Interesting example of communicating research results to different audiences:

The original research paper studying genetics of tomato flavor

—–> The article for a science-minded (but not expert) audience 

—–> The general popular press article

—–>The video (What do you think about how they planted the tomato seed? I cringed a little bit!)

As a Master Gardener, what format(s) would you like to see more of?

Ah, summer- the season of university field days.  These half-day events are a way for growers to directly connect with Oregon State University agricultural researchers.  Field days are actually held in fields-usually at an OSU research farm or an Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station.  Researchers lead tours to describe the latest results from their trial fields and demonstrate the latest equipment advances.

I was lucky to attend the strawberry, blueberry and ornamental plant breeding field days earlier this summer.  Most of the information presented is for the commercial grower (think large scale harvesting equipment, pesticide regulations, etc.).  But, there is quite a bit of information that you can use in your own garden, too.  It’s interesting to observe new cultivars that haven’t been released for sale at local garden centers, yet.  Key takeaways relevant to the home gardener are captured in the following short (<3 min) videos.  Enjoy!


OSU Extension has two free publications available for home gardeners interested in fire-resistant plantings.



Fire-resistant Plants for Home Landscapes by Amy Jo Detweiler & Stephen Fitzgerald

Available as a pdf.  Summary of this 48 page publication: As homeowners continue to build in the wild and urban interface, they must take special precautions to protect their homes. One way to do this is to create a defensible space around the home, and one important factor can be using fire-resistant plants in landscaping. While taking actions to create a defensible space do not ensure that your home will survive a wildfire, they substantially increase the chances. This publication provides a diverse list of plants that are both fire resistant and attractive.




em9103_1Fire-resistant Landscape Plants for the Willamette Valley by Brooke Edmunds, Barb Fick & Paula Lupcho

Available as a mobile app for iOS & Android (eReader plant list also available).  This app is a local supplement to the main publication, Fire-resistant Plants for Home Landscapes (link above).  Summary: The Willamette Valley is known for mild, wet winters, but summer droughts leave the valley as vulnerable to wildfires as drier areas of the state. Homeowners can decrease the potential for damage to their property from a wildfire by using fire resistant plants in landscaping. No plant is fire-proof, but some are considered fire resistant. This publication highlights fire-resistant plants that thrive in Willamette Valley growing conditions. It provides a diverse list of plants by category: groundcovers, perennials, woody shrubs and vines, and trees.




Additional publications related to wildfire prevention on forested land and/or larger acreages can be found by searching at


Slides & Resources from 6/18/2016 presentation in Lane County for the Home Orchard Management class series.  This presentation focuses on the fundamentals of pest & disease management for home orchard production.  Emphasis is on IPM and introducing Extension resources.

Slide set:  Slide deck (online show at Slide Share)


Cultivar Susceptibility to select diseases from PNW Disease Handbook (Apple, Cherry, Hazelnut, Pears)

OSU Extension publication: Managing Diseases & Insects in Home Orchards

OSU Extension catalog: Fruit & Nuts category

Online Phenology & Degree-day Models

PNW Handbooks (Diseases, Insects, Weeds)


Slides and resources from my presentation to the OSU Extension Multnomah County Master Gardeners.  Covered an overview of climate change and how that can affect the phenology of garden plants as well as changing pest pressures.

Slide deck:

Oregon Forests & Climate Change blog:

Citizen Science on Plant Phenology:

Gardening in the Global Greenhouse (from UK scientists): Summary  Full Text

Follow-up on audience questions (if I missed one, just click ‘leave a reply’ above)

Is there a list of ash tree alternatives? Choose anything but ash (Fraxinus sp.) to avoid loss to Emerald Ash Borers.  Good general source of information:  Local training from OSU Extension on potential invasive insects affecting trees:

What to spray to treat Azalea Lace Bug? Robin Rosetta with the OSU Extension Nursery IPM program has indicated that the nymphs are emerging.  This stage in the life cycle is especially vulnerable to contact insecticides (this is different from the systemic insecticide that the questioner mentioned).  Labeled insecticidal soaps and neem-based products may be a good choice.  Good coverage of the underside of leaves will be necessary.

Recent change in USDA Hardiness zones-does that indicate global warming? “Climate changes are usually based on trends in overall average temperatures recorded over 50-100 years. Because the USDA PHZM represents 30-year averages of what are essentially extreme weather events (the coldest temperature of the year), changes in zones are not reliable evidence of whether there has been global warming.”  From: