The New Age Landscaper

Ryan Costello, Sustainable Plant Systems – landscape design and construction major, has established a new blog >

Ryan, who was a student in the PLNTPTH 4597 course last spring, is posting ideas, tips and inspiration for the landscape and garden.  His latest blog features witch hazel, a beautiful shrub this time of year.  Witch hazel is also an interesting plant and has been used for medicinal purposes.  You’ll learn about witch hazel and much more on Ryan’s new blog, so check out


California Wildfires Rage On

by Monica Lewandowski

Frightening scenarios continue to unfold in California as wildfires – more than a dozen currently burning – burn the state’s parched, drought-stricken wilderness (California wildfire map).

The Rough Fire, roughly 30 miles east of Fresno covering 138,000 acres, threatens giant Sequoias – including trees  in the Kings Canyon National Park.

I grew up in the Fresno area and visited Kings Canyon in the summer.  The drought has stressed trees, making them more vulnerable to insects and disease.   The fire, which was sparked by lightning on July 31, is reported 40% contained (as of 9/15/15).  Cooler weather has helped firefighters, who have been working relentlessly for weeks (read more).

Area residents are impacted by ash and smoke, with hospitals reporting an unprecedented increase in respiratory problems (KQED News).

Stories, photos and videos tell more of the story of the Rough and Butte Fires > KPCC.