only way to protect trees is to prevent spread of HLB in the first place, by controlling psyllid populations and removing and destroying any infected trees.

To help detect the disease, home citrus growers are encouraged to go out with a magnifying glass or hand lens and look closely at new citrus growth, Look for the various stages of the psyllid: small yellow eggs, sesame-seed sized yellow young with curly white tubules or aphid-like adults that perch with their hind quarters angled up.” Pictures of the Asian citrus psyllids and its life stages are on the UC ANR website.  If you find signs of the insect, call the California Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Exotic Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.

Fruit Tree Maintenance Alert

ABG’s April 2016 Education Meeting will focus on Spring Fruit Tree Care, but you may want to do some preventive maintenance before that meeting. Co-presenter Jasmine Tokuda recommends that fruit tree owners take some time this weekend or early in the next week to remove overwintering mulch or leaf detritus under fruit trees. This winter’s decent rainfall has given our trees a good washing. Now it’s time to get rid of any nymphs or larvae that might be resting in that old mulch or leaf debris to discourage Whitefly infestations come the warmer months.

It’s best to dispose of the old mulch or debris in the green recycling container rather than your compost bin to discourage the Whitefly life cycle in your yard. Then replace with fresh mulch. Jasmine recommends spreading 3 to 4 inches of new mulch under the tree from dripline inwards to 6 to 12 inches from the tree’s trunk. Don’t put mulch all the way up to the tree trunk- that can cause other problems.

The island’s citrus and persimmon trees are especially vulnerable to Whitefly attack, but most fruit trees can suffer from attack in vulnerable years.

For more great information on spring fruit tree care in Alameda, join us on April 11 for the full spring tree fruit care presentation from Jasmine and Marla Koss.

Spring Fruit Tree Care

blossomswith Jasmine Tokuda and Marla Koss

April 11, 2016, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2512 Blanding Ave., Alameda

Having had a nice drink of water, are those fruit trees in your yard now blossoming?  Are you wondering what you need to do so they’ll produce for you this summer? This session will address what you should be doing for your trees now to help keep them healthy, avoid summer pests, and maximize the fruit you want!

About our speakers:  Jasmine Tokuda and Marla Koss are experienced Alameda gardeners, successfully raising a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in their front and back yards, including many fruits that are hard to grow in Alameda.

View a PDF of the presentation here.

An Apple a Day, for 47 Years

Apple Picking Season Is Here. Don’t You Want More Than a McIntosh?

DECORAH, Iowa — In the early spring of 1983, Dan Bussey started a file on his computer. The event would prove to be momentous in the annals of American pomology, though no one realized it at the time, including him.

Mr. Bussey, a college dropout and restaurant-supply salesman, had recently planted an orchard in his hometown, Edgerton, Wisc. “I was putting together a file of all the old apples I came across, just out of self-interest,” he said a few weeks ago.

The exercise took some doing. His $2,500 PC (not an Apple) possessed a 40-megabyte hard drive, the computing equivalent of amnesia. And he needed to program the machine with MS-DOS to make it run WordPerfect. (For younger readers, WordPerfect was the writing technology that replaced cave painting with aurochs blood.)

Three decades later, that file — the exact same file — is the manuscript for a seven-volume, almost 3,000-page encyclopedia called “The Illustrated History of Apples in North America.” Mr. Bussey’s personal list now encompasses all 17,000 apple varieties known to have grown between the years 1623 and 2000. (The series, published by JAK KAW Press, should begin to come out in January.)

To continue reading the original article from the New York Times, click here.

Selecting and Planting Fruit Trees on the Island of Alameda

with Eve Holguin, Irene Rakochy and Linda Carloni

Monday, November 10, 2014 (6:30 – 7:30 PM)
Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave, Alameda,

Join us for a lively discussion about selecting and planting fruit trees in our Island City. The fruit trees planted throughout our city are a tremendous legacy from the Alamedans that came before us. We hope to inspire you to plant your own new fruit tree and give you some tips to make you more successful. Bring your experience to share and your questions for our group to address!

Eve Holguin, Irene Rakochy and Linda Carloni are all Alameda County Master Gardeners from the Class of 2014 and active ABG volunteers. They all grow fruit trees in their yards, with varying degrees of success.

Download Part 1 of their presentation. (PDF)

Download Part 2 of their presentation. (PDF)

Download a list of Resources for Growing Fruit Trees (PDF)

Apple Tree Pruning

Sunday, October 20, 2013 from 1 to 3PM

Many years ago in our city, forward looking residents planted fruit trees and we are enjoying the fruits of their labors today. We can give the gift of maintaining those healthy trees for current and future residents by ensuring that we are engaging in proactive maintenance of our fruit trees. Join us for a fun, educational and hands on two hour workshop where you will learn how to:

  • Prune a mature apple tree
  • Identify common diseases in apple trees
  • Apply remedies to disease apple trees

This is a great educational opportunity for our Project PICK gleaners and for friends of Alameda Backyard Growers who have an interest in picking or have an apple tree in their own yard.

Bring pickers, gloves and pruners if you have your own.  We will meet at the Alameda Food Bank and then walk to the location of our beautiful apple tree.

To download a copy of the apple pruning presentation click here.

Citrus Tree Pruning

Presentation by Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich

July 28, 2013

Many years ago in our city, forward looking residents planted fruit trees and we are enjoying the fruits of their labors today. We can give the gift of maintaining those healthy trees for current and future residents by ensuring that we are engaging in proactive maintenance of our fruit trees. Join us for a fun, educational and hands on two hour workshop where you will learn how to take care of citrus trees.

Download a PDF of the presentation here.