Episode-2245- Expert Council for 7-6-18 — 5 Comments

  1. In regards to the girdled trees. If the trees are big enough and it is caught early it is possible to graft suckers back into the main trunk above the girdle line. I had a pear tree that was about 4 inch diameter get girdled by an unsupervised Labrador puppy. By chance my dad remembered something similar when he was a kid and suggested doing this. Specifically, I took about 8 suckers, cut the tips off at about 1/8 inch diameter, Rough up the cambium 1/3 inch on the tip. Get a 1/8 drill bit and drill a hole just deep enough to put the sucker tip in. Dab a little rooting hormone and snuggly push the sucker tip Into the trunk. In my case the suckers acted as bypasses and got large enough to support the tree while still producing large pear crops every year.

  2. Charles,

    Thanks for the great answer on the OBD scanner. That certainly put me in a much more informed direction than I was headed.

    Recently lost a single spark plug, so it was very helpful to isolate which exact cylinder with an OBD scanner.

    Of note: compared it to a couple other cylinders and it had almost a white/yellow petina at the top, where the others were clean and had the normal suit buildup. Into the shop it goes cause that’s outta my wheelhouse, but a solution like this gets me back on the road by just replacing the spark plug in the interim.

    • P.S. Less than 10k Miles on this set of plugs, and that exact cylinder had gone out before.

  3. About pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. It’s not a legume, so doesn’t add N to soil. Nor does it indicate anything about soil deficiencies: in fact, I’ve usually seen it in rich, well-drained soil, that is, typical garden soil.

    Warning, I’m now going to shout for liability reasons. 🙂 ALL PARTS OF THE MATURE PLANT AND UNCOOKED SHOOTS ARE TOXIC. However, **young** shoots can be eaten, COOKED, and are said to be a very nice early vegetable. Look it up if this is of interest. Maybe Nick Ferguson or other listeners in the Southeast would comment on “poke sallet.”

    I have another use: I collect the berries to make a wool dye. I think the caller is a homesteader, so if you have sheep, or barter with those who do, this may be useful to you. It sounds as if you may have more than you can use, though, so Ben’s advice gives you options.

  4. I used to pick a LOT of Polk for my grandma.  7-8 grocery sacks a day for several days.  She would boil it (I think twice) then use it like cooked spinach.  She’d freeze it and use it throughout the year.

    It usually comes up in disturbed areas.  Especially burned root piles when trees have been dozed.  There are herb buyers for the dried root, but has never been worth it to me to dig for that.  There also is/was at least one cannery left that would buy it.  I think it was in Oklahoma.

    It is a perennial, but brush hogging it once or twice during the growing season (chop and drop) will sap a lot of energy so it won’t regrow near as tall and let other plants compete better.  Though around here it never gets thick enough to crowd other plants out except occasional small pockets.

    And in response to above, I’ve never dyed wool, but I do know the berries will dye your hand purple just as good and long as Black Walnut will dye them brown!