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Watching out for the Emerald Ash Borer & other Invasives

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 9:19am
Large purple plastic triangular boxes illustrate monitoring activity

by Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties and Wyatt Williams, ODF Invasive Species Specialist

A large purple box hanging in the trees along Airlie Road last year caught my attention at 55 mph. Pulling over I recognized it as a monitoring trap for one of the current invasive species threatening Oregon’s woodlands. Luckily ODF and others are watching out.

The emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect from Asia, has killed an estimated 100 million trees and caused more than $3.5 billion dollars’ worth of damage and property value losses in the eastern U.S. since its arrival in the 1990′s. All 16 North American ash species are threatened with extinction, including our native Oregon ash. The furthest west population yet detected is in Boulder, Colorado – a day’s drive or so from Oregon in a motor home. Originally introduced to the U.S. via wood packaging material, it is now spread across the continent in infested firewood.


With summer travel and camping season upon us, you can do your part by educating people about the dangers of moving firewood. There is a whole national campaign about this: Don’t Move Firewood. If like me, you enjoy bossing people around, insist your visitors not transport wood!

ODF is working with Oregon State University and OSU Extension, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the US Forest Service, APHIS, and Washington Department of Natural Resources in order to ‘save our ash.’

Of course this is not the only invasive we worry about, as human travel and commerce create ever increasing opportunities for insects and diseases to jump around. Chestnut blight and Port-Orford-cedar root rot are some older examples and sudden oak death a more recent arrival. Here in the Willamette Valley, people are becoming aware of a problem in black walnuts. Here is a good article about the thousand canker disease which is killing black walnuts in the area that was just posted last week.

Wow.  That is a lot of grim information.  We’ll try to find something happier next time…..

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Timber Cruising and Forest Inventory:

Forestry Events - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 4:31pm
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 5:00 PM - Thursday, July 10, 2014 2:00 PM

A Hands-on Workshop and Field Day for Family Forest Owners

This program will provide basic knowledge and skills needed to cruise stands of trees and create a reliable forest inventory. We'll answer the questions, "why cruise", and talk about cruising principles, types of cruises, cruise methods, designing a cruise and calculations.  After the Wednesday evening classroom session, the course will move to the field on Thursday for "hands-on exercises" .

There will be some walking on uneven terrain on Thursday so wear good boots.  Also, bring your own water and plan for varying weather conditions.

Instructors:  Bob Parker & Paul Oester, OSU Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Agents; Steve McConnell, WSU Extension Forester.

Wednesday Evening - Pizza and drinks will be provided

Thursday - Bring your own lunch

Society of American Foresters CFE Credits = 4

Yellowjackets

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 3:17pm

by Chal Landgren, OSU Extension Christmas Tree Specialist

Anyway it is spelled- Yellowjacket, Yellow Jacket or Yellow-Jacket, these insects are feared and hated not only by picnickers, but by many working in the woods, and in Christmas trees.  For Christmas tree growers they can inflict physical and economic pain, since they are unwanted hitchhikers in many shipping destinations.

First some biology- These are not honeybees. Rather, two predatory insects in the genus Vespula, whose common names are the Western Yellowjacket and German Yellowjacket. The Western

Comparison of queens. Photo courtesy ODA

Yellowjacket (V. pensylvanica) is a common native.  Yes, they are predators, but also scavengers, which makes them a pest at summer BBQs and picnics.  The German yellowjacket (V. germanica)  is an uncommon non-native species (not wanted in Mexico).  Both these insects feed on other insects as well as nectar, honeydew and fruit.

Queens will overwinter in protected locations above or below ground and emerge in May. After the queen emerges she will begin her colony which eventually can include hundreds to thousands of workers. Fertilized queens will emerge again in October or November. Males (stingless) begin to emerge in large numbers in late July.

Control strategies are very time sensitive. Some growers have observed fewer nests being formed if they can get out their lure traps before the females start forming colonies (May).  If you can trap a queen you can begin to control the populations. Once the females begin colonies they do not fly and the lure traps catch only workers or males.  Workers can fly ¼ mile or so from the nest in search of food. That “food” can be honeydew from aphid feeding on Christmas Trees, if present.

Where they conflict with work or recreation, nests can be targeted with insecticides. The PNW Insect Management Handbook reminds us wasp nests should be treated in evening when wasps are less active with a pesticide formulated specifically for wasp nests (rather than gasoline), and also that some professionals in the PNW collect wasps to be used in the manufacture of allergy injections. Find more here.

There are registered baiting options that can be useful around homes, campgrounds and zoos. The insecticide Onslaught is a microencapsulated version of esfenvalerate (a pyrethroid) is approved for use in bait stations. A company out of Bend, Alpine Pest Management, makes the bait stations.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Caneberry Field Day

Small Farms Events - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:31pm
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Caneberry Field Day: July 9th, 1-5:30pm. Topics will include:

  • Research updates on the organic blackberry research program (weed management, irrigation, fertilizer source, and cold hardiness will be addressed)
  • Learning about sampling time for primocane tissue nutrient testing in blackberry
  • Marketing caneberries to chefs
  • Pesticide registation update
  • Redefined IPM programs after SWD
  • Meet WSU's new berry crop scientist
  • Breeding for machine harvest in raspberry
  • Evaluating and walking through the caneberry breeding plots.
Agenda and more information here: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/NWREC/sites/default/files/pg_programs/berry/documents/caneberry_field_day_2014.pdf
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Shop at the Dock takes mystery out of seafood buying

Breaking Waves - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:36pm

NEWPORT – With summer at its peak, so is the craving for fresh, local seafood – but first-time buyers sometimes have questions about purchasing directly from local fishermen.

Enter Oregon Sea Grant’s Fishery Extension Agent, Ruby Moon, who will provide four free, guided “Shop at the Dock” seafood-buying tours this month from the commercial fishing docks in Newport.

Tours start at noon on July 11, 19, 24 and 30 at the entrance of Port Dock 5 on the Newport bayfront. Buyers should bring:

  • An ice chest filled with ice
  • Cash for purchasing seafood
  • Their questions about direct market vessels and choosing and buying fresh seafood.

Learn more:

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Independence Day

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 4:26pm
Friday, July 4, 2014 (all day event)
National Holiday. Campus closed. Enjoy a 3 day weekend!

Caneberry Field Day

Small Farms Events - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 4:30pm
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

A focus on the breeding program & research on conventional and organic production systems for commercial growers.  

More information on the event will be forthcoming.  Please hold this date on your calendar.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Managing Dryland for Livestock-June 30

Small Farms Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 4:31pm
Monday, June 30, 2014 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The majority of land in Jackson County is not irrigated, and yet, few appreciate drylands as the resource they can be. Learn about managing these non-irrigated lands for forage and livestock production, including managing the seed bank, what species are desirable, fertilizing, nutritional value, and grazing management. Also discussed will be the myriad of benefits well-managed drylands offer to the watershed and the entire community. Insturctor: Angela Boudro
Pre-registration preferred. Call 541-776-7371 to register after June 29.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Principles of IPM will be covered including monitoring plants to identify pests and managing pest problems using all available strategies (cultural, physical, biological, and chemical). Emphasis is on using the easiest, least expensive, least disruptive and least toxic methods first.

Drip Irrigation

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Learn all about drip irrigation for the home gardener with Master Gardener John Fischer.

Candelled ---- Plant Propagation

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Sustainable Landscape Training - Lane County

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - Thursday, June 26, 2014 (all day event)

Learn to create a sustainable/green/ecological landscape. Participants will learn to utilize landscape practices that can be applied to their own yards and will benefit by improving their soil biology and reducing erosion. Class runs both days, June 25-26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration form and credit card payment can be found on the website:

extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/gardens

2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Thursday, June 5, 2014 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Master Food Preserver program trains and certifies volunteers in food safety, food preservation, and food security.  In return for over 48 hours of training, volunteers "pay back" hours by assisting others in learning correct food handling and preservation procedures.

Who can apply?  Anyone interested in healthy food who is able to commit to a 48 hour weekly training program AND in return, volunteer at least 48 hours during the food preservation season.

Registration deadline:  April 18, 2014

For an application and detailed schedule contact:  Janice Greg or Lenore Chavez at the Linn County Extension Office (541) 967-3871

Training is held at the

Linn County Extension Office104 4th St, Albany, OR 

2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Master Food Preserver program trains and certifies volunteers in food safety, food preservation, and food security.  In return for over 48 hours of training, volunteers "pay back" hours by assisting others in learning correct food handling and preservation procedures.

Who can apply?  Anyone interested in healthy food who is able to commit to a 48 hour weekly training program AND in return, volunteer at least 48 hours during the food preservation season.

Registration deadline:  April 18, 2014

For an application and detailed schedule contact:  Janice Greg or Lenore Chavez at the Linn County Extension Office (541) 967-3871

Training is held at the

Linn County Extension Office104 4th St, Albany, OR 

2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Gardening Events - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:23am
Thursday, June 19, 2014 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Master Food Preserver program trains and certifies volunteers in food safety, food preservation, and food security.  In return for over 48 hours of training, volunteers "pay back" hours by assisting others in learning correct food handling and preservation procedures.

Who can apply?  Anyone interested in healthy food who is able to commit to a 48 hour weekly training program AND in return, volunteer at least 48 hours during the food preservation season.

Registration deadline:  April 18, 2014

For an application and detailed schedule contact:  Janice Greg or Lenore Chavez at the Linn County Extension Office (541) 967-3871

Training is held at the

Linn County Extension Office104 4th St, Albany, OR 

What’s causing all that die-back in Incense-cedar?

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 2:44pm
A ratty-looking incense-cedar near Corvallis

by Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties

You’ve probably noticed that incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) is looking pretty ratty in the mid-Willamette Valley this year.
Driving around, I am seeing many trees showing a mosaic of healthy and dead foliage. The dead foliage is reddish to muddy brown and may be individual fronds or small branches. It often seems to be in the lower parts of the tree. Symptoms seem to vary dramatically between trees, even adjacent ones.
So what is going on? Quite likely any of several things.
Incense-cedar rust  is a common and familiar foliar disease. It is most recognizable in the spring, when it produces orange gobs of jelly-like goo on the infected fronds. It commonly kills small sprays of leaves and causes a loss of tree vigor in severe cases.
Then there is the less-well-known incense-cedar branch canker  which has been showing up in our area recently. It too can cause branch die-back by killing small branches, generally in lower sections of the tree. It seems to hit mature landscape plants. Look for canker lesions and swellings on branches. The canker is sunken, generally a distinct line between live and dead tissue can be seen if you cut back the bark.
Finally, we had a couple periods of record cold weather last winter, with recurring sub-zero temperatures in some areas. I am not seeing injury patterns typical of freeze damage (zones of dead needles, often on the south side of the tree), but suspect that winter temperatures could be a contributing factor.
As I nose around, I’ve found cankers on some trees, and no clear causal symptoms on others. So I cannot blame this die back on any one thing.
Whatever is going on for these individual trees, it is worth noting that incense-cedar is kind of an exotic tree. Sure, it is a native Oregon tree, but it was not a common tree in the Valley historically. We lie at the extreme northern edge of incense-cedar’s native range, a situation where it will likely experience stressful conditions. So it should not be surprising to see it looking ratty from time to time.

Some typical, yet inconclusive symptoms….

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Pasture Management and Soil Health Field Tour 3

Small Farms Events - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 4:27pm
Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Three field tours will be offered in May and June that focus on managing pastures for livestock and soil health.  The farms hosts will discuss the power of fencing, rotational grazing, wintertime management, manure collection and composting and other tools that help provide quality feed for animals and protect the natural resources that make their farms productive. Different farms will be featured on each tour. The cost per tour is $10 which includes a light dinner, transportation or carpooling options and class materials.  Each tour is limited to 25 participants.

Tour 3: Thursday, June 26, 4:00 - 8:30 PM.  Common Treasury Farm is located in very rural Benton County, in the Lobster Valley area.  Van transportation will be provided from the Corvallis area. Garth Kahl and Angela Wartes-Kahl operate a 17 acre organic farm located in the Coastal Range.  They grow mixed vegetables, berries, herbs, have an orchard and are working to integrate livestock into their farming systems for nutrient management and for meat production.  They raise sheep, milking goats, laying hens, a team of oxen and American Guinea hogs.  This tour will cover many topics including how to utilize multi-species grazing (with ruminants, hogs and poultry) in an organic farming sytem to improve pasture health and soil quality.  During a break and discussion, we will have dinner together.  Register here for Tour 3 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

The boom-and-bust life of defoliating insects

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Fri, 06/20/2014 - 12:35pm

By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

It is shaping up to be another exciting year in forest health here in northwest Oregon. Fortunately, neither of the two defoliating insects currently on the scene are serious threats to forest or human health, but they are certainly causing a stir.

Right now, Columbia County is in the midst of the largest documented western tent caterpillar outbreak that Oregon has seen in two decades, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. I first noticed a few tent caterpillar clusters on one site in the area two years ago. Last summer, our Extension office received many calls as the caterpillar population built up.  Aerial surveys done a few weeks ago show that at least 13,000 acres are affected in the county this year.

Map and aerial view showing extent of western tent caterpillar defoliation, early June. Affected areas are brown in the photo. Source: Oregon Department of Forestry

The caterpillars are everywhere in the most heavily affected areas. It’s impossible to move without stepping on them, and looking up through a stand of alder, it looks like early spring as there are no leaves left on the trees.

Western tent caterpillars infected by a virus hang in an upside-down V. Photo: Amy Grotta

When the population gets to this level, natural parasites and diseases set in. Upon closer inspection, one can see that some of the caterpillars are hanging limply from their midsections: a symptom that these diseases are beginning to take hold, signaling the end of the boom years and the beginning of the bust.

Other defoliating insects follow similar boom-and-bust cycles, in concert with their respective natural enemies. The western oak looper, which made its appearance in 2012 and 2013 in the mid-Willamette Valley, and the pine butterfly, which affected over 250,000 acres in eastern Oregon in 2011-12, are two examples. Reports are beginning to trickle in that the oak looper is still on the scene in places this year, but the pine butterfly outbreak is over. In 2013, researchers in eastern Oregon observed abundant “boom” populations of two insects that are predators of the pine butterfly larvae.

In Columbia County, 2014 will go down in the books as another “year of the caterpillar”. Longtime residents can recall the years marked by previous outbreaks of these insects, just as with big floods and wind storms. One Rainier old-timer recalls another big tent caterpillar year in the 1950’s.

The interactions between these forest insects and their natural enemies are an example of how biodiversity at the smallest scale within a forest system leads to patterns that we can observe. Sadly, in our coastal ecosystem, a pathogen is killing off sea stars in unprecedented numbers. It remains to be seen whether the sea stars will be able to rebound, or if they will be busted for good.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Teacher workshops on coastal STEM education

Breaking Waves - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 1:24pm

Oregon Sea Grant and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) invite classroom teachers to the Oregon Coast for two in-depth, hands-on workshops exploring the practice of science in a diversity of coastal habitats, designed to equip them with “best practices” in coastal and marine STEM education.

Topics for the workshops, which are sponsored by the Oregon Coast Education Project and take place in June, July and August in Newport and Charleston, include coastal ecology and habitats, impacts and solutions including climate connections, working with data sets and making connections to their own schools.

Registration, which covers the three-day workshops, lodging, meals and materials, is through  NAME, whose current members receive a discount on registration fees. Continuing education credits are available through Portland State University.

A workshop for 3d-8th grade classroom educators takes place in Newport, June30-July 2; the workshop for 6th-12th-grade educators is scheduled for Charleston Aug. 13-15.

Registration includes post-workshop support from OCEP staff as teachers develop and implement coastal education plans during the 2014-15 school year. Teachers who opt to implement such plans are required to complete an evaluation and will receive a stipend at the conclusion of the school year. CEP will also hold small, regional group work sessions during the school year for workshop participants to help integrate other teaching partners who were unable to attend a summer session.

Registration may be completed at the NAME Website.

Learn more:

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Now accepting applications for the Robert E. Malouf Marine Studies Scholarship

Breaking Waves - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 11:18am

2013 Malouf Scholar, Michelle Fournet

The Malouf Scholarship is awarded to support a graduate student who combines societally relevant research with education or public engagement. The student can be enrolled at any College or University in Oregon while working towards a degree in any field compatible with Oregon Sea Grant’s mandate and areas of interest. There are no restrictions on the discipline, which may include, but is not limited to: biological, geological, physical and chemical sciences; marine resource management and policy; marine resource economics; social sciences; engineering; geology; education or public health. The overriding purpose of the Scholarship is to make a difference by providing a significant contribution to students seeking advanced degrees and to contribute to building the nation’s future capacity in the marine sciences.

Applications due: July 21, 2014

For more information please visit the website: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/education/fellowships

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs