K-State Research and Extension News
Advice on tree care issues, tree selection and planting, and upcoming events and publications from the Kansas Forest Service.
 
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Tree Tales
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- 11/26/2014
A number of homeowners have taken to the appearance of red maples, and in fact have planted them in their landscapes.  K-State forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust understands the appeal of red maples…but this tree really struggles in Kansas’ winter conditions.  On this week’s Tree Tales, he talks about the concerns associated with red maples.

- 11/21/2014
A real Christmas tree can give your house a fresh holiday scent. Kansas State forestry specialist Charlie Barden talks about selecting and managing a fresh-cut Christmas tree.  The main thing to concentrate on is consistently supplying the tree with sufficient moisture during its holiday stay indoors.

K-State forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust addresses site preparation for trees to be planted in the spring. Readying the site now will contribute to that tree getting off to a much better start right after planting. Armbrust gives examples of what one can do for sites before harsh winter conditions arrive.

Anyone with an interest in land resources management will stand to gain from participating in the 2015 Kansas Natural Resources Conference, according to K-State forester Charlie Barden.  This two-day event will take place in Wichita on January 29th -30th.  This week’s Tree Tales covers the details of that broad-based conference. 

Streams and rivers in Kansas were once lined with forested areas.  However, over time, those riparian areas have given way to other uses.  That prompts K-State riparian forester Mitch Lundeen to remind landowners of the value of riparian forests, which is manifested in several ways.  Further, he encourages landowners to take the initiative to restore and preserve those tree resources.
 

A woody shrub called the bush honeysuckle is invading many wooded areas in parts of Kansas, competing directly with valued tree species.  Fall is a great time to control this problem, according to K-State forester Charlie Barden.  This week, he talks about the various means of doing so.  

- 10/16/2014
The chill of fall means that the home wood-burning season is here.  Nothing takes the edge off a cold day like a fire in the wood stove or fireplace, says K-State forester Charlie Barden.  And he says that one should be familiar with the heating capabilities of the various tree species before purchasing wood or cutting one’s own.  This week, he offers some helpful guidelines.
 

- 10/10/2014
Many landowners are surprised at the market value of standing timber found on their property.  And the demand for local timber is on the rise, according to K-State forester Bob Atchison.  This week, he offers several seller’s tips on marketing timber, advising landowners to take their time before leaping into any sort of marketing agreement.

- 10/3/2014
For many homeowners, nothing beats the warmth of wood-burning heat in the cold of winter.  Numerous wood heating systems are available on the market, but the homeowner should know a few things about them before investing.  K-State forester Charlie Barden discusses several of those this week.                                      

Properly managing tree resources is a responsibility shared by all landowners, as K-State forester Bob Atchison sees it.  To that end, the USDA’s Forest Stewardship Program assists landowners financially in their tree management efforts.  That program is the central topic of this week’s Tree Tales.                                      

- 9/19/2014
The season is changing, and the trees will begin changing color very soon.  While Kansas is not as renowned for its fall color as some other states, there still plenty of opportunities to take in spectacular displays in this state, according to K-State forester Charlie Barden.  He shares examples of what to look for in the coming weeks.               

Shoring up areas around reservoirs and streams with conservation trees remains a major cause of the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University.  Numerous projects are underway, in cooperation with landowners, to renovate and stabilize such riparian areas.  This week, forester Bob Atchison of K-State talks about the significance of that initiative.      

Whether for conservation purposes or for home landscaping, the fall is an excellent time for planting trees.  Certain guidelines do need to be followed to assure a successful planting.  K-State forester Charlie Barden coves those fall tree-planting ground rules this week.

Landowners who are serious about managing their woodland resources will often hire the services of a certified forest contractor.  K-State forester Bob Atchison endorses that idea. And he urges landowners to fully formalize that agreement with the contractor.  Here, he covers some of the finer details of that.

A marriage of conservation forestry and hay crop production will be on full display at the 2014 Fall Forestry Field Day to be hosted by the Kansas Forest Service on October 16th.  The location will be near Valley Falls in northeast Kansas, and as K-State forester Charlie Barden outlines here, the field day will be a terrific learning opportunity for landowners.    

Research in previous years has documented the actual benefits in crop production from having a tree windbreak or shelterbelt along the field border.  The Kansas Forest Service at K-State is about to embark on a fresh new round of research on this factor, called the Great Plains Crop Yield Study.  K-State forester Bob Atchison talks about that initiative, inviting landowners to participate.

- 8/8/2014
An agro-forestry concept called “alley cropping” will be on full display at the 2014 Fall Forestry Field Day to be hosted by the Kansas Forest Service on Thursday, October 16th.  The location will be the Buchanan Tree Farm near Valley Falls in northeast Kansas.  K-State forester Bob Atchison previews the field day, urging landowners to attend and learn about alley cropping and other tree management topics.

- 8/1/2014
In the early history of Kansas, natives relied heavily upon trees growing along stream banks for their very survival.  K-State forester Charlie Barden explains how trees remain an important part of everyday living, and what can happen when trees are removed for agricultural purposes.
 

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is now providing financial assistance to producers who are looking to make improvements and renovations to their woodlands. K-State forester Bob Atchison covers the eligibility requirements for receiving E-Q-I-P funds for these purposes.
 

Over the last several years, drought has ravaged tree resources in the Great Plains and the West.  Even hardy species like eastern red cedar have suffered mightily in the dry conditions.  The Kansas Forest Service stands ready to assist landowners in restoring shelterbelts and other tree plantings, as outlined this week by K-State forester Bob Atchison.

- 7/11/2014
The benefits of a well-located shade tree go far beyond merely providing a cool place to hang out during hot summer days. And now is a good time to take note of where a shade tree would fit in the home landscape.  K-State forestry specialist Charlie Barden discusses that this week.

When purchasing firewood, it is best use local firewood and avoid transporting it from far distances. That way, there will be fewer risks of bringing unwanted pests with it.  Forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust of Kansas State University justifies the reasons for doing so.

- 6/26/2014
Trees provide a number of benefits to the environment. Some trees may require different management requirements when they become damaged. K-State forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust explains some of the methods that can be used to correct tree damage problems.

Well-placed, well-managed conservation trees can be compatible with native grasslands.  That has been proven by one northeast Kansas farmer, who recently received the 2014 Kansas Agro-forestry Award.  This week, K-State forester Bob Atchison tells what this producer has done to harmonize trees and grasses.

Despite recent rainfall amounts, hot temperatures can leave trees and lawns dry. It is important to water frequently and also use proper methods to gain best results. K-State forester Charlie Barden provides guidelines on watering trees during the summer heat.

Kansas is scheduled to host the National Walnut Council Meeting June 8th-11th in Manhattan. This meeting will give participants the opportunity to learn more about Kansas walnut tree resources through seminars and field trips. This national meeting is held in Kansas once in about every 10 years. K-State forester Charlie Barden provides a preview.

- 5/30/2014
Hedge trees were originally introduced in Kansas as a “living fence” for livestock.  However, this tree has become an invasive species in many Kansas pastures.  On this week’s Tree Tales, K-State forester Bob Atchison talks about the history of the hedge tree, and that it can be managed successfully for its conservation value.

Every spring, many oaks in eastern Kansas succumb to a disease called oak wilt. This disease can quickly cause decline and death.  Currently, oak wilt is only found in the eastern-third of Kansas where it threatens several species in the red oak group. Ryan Armbrust, forest health specialist with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University, says there are few options for treatment of infected trees, with removal and destruction the recommended course of action.
 

Forest stewardship is the careful management of the woodlands that we have been entrusted to care for. However, these woodlands are often neglected. Bob Atchison, a forester with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University, explains how landowners can receive assistance to help manage and care for the trees on their property through the Forest Stewardship Program.
 

Kansas has received some timely rain this spring, providing some relief from continuing drought conditions. However, we can’t rely solely on Mother Nature to provide the necessary rainfall to keep our trees and vegetation healthy and vigorous for years to come. In advance of the summer heat, Ryan Armbrust, a health specialist with the Kansas Forest Service, offers several tips for increasing the available soil moisture for landscape trees and shrubs.

Older landscape shade trees can be safely pruned in early summer to help control size and growth. Pruning can also prevent heavier branches from rubbing against the house or roof and removing troublesome branches can make it easier to back out of the driveway or to mow the lawn. K-State Research and Extension forester Charles Barden offers some tips for early summer pruning.
 

Black walnut is the most valuable timber species. In Kansas, black walnut accounts for the majority of the veneer harvested. Bob Atchison with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University, discusses the value of black walnut and previews the upcoming National Walnut Council meeting being held in Manhattan in June.
 

The Kansas Forest Service, Kansas Chapter of the Walnut Council and the Kansas Forestry Association are hosting the 2014 National Walnut Council Meeting in June in Manhattan. The meeting will feature nationally recognized and local experts in the growth, culture and utilization of black walnut and other fine quality hardwoods. Forester Bob Atchison previews the meeting and how to register to attend.
 

By all accounts, this spring is about two weeks behind normal and about four weeks behind last year’s early spring. Although Mother Nature may have delayed the bloom of some plants and trees this year, K-State Research and Extension forester Charles Barden says it’s still a great time to take a walk in the woods and enjoy what nature has to offer.
 

After two years of drought and minimal prescribed burning, an active burning season is expected this spring – with as many as two million acres being burned in the Flint Hills region. K-State Extension forester Charles Barden explains why the burns are necessary and discusses some of the restrictions being implemented to reduce the amount of smoke that’s added to essential burning.
 

Spring is a great time to plant trees. EQIP – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program – provides landowners with funds to help cover some of the costs of planting new trees for conservation purposes or to remove old trees. K-State forester Bob Atchison talks about EQIP and how landowners can use agroforestry techniques to promote conservation on their property without hurting their bottom line.
 

The Forest Stewardship Program, sponsored through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University, provides technical assistance to landowners to encourage and enable active long-term forest management. Bob Atchison, rural forestry program coordinator with the Kansas Forest Service, explains how the program operates in Kansas.
 

The Kansas Forest Service offers low-cost tree and shrub seedlings for use in conservation plantings. The seedlings can be used for a variety of conservation purposes, including windbreaks, woodlots, riparian plantings, wildlife habitat and Christmas tree plantations. K-State Research and Extension forester Charles Barden discusses the spring distribution and how to order seedlings.
 

A mild late-winter day is a good time to trim shrubs and small trees in the home landscape. K-State Research and Extension forester Charles Barden discusses how the trimmings, especially those from fruit trees, can be forced to produce buds and blossoms.
 
 

Kansas has exceptional outdoor hunting. The Kansas Forest Service is constantly partnering with others to enhance public land wildlife habitat to make Kansas hunting and fishing even better. Watershed forester Billy Beck discusses some of the many projects the Kansas Forest Service is currently tackling.
 
 

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