Issue: January 18, 1999

Xeriscape Conferences


I think living and gardening in the desert is interesting and challenging. However, I don't think we should use water as profusely as I see people doing. Where can I learn more about gardening with less water?


There are conferences held in various locations in the Southwest which deal specifically with gardening, especially landscape gardening in our arid environment.

The Xeriscape Council of New Mexico is sponsoring a "Xeriscape Conference" in Albuquerque on March 5 and 6. Speakers for this conference include local authorities as well as nationally and world renowned experts in Xeriscape. Topics will include information for professionals who deal with large scale landscapes and homeowners who are interested in how to landscape their home grounds.

For more information about this conference, call (505) 341-8732 for registration materials and a descriptive flyer. You may also find information about this conference on the World Wide Web at

Other conferences are frequently held in El Paso, Texas and in Arizona. For information about upcoming conferences in West Texas contact the El Paso County Cooperative Extension Service at (915) 859-7725.

Some conferences in Arizona include:

  • The 1999 Southwestern Low Desert Gardening and Landscaping Conference on July 30 - 31, at the Camelback Inn. For more information contact Leslie L. Honaker at (602) 759-6741 or at the website which will be up at
  • The Sixth Annual High Desert Gardening & Landscaping Conference on February 11-12, 1999, in Sierra Vista, Arizona is sponsored by the Cochise County Master Gardeners Association in conjunction with The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. For more information contact Cheri & Chris Melton (520) 458-8278 ext. 141 or e-mail
  • You can also check the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Service website They try to list information and links to upcoming conferences on their Events page.

New pecan trees from nut or stem?


Does a pecan tree come from the nut, or does it come from a clipping off the tree? I have heard that clippings are taken from trees, but I have no success getting them to form roots. How do you get a pecan tree started?


The pecan nut is the seed of the pecan tree and is the source of new trees. A clipping (cutting) from a pecan will not form roots if inserted into the soil, so unlike some plants a cutting may not be used to start a new tree. However, a branch or bud cut from one tree may be grafted onto another tree to make the second tree have the characteristics of the tree which supplied the branch. This is used when a desirable variety is grafted onto a seedling which usually does not produce a superior variety of nut.

So if you were thinking of rooting a cutting of pecan as you may grapes or roses, it won't work. If you are interested in grafting, yes it is very successful.

Notice: pruning time

Notice: Now is a good time for pruning deciduous trees and shrubs in New Mexico. Wait until two to four weeks before the last frost to prune grapes and roses, however. If you have a computer and access to the World Wide Web, more information regarding pruning may be found in the back issues of this Yard and Garden Column which are archived at the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service Web Site at

Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Horticulture Specialist, in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, email:, office: 505-865-7340, ext. 113.


For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page at Desert Blooms and the NMSU Horticulture Publications page.

Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden - Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at, or at the Desert Blooms Facebook.

Please copy your County Extension Agent and indicate your county of residence when you submit your question!