Reporter Gary Taubes makes the case against sugar; we explore baklava, from Syria to Brooklyn; Dan Pashman debunks restaurant-etiquette myths; and we share our recipe for Thai barbecue chicken.
Trimming ficus trees now is a bad idea
The recent four-day freeze damaged ficus trees across the Valley. If you’re wondering what to do with the tree in your yard? Just leave it alone.
NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Ficus trees lose about a foot of growth after a freezing cold snap. The leaves also burn and shrivel, making it look dry and unhealthy. Experts warn -- you should resist trimming it. Ficus trees are native to India and were brought here by California developers looking to spruce Valley housing developments about 30 years ago. The open landscape made them frost susceptible. But those growing in enclosed areas, like the ficus trees in downtown Tempe, can withstand colder weather. Brian Kissinger is a horticulturalist at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.
BRIAN KISSINGER: At this time you can see the trees are brown but if you scratch the bark, if you check the bark, the bark is probably green. But, at this stake in the game you don’t want to do any pruning or anything because we could have another event before the end of February.
ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Kissinger says it’s best to wait until March to do the trimming.