Oak leaves

Oak leaves.

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Q: The leaves on my large oak tree are still very light green in color, as they were when they first unfurled. Usually by this time of the season they have turned their normal dark green color. Should I be concerned? — K. S.

A: With the recent, excessive rains we have been receiving, some nutrients may have been leached from the soil. Compounded with that issue, soils in our area are mainly alkaline, meaning they have a high pH level, which may cause chlorosis, a deficiency of iron or manganese. Iron and manganese are nutrients needed by plants to form chlorophyll which is necessary for the process of photosynthesis.

A soil test is suggested to determine the pH of the soil in the area in which the oak is growing, and the results from this test will offer suggestions custom to your situation. Soil test kits are available at the UW-Extension office in Burlington and at the Ives Grove County Building.

Master Gardeners who volunteer for UW-Extension as Plant Health Advisers research and answer questions such as this one on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ives Grove Office Complex, 14200 Washington Ave., Yorkville. They are also at the Racine Farmers Market on West Boulevard on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. See them at the Racine County Fair on July 29 in the Horticulture Building from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If acting as a plant diagnostician is alluring to you, perhaps you would be interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer.

Orientation for the 2017 Master Gardener Level 1 training course for Racine and Kenosha Counties is mandatory and is scheduled for Monday, July 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Northside Library, 1500 27th Ave., Kenosha. The intention of the Master Gardener course is to train people to become volunteers for UW-Extension horticulture programming. The course is not designed as training to enter the workforce in the green industry.

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In order to become a UW-Extension volunteer, a person will need to agree to a criminal background check, take Mandatory Reporter Training, and sign a volunteer behavior agreement. There is a fee of $150 for the Master Gardener Level 1 course. The course will run for 12 weeks, meeting once per week for a three-hour session.

The course will be taught as flipped instruction, meaning the participants will need to have access to a computer to view the lecture part of the training before attending the weekly sessions. At the in-person sessions, activities related to the week’s topic will be offered.

The location for the course is the meeting room at the Somers Festival Foods, 6000 31st St., Kenosha. An afternoon and an evening session will be offered, 1 to 4 p.m. or 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The training will be offered on Wednesdays from Sept. 6 through Nov. 22. Contact me with questions via email at Jeanne.hilinskechristensen@ces.uwex.edu or contact the Racine County Extension office at 262-767-2929.

Jea

nne Hilinske-Christensen is the UW-Extension Interim Horticulture Educator for Kenosha and Racine counties. Submit plant care questions to the Master Gardener Plant Health Advisors. mastergardeners@racinecounty.com or call 886-8451.

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