Western Mountains and High Plains
Favorite or New Plant
Though apricots only produce fruit every three years or so, the single, pink-white flowers that bloom in April are reward enough for growing this small to medium size flowering tree. The fall coloration of yellow and red foliage makes this a welcome tree in the home landscape. The Manchurian apricot (Prunus armenica mandshurica) is one of the hardiest and worth growing. Be sure to plant in a sunny location and very well drained soils.
Clever Gardening Technique
Wash Away Aphids
Aphids are showing up in droves on spruce and pine trees. Watch for flies and wasps becoming active around infested trees as they farm the aphids for the honeydew produced by these soft-bodied pests. One of the safest and most effective controls is a good hosing of the branches and needles. A strong stream of water will wash the wimpy aphids away. Soap preparations and botanical insecticides are also very effective, but please don't apply in the heat of the day.