Basic Woodland Management course

Our forester, Amy Grotta is offering a class in March. Everything she puts on is excep-tionally well done. Here are all the details:

Registration now open!

This five-session course is ideal for anyone who is just starting out taking care of a wood-land property. Topics to be covered include:

· Getting started: assessing your property and site

· What’s going on in your woods? Understanding tree biology, forest ecology and habitat

· Taking care of your woods: tree planting, care for an established forest, weed control

· Getting it done: Timber sale logistics, laws and regulations

· Field trip to see first-hand examples of what you’ve learned.

Dates: Tuesday/Thursday, March 12th, 14th, 19th, 21st. Saturday field trip TBD (proba-bly March 23 or 30)

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Columbia County Extension office, 505 N. Columbia River Hwy, St. Helens

Cost: $40/individual or $50/couple sharing materials To register: https://tinyurl.com/basicwoodland2019 or call Sonia at 503-397-3462. Deadline: Friday, March 1st.

Grafting workshop March 9th

The OSU Extension office in St. Helens will be hosting a grafting workshop on March 9th from 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Participants will be taught how to graft apple scions on to dwarf apple rootstocks. Each participant will receive 5 rootstocks to work with and supplies to secure the graft. Scion varieties will be available for free or participants can bring their own varieties they wish to graft. Cost of the workshop is $15. The class is limited to 20 people so early registration will assure a place. To register or for more information, call the Extension office at 503 397-3462.

Ornamental tree pruning priorities

1. Maintain health of tree by

a. Remove all dead, dying, and diseased limbs

b. Remove crossover limbs which improves air circulation and reduces rub-bing damage

c. Remove hazardous branches before they fall

d. Correct damage caused by wind or ice breakage

2. Raise the canopy to increase pedestrian and vehicle movement and sightlines as needed

3. Rejuvenate a tree by removal of old wood in such a way as to encourage the for-mation of new wood but never remove more than 1/3 of the wood. This should only be done if there is a good reason.

4. Prune to improve the aesthetic quality of the tree without altering its natural form

5. Slow the growth of the tree by timely removing some foliage. Thinning cuts work best for this process. But if the tree is getting too big for the location, it might be better to remove the tree and start over with a tree that will fit the space.

What are the crows and starlings eating?

If you have driven around much in our agricultural or larger lot suburban areas, you probably have seen flocks of starlings and smaller groups of crows and ravens eating something in pastures and lawns. There are two insects whose larva provide excellent meals for these birds and also for robins and a few other insect eating species. The crane fly has been in Columbia County since the early 1980’s after it made its trek from Europe to Puget Sound and then down the I-5 corridor to Rainier. From there, it spread to the Coast and down the Willamette valley. It is a serious lawn problem in some years. The adult is a large mosquito-looking insect. The eggs are laid in the fall and develop over the winter where they become fat, olive-green and semi-translucent. They look vaguely like caterpillars but aren’t. Cycles of heavy rain bring them close to the surface where birds feed on them. Before starlings got to North America, crane flies were a major food source in Europe, where both are native. Now they are reunited in the Pacific Northwest. How charming, but I would rather have neither.

The other meal is a similar but more recent story. Winter cutworms reached Oregon from Europe via Nova Scotia, Michigan, and Idaho about ten years ago. Their numbers ex-ploded in 2015 with significant lawn and pasture damage in Columbia County. Grass seed fields in Washington County were hammered. They move in large groups and lay bare large areas. They are still around but we haven’t had such a large outbreak since. My feeling is that the birds have made many a meal of them as well. Since both crane fly and winter cutworm larvae are active and available all winter, it makes for well-balanced diet.

Free newsletter (what a deal!)

The Oregon State University Extension office in Columbia County publishes a monthly newsletter on gardening and farming topics (called County Living) written/edited by yours truly. All you need to do is ask for it and it will be mailed or emailed to you. Call 503 397-3462 to be put on the list. Alternatively, you can find it on the web at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/columbia/ and click on newsletters.

Many Extension publications available online

Are you putting up salsa, saving seeds, or thinking about planting grapes? OSU has a large number of its publications available for free download. Just go to https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ . Click on publications and start exploring.

The Extension Service offers its programs and materials equally to all people.

Contact information for the Extension office

Oregon State University Extension Service – Columbia County

505 N. Columbia River Highway (across from the Legacy clinic)

St. Helens, OR 97051

503 397-3462 Email: chip.bubl@oregonstate.edu


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