K-State Research and Extension News
July 05, 2012
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Drought Resources Available on K-State Research and Extension Website;

K-Stater Serving International Youth Programs;

Leaf Loss Means Tree Stress

Drought Resources Available on K-State Research and Extension Website

MANHATTAN, Kan. – With daytime temperatures hovering around 100 degrees and drought conditions spreading across Kansas and other states, K-State Research and Extension has pulled together resources to help homeowners, farmers, and others manage their property and personal health.

The resources are available at Managing During Drought and Heat. The website includes links to information designed to help individuals, families, and crop and livestock producers. It also includes information focused on lawns and gardens. The resources include news releases, fact sheets, publications, and video and audio interviews with a variety of specialists.

In addition, the site includes links to the Extension Disaster Education Network; the U.S. Drought Monitor, which gives a visual image of drought conditions across the United States; and the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

K-Stater Serving International Youth Programs

COLBY, Kan. – Deryl Waldren, K-State Research and Extension 4-H youth development specialist based in northwest Kansas, will be working in Japan in July on behalf of 4-H International Exchange Programs – and the youth who benefit from them.

Waldren has extensive experience with international travel, youth development and exchanges. He currently serves as chair of the States’ 4-H International Exchange Program (S4-H) Board.

In Japan, he will be collaborating with S4-H president, Yoko Kawaguchi, from Seattle, Wash., and three Japanese exchange partner organizations (Labo, Lex and Utrek) to further international youth development.

According to Waldren, the U.S.-Japanese 4-H Exchange Program offers cultural immersion experiences and has been praised for teaching language skills. Students participating in the program also cite living with a host family as a valuable educational experience.

The U.S.-Japanese Exchange Program was founded in 1972 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, he said.

It is open to youth ages 12 to 18, and has provided international educational opportunities for more than 7,500 U.S. youth to date.

More than 48,000 American families have provided host homes for international youth. In 2011, for example, 740 U.S. families hosted international youth exchange students; 66 U.S. teens traveled abroad, he said.

“The goal is to help in the development of a global perspective and to help youth find their personal sense of place in it,” Waldren said.

More information about educational opportunities in Kansas 4-H, the U.S. and larger world is available online at Kansas 4-H and at K-State Research and Extension offices throughout the state.       



Leaf Loss Means Tree Stress

MANHATTAN, Kan. – This summer’s yellowing and falling trees leaves are signs of stress, as are the browning leaves that stay in place.

Trees are reflecting the unusually warm, droughty weather that started last summer.

“Adequate water remains vital. With that, many trees can survive, if they also have enough stored energy reserves to make it through to next spring. Their twigs and buds will tell the story,” said Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist.

Typically, leaf loss isn’t serious if it simply results in general thinning, Upham said.

“Trees often set more leaves in spring than they can support during summer’s weather. So, they reduce leaf numbers,” he explained. “This summer’s thinning could look a little worrisome, though, unless you remember trees probably lost some roots over the past year.”

During extreme summers, certain trees (e.g., the hackberry) will drop all leaves and enter summer dormancy.

“Dormant trees should still have supple twigs and healthy buds,” Upham said. “If so, the effect on tree health is likely to be minor. The tree should leaf out normally next spring. 

“However, if any section of the tree has brittle twigs and dead buds, that part, at least, is dead.”

When trees finally can’t keep up with their own moisture demands, they quickly die – seemingly overnight. Their leaves turn brown, but may remain attached to the tree.

“Again, though, twigs and buds are the most important clue to a tree’s health,” Upham said. “So long as buds are alive and twigs are supple, a tree has life. You should wait to see how it responds next spring.”

He recommends tree owners talk to their nearest Extension agent and/or consult K-State’s new factsheets about best watering practices for trees and shrubs. Those factsheets are on the Web at Watering Newly Planted and Young Trees and Shrubs and Watering Established Trees and Shrubs.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Elaine Edwards
K-State Research & Extension News

Contributing writers: Mary Lou Peter, Nancy Peterson and Kathleen Ward