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Start now to keep backyard trees growing just peachy

EVERETT, Wash. – The challenge of harvesting tree-ripened, juicy peaches from backyard trees in Western Washington is often complicated by the litany of diseases affecting these marvelous summer delicacies. From brown rot to peach leaf curl the list is long and appears overwhelming. But with a managed program of care and properly timed treatments it is possible to reap a harvest of those heavenly tasting golden orbs, in spite of the challenges of a cool, wet marine climate.

Join Washington State University Snohomish County Extension for the first in its Bugs & Blights class series for 2009. It’s an opportunity to learn what steps landscape professionals and homeowners should take throughout the year to minimize the attacks on this favorite summer fruit.

The class will be offered three times on Wednesday, January 28th: At 10 am, 1 pm, and 6:30 pm. The location is WSU Snohomish County Extension Cougar Auditorium in McCollum Park, 600 – 128th St SE in Everett.

In this two-hour workshop you’ll learn about peach tree diseases like bacterial canker, leaf curl, and blight. Utilizing hands-on labs and lectures, WSU horticulturists will help students recognize the difference between freeze damage, blight, and other diseases, and most importantly what treatments to apply for both organic and conventional gardens.

Cost is $20 per person or $10 for active Master Gardeners. To register call (425) 338-2400, e-mail or download the form at and mail with your check. Washington State Department of Agriculture pesticide recertification credits as well as Washington State Nursery and Landscaping Association Certified Professional Horticulturist credits are available.

Two WSU Snohomish County Extension veterans, horticulturist Sharon Collman and entomologist Dave Pehling, will teach the class.

Collman leads the extension horticultural education program, including assistance to Master Gardeners and garden writers, as well as advising on production, marketing and pest management to the nursery and landscape industries. She also provides expertise in plant problem diagnosis, beneficial insects, entomology networking, and backyard biodiversity.

Pehling has been studying and teaching about insects for more than thirty years. Special interests include beekeeping, insect pest management, and pollinators. In addition to entomological work, Dave teaches vertebrate pest management for the WSU Master Gardener and Livestock Advisor programs in several Western Washington counties.

For more information, contact Sharon Collman,, (425) 357-6025.


Media Contacts

Sharon Collman, WSU Snohomish County Extension Entomologist, 425-357-6025