- What are earthworm castings (vernacular phrases are acceptable)?
They are the fecal deposits--manure!-- of earthworms, composed mostly of soil and digested organic material. They are very rich in nutrients!
- Which manure has a higher percentage of nitrogen (circle one): steer chicken?
Chicken manure is about 3% nitrogen; steer is about 1 - 2%.
- Which of the following does not need a pollinator (such as bees) to produce fruit:
a. cantaloupe b. tomato c. peach d. squash
Tomato flowers contain both male and female parts which pollinate when the flower vibrates. Bees can pollinate them, but so can the wind (or you) shaking the plant. Cantaloupe and squash have separate male and female flowers. Peaches have both male and female parts, but require bees to bring them in contact. Quibblers note: some tomato species have female parts that stick out too far to get pollinated this way ('Currant' is an example), and DO require insects.
- Average annual rainfall in Davis is approximately ______ inches.
- Poblano peppers are called _______ when dried.
- The pH of Davis water is (circle one): alkaline neutral acidic
Alkaline (pH greater than 7)
- Where does Davis water come from (yeah, I know--"the tap"; flippant answers don't count!)?
Correct answers: wells, the ground, aquifers. Davis water is groundwater, pumped from underground aquifers via a series of wells. The water tanks around town are used to maintain the water pressure on the whole system.
- Most of our important fruit species, as well as many ornamentals, are in the genus ________.
- What is ET (as in "the ET rate")?
It is the evapo-transpiration rate, the rate at which water is used by plants and evaporated from their leaf surfaces. It is measured in inches, which are the number of gallons per square foot. One inch = 0.62 gallons per sq. ft.
- How are seedless grapes propagated?
By rooting cuttings or by grafting the seedless top onto a rootstock.
- True or False? An "indeterminate" tomato plant grows to a certain size and then stops.
False. That is what determinate tomato varieties do, such as Ace.
- The insect which cuts semi-circular holes out of the sides of leaves is the ______________________.
Alfalfa leaf-cutter bee.
- If you pound a nail in the trunk of a tree, and the tree grows three feet a year, how many feet higher on the trunk will the nail be in ten years?
Zero. Plants grow by cell division at the end of the branch.
- Which of the following plant genera have species which are native to Davis?
a. Ceanothus species b. Arctostaphylos species c. Quercus species d. Sequoia species
My original answer was:although all the genera are California natives, only Quercus has species which are native to the Davis area--specifically Quercus lobata, the Valley oak.
But thanks to Neil Rubenking (who gets extra credit points) for this answer: From the Putah Creek Wildlife Area page, we have a. YES Ceanothus cuneatus (Hook.) Nutt, b. YES Arctostaphylos Adans., c. YES Quercus berberidifolia Liebm. (and others). But no sequoias!
- Which of the following is not botanically a fruit?
a. persimmon b. tomato c. rhubarb d. fig
Rhubarb is the stem of a leaf. A fruit is the flesh which surrounds or holds the seed.
- True or False? Bougainvillea, the flowering vine, is from Bougainville Island.
False. It is native to Brazil, and it is named after the same explorer the Bougainville Island is named after.
- True or False? Evergreen trees never drop their needles or leaves.
False. The needles or leaves usually drop in their third year.
- In what form do most plants take up nitrogen?
a. ammonia b. organic c. nitrate d. urea
Nitrate; grasses can also take up nitrogen in the form of ammonia. Organic and urea forms have to convert to these forms before plants can absorb them.
- Which of the following are not directly harmful to plants in our area?
a. aphids b. ants c. gophers d. snails and slugs
Ants. There are leaf-cutting ants in the tropics, but not here. Ants may tend and protect aphids and scale insects, and their nests may disrupt the roots but they do not directly harm plants.
- Rank the following types of citrus trees from MOST to LEAST cold-hardy:
a. navel orange b. kumquat c. Eureka lemon d. Mexican lime
Kumquats are very hardy, grown even up into Oregon. Navel orange trees are rarely damaged. Eureka lemon needs protection every few years. Mexican lime is actually too tender to grow here without protection every winter.
- Define LD50 (hint: it relates to pesticides).
It is the lethal dose, measured in mg/kg of body weight, which kills 50% of the population of adult male rats in a test population. Low LD50 = more toxic, high LD50 = less toxic.
- Name two years in which we had severely freezing weather in Davis.
The most recent freezes were in1990 and 1998. The first was colder for a longer period. In both cases the freeze occurred in December, so you could say "winter 1991" and "winter 1999," since each overlapped the official start of winter. There was also a severe freeze in 1972.
- Parsley and hollyhocks are examples of (circle one): annuals perennials biennials
Biennials: plants which grow the first year, then flower and die the second year.
- A new product which kills snails and slugs and is harmless to pets is made from ______________.
Iron phosphate. The most common brand is Sluggo.
- What do the VFNT on tomato variety labels refer to?
Resistance to Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium Wilt, Nematodes, and Tobacco Mosaic Virus.
- What are the trees planted along the street on Elmwood Drive?
Zelkova serrata. They're in the Elm family (Ulmaceae), but are not true elms (Ulmus).
- Warren Roberts has been superintendent of the UC Davis Arboretum since _______.
1972. Nixon was president, bell bottom jeans were all the rage, and Dick Clark hosted New Year's Eve at Madison Square Garden.
- To what plant family does the smelly-flowered plant which bloomed recently in the Botanical Conservatory on campus belong?
Araceae, the same family as Calla lilies and Philodendrons.
- Deficiency of ___________ is common in many plants in Davis, characterized by yellowing of the leaves of new growth between the veins while the veins remain green.
Iron is the best answer. Magnesium also causes leaf-yellowing, but not as distinctly inter-veinal as iron.
- Most tomato varieties drop blossoms without setting fruit when the temperature is above ____ degrees F. 90F. Beefsteak types at 85F, which is why we don't really recommend them here.
- Our climate, with dry warm summers and cool wet winters is sometimes called a ____________ climate because of its similarity to that region.
- From what regions do the following plants come?
a. Camellia japonica ________b. Lagerstroemia indica _______c. Celtis australis ________ d. Celtis sinensis __________
a. Japan (and China) b. India c. Europe (australis means western--i.e., Europe as opposed to Asia -- not Australian) d. China.
- Which of the following holiday plants is NOT poisonous?
a. English ivy b. Mistletoe c. Poinsettia d. Holly
Poinsettias are not poisonous--not at all! The others are moderately to highly poisonous.
- The tobacco hornworm (also known as the tomato hornworm) turns into a ______________ moth.
- The pest which is dripping sticky goop onto Bob Dunning's driveway is the ____________________.
Asian Woolly hackberry aphid, a new pest of Chinese hackberry which arrived in Davis last summer.
- Which tree is used in production of silk (circle one): Floss-silk tree Mulberry Silk tree
- Name a bird which damages plants or crops in this area (hint: there is more than one correct answer!)
Crows eat grain, Mockinbirds, jays, and cedar waxwings eat fruit, and white-crowned sparrows eat seedling and the young shoots of some vegetables and ornamentals.
- True or False? Roses are native to the southern hemisphere.
False. They grow very well in Australia and New Zealand, but aren't native anywhere south of the equator.
- Circle the two plants which are most closely related (allergy sufferers take note!):
a. Morus alba b. Olea europea c. Melia azedarach d. Cannabis sativa
Morus alba (mulberry) and Cannabis sativa (marijuana) are both in the mulberry family (Moraceae). Many people are allergic to olives, and some are allergic to Melia, but each is in a different family.
- Which plant in #39 contains a word in its name which is not derived from Latin? ___
Azedarach is the Afghan native name for Melia, the China berry tree--a rare case in which taxonomists used an indigenous name.
- Name a bird which pollinates flowers.
- True or False? All bamboo plants are invasive.
False. There are many well-behaved clumping bamboos.
- Why does an Al-mond become an Aa-mond when it is harvested?
Old Yolo County joke: the harvester "shakes the L out of it!" Get it?
- Weeping Chinese Banyan is the common name for _________________________ (also known as "tree that dies indoors").
- The larvae (caterpillars) of swallowtail butterflies feed on members of the ___________ family.
Umbelliferae. Parsley, fennel, anise, celery, Queen Anne's Lace are all members.
Which of the following nuts doesn't grow on a tree?