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Douglas County Master Gardener Plant Sale

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 6, 2017 (all day event)
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 9:00AM-4:00PM, PLANT & GARDEN EXPO, Roseburg, Oregon
The OSU Douglas County Master Gardeners are holding their annual Plant & Garden Expo at the Exhibit Building at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.  The Expo features thousands of varieties of plants for sale at bargain prices, all lovingly grown by Master Gardeners.  Varieties will include annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and more. Local vendors will also be exhibiting unique garden art and supplies for purchase. Shop early for best selection. Admission is $2 (under 12 free).  We encourage shoppers to bring canned food items to contribute to UCAN and their outreach to the hungry in our community. No pets permitted except service animals. The Fairgrounds are located off Exit 123 off I-5. For more information, please contact the OSU Extension Office at 541-672-4461.
Submitted by: Barbara Horst, Publicity Douglas County Master Gardeners 541-825-8534

Benton Co. Master Gardener Plant Sale

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 6, 2017 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Please join us for the BCMGA Annual Plant Sale! Perennials, Natives, Veggies, Trees, Shrubs and lots more! All at amazing prices which will help fund your local Master Gardener programs. 

Spring Garden Festival

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Sunday, May 7, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
This event is free for the whole family, it features 40 vendors with annuals, perennials, specialty plants, flower baskets, garden art, gifts, ceramics, seeds and herbs. The Master Gardeners will be staffing a plant clinic and hosting displays/activities all day.

POLK COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Friday, May 12, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

27th Annual Polk County Master Gardeners PLANT SALE!

See the flyer!

Mother's Day Weekend - 2017 at the Polk County Fairgrounds

Friday and Saturday May 12 & 13th 

9am - 4pm

  • Over 15,000 quality plants
  • Our ever popular country store
  • Herbs & native plants
  • Vegetables
  • Perennials & annuals
  • Hanging baskets
  • Ornamental trees & shrubs
  • Tool sharpening, planter boxes & outdoor furniture
  • Plant clinic

 

Curry County MG annual plant sale

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 13, 2017 (all day event)

Curry County Master Gardeners' Annual Plant Sale

 

The Curry County Master Gardeners will be having their annual plant sale on Saturday, May 13, 2017, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Gold Beach High School (29516 Ellensburg Ave). For sale are thousands of perennials, succulents, dahlias,, and vegetable plants grown locally by Master Gardeners.  Also being sold is a large selection of succulent planters and fairy gardens that are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts.  Experts will be on hand to answer questions on dahlia planting and care, bee keeping and pollination, butterfly and bat protection, and all aspects of gardens, plants, trees, and insects.

POLK COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

27th Annual Polk County Master Gardeners PLANT SALE!

See the flyer!

Mother's Day Weekend - 2017 at the Polk County Fairgrounds

Friday and Saturday May 12 & 13th 

9am - 4pm

  • Over 15,000 quality plants
  • Our ever popular country store
  • Herbs & native plants
  • Vegetables
  • Perennials & annuals
  • Hanging baskets
  • Ornamental trees & shrubs
  • Tool sharpening, planter boxes & outdoor furniture
  • Plant clinic

 

Curry County annual plant sale

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Curry County Master Gardeners' Annual Plant Sale

 

The Curry County Master Gardeners will be having their annual plant sale on Saturday, May 13, 2017, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Gold Beach High School (29516 Ellensburg Ave). For sale are thousands of perennials, succulents, dahlias,, and vegetable plants grown locally by Master Gardeners.  Also being sold is a large selection of succulent planters and fairy gardens that are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts.  Experts will be on hand to answer questions on dahlia planting and care, bee keeping and pollination, butterfly and bat protection, and all aspects of gardens, plants, trees, and insects.

Lincoln County Master Gardener Spring Garden Sale

Gardening Events - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 6:07am
Saturday, May 20, 2017 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Spring Garden Sale presented by Lincoln County Extension Master Gardeners

 

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 2:38pm
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 2:38pm
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Injury Prevention for Commercial Fishermen: From Surveillance to Interventions

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 2:36pm
Friday, May 26, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Laurel Kincl, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Laurel's research focuses on quantifying, communicating and controlling occupational and environmental exposures to health and safety hazards. She has particular interest in reducing adverse health outcomes with targeted interventions, including working with special populations such as young workers and people with disabilities.

Her current research is funded by CDC NIOSH regarding workforce safety for commercial fishing in the Pacific northwest and the west coast Dungeness crab fleet; and  personal environmental exposure assessment in disadvantaged communities. 

Laurel Kincl, PhD, received her MS in Industrial Hygiene and PhD in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics from the University of Cincinnati. Before joining OSU in 2011, Dr. Kincl was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona, Spain, for two years and a Research Associate at the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon from 2003-2009.
 
The college-wide research seminar is Co-Sponsored by the College Research Office; the Hallie Ford Center; the Center for Healthy Aging; the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods Nutrition and Preventive Health; and the Center for Global Health.

The seminar is Co-sponsored with the Environmental and Occupational Health Program.

The seminar series provides a forum for faculty in the College of Public Health & Human Sciences and other researchers to present and discuss current research topics in an environment conducive to stimulating research collaboration and fostering student learning. Faculty and students from the Division of Health Sciences and other colleges, research centers and institutions are encouraged to participate.

Social justice training

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 2:36pm
Friday, May 26, 2017 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

The CPHHS Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Enhancement team is excited to announce a social justice training opportunity specific to our college. Jane Waite, director of OSUs Social Justice Education Initiative, will offer two-hour training sessions focused on “Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments.”

We encourage all engaged in teaching and mentoring to take advantage of this opportunity by attending one of the sessions. The session description, dates and registration links are posted below.

Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments- What constitutes an equitable teaching and learning environment, and why are they so critical to equalizing student success? Why do various students experience the same classes so differently? How does who we are impact the ways we teach and learn? Join the director of the Social Justice Education Initiative for this interactive and engaging workshop to explore these critical questions and more.

Register by clicking on the session you would like to attend.


Cover crops and soil health workshop

Forestry Events - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:36pm
Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

This will be an opportunity to visit two Christmas tree farms whose owners have been using in-row cover crops
for many years. Learn from those who have tried a variety of seeding methods and different grass and clover
species. We will visit with farm owners, Dan Logan and Dan Zimmermann. Dean Moberg, Resource Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service will also join us to share his expertise. We will
meet at Dan Logan’s farm at 19830 NW Dixie Mountain Rd, North Plains, OR. 97133 at 3 pm.

Please pre-register by calling Chal Landgren at 971-801-0381. There is no fee. Maps and additional information will be available at: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/NWREC/programs/christmas-trees.

Fires in the Pacific Northwest-Past, Present & Future

Forestry Events - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:36pm
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:00 PM - Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:30 PM

Join us for a summit on the state of knowledge and available research on fire regimes for forests and grasslands west of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington. The summit will provide an opportunity for dialog and interaction between participants, discussion of shared field experiences, and will feature key speakers from the field of fire ecology. The target audience for this event is federal and state land managers, private forest land managers, fire managers, fuel specialists, collaborative groups in the wildland-urban interface, extension faculty, and other technical service providers and educators. For more information, or to register, please visit: http://cpe.forestry.oregonstate.edu/wsidefiresummit

Tour Wandering Fields: Seed Production

Small Farms Events - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:36pm
Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Ben Yohai, Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association (SOSGA) will show participants his biennial seed crops and discuss the challenges and benefits of growing seeds.  Ben has been growing seeds for a decade and contracts with multiple seed companies. For updates on this event, go to: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/SF-classes

Call 541-776-7371 to register, or contact paula.burkhalter@oregonstate.edu

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSU Forage Management Series

Small Farms Events - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:36pm
Thursday, May 25, 2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Each part consists of an evening classroom presentation at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility on the OSU campus, followed by a morning field practical at a local outdoor location.

Class meets Wednesdays (6 – 8:30 pm) and Thursdays (10 – noon). Topics for each month are:
April 19 & 20 – Farm and Forage Assessment
May 24 & 25 – Harvest Management
June 28 & 29 – Irrigation
August 16 and 17 – Fertility
September 20 and 21 – Renovation Techniques

Speakers will be Shelby Filley, David Hannaway, Serkan Ates, Gene Pirelli, and Troy Downing, plus other OSU faculty and local experts.

This series will focus on a “project ranch” that we work on together, including site visits and on-line document sharing and blog. The project ranch will be the Wilson Farm, the OSU sheep facility with sheep and cattle grazing the pastures. You can also work on your own ranch as a side project if desired. The objective of the series is to improve knowledge about managing forage on properties in the Willamette Valley.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may improve studies of native mud shrimp

Breaking Waves - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 1:48pm

A parasitic isopod known as Orthione griffenis is decimating mud shrimp populations in coastal estuaries ranging from British Columbia to northern California. Most surviving mud shrimp populations are heavily infested with the parasite, threatening their existence.

“From Bamfield, Canada, down to Morro Bay, California, the native mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis, are either gone or the populations are severely depressed,” said John Chapman, an Oregon State University invasive species specialist who works out of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Mud shrimp are valuable prey for birds, fish and other animals in estuaries, and some ecologists believe they have provided a steady food source for ocean-bound juvenile coho and Chinook. Mud shrimp are also important to the ecology of estuaries: each day during their feeding, they may filter as much as 80 percent of the estuary’s intertidal water.

Studying the shrimp, which can burrow to depths of two meters, involves extracting them with quantitative sampling devices. These devices traditionally have been either handheld cores and shovels, which can damage the shrimp beds, or a “yabby” pump, which sucks up only medium-sized and large shrimp and is not quantitative. Neither method is reliable for quantifying the most important reproductive sizes, and both often damage shrimp in the process of collecting them.

The solution? Create a new device that’s not only long enough to reach the deepest shrimp, but gentle enough to bring them to the surface unharmed — and also simple enough to allow for rapid, inexpensive sampling by just a few researchers.

Engineering student Cade Burch demonstrates his team’s “portable deep core.” (Photo by Rick Cooper)

To develop the device — a “portable deep core” — Chapman enlisted the assistance of OSU Engineering professors John Parmigiani and Sharon LaRoux, who would oversee the student design teams* and participate in the field testing and implementation. Chapman and Parmigiani also secured $9,000 in funding from Oregon Sea Grant, to help defray materials costs and other expenses.

Between January and May 2017, three student teams, each working on a different design, researched, planned, designed, built and tested the components of their respective devices, and on May 19 they unveiled the working prototypes at OSU’s Undergraduate Engineering Expo. “Each of the three designs will be evaluated and combined over the summer by a graduate student into a single, final prototype,” said Parmigiani.

According to Chapman, the newly designed deep core “will, for the first time, give us access to the entire range of burrowing shrimp populations, and let us gather the information we need to help slow or reverse the mud shrimp’s decline.”

*Design teams
205a: Cade Burch, Eric Beebe, Omar Alkhaldi
205b: Patrick Finn, Jacob Garrison, Connor Churchill
205c: Zachary Gerard, Evan Leal, Derrick Purcell

Additional reporting by Mark Floyd, OSU News and Research Communications

 

 

The post With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may improve studies of native mud shrimp appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Growing a Diverse Forest: Steps to a Structural Diversity “Forest Makeover”

Tree Topics - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:49am

By Amy Grotta and Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Through a creative and carefully planned harvest, this mature forest has undergone a structural diversity makeover.

Continuing our series, we’ll now look at steps that woodland owners can take to enhance structural diversity in their forests.  Recall that “structural diversity” refers to the amount of three-dimensional variation in the forest. In other words, a structurally diverse forest has trees of different sizes arranged in uneven patterns across the site.

Why do we care about structural diversity? Structural diversity is important to creating an “older” or “natural” forest look that many people want on their property.

Structural diversity is also a very important part of wildlife habitat. By creating variation in the tree canopy, and creating layers of vegetation at many levels within a forest, you are creating micro-environments. These micro-environments, each with its own set of light, temperature and moisture conditions, allow different sets of plants and animals to flourish. You are setting the stage for biological diversity to develop. Raptors may perch in the upper branches of the tallest trees, while small birds that nest in thickets may find a home lower down. Light-loving shrubs will fill in the sunny openings, while mosses and lichen will be happy in the cool shade of taller trees.

To create structural diversity, we rely on all the same tools in our forest management toolbox that we use to achieve other things in our woods: planting, thinning, harvesting. We just apply them a little differently to produce a different outcome.   Many of the opportunities described below and illustrated in the graphic at the right will be familiar from our last post, since structural and species diversity often go hand in hand.

Preparing to grow a new forest: don’t clean it up too much

After a timber harvest, there will be a lot left behind: limbs and treetops (slash), and sometimes logs with too little value to take to the mill. Part of site preparation involves getting these residues out of the way to make room to plant new trees. Often slash is piled and burned, but leaving those logs and even a few of these piles creates instant structure. They will decompose over decades, providing a shelter for critters and slowly evolving into a substrate for new plants. Check out this article for some great how-to’s and cautions.

Planting a new forest

Since a diversity of tree and shrub species can also greatly enhance future structural diversity by creating different textures or layers in the forest, the steps at planting outlined in our previous post can do double duty.

Tending a developing forest: thin early, thin often and change it up

While a diverse forest is an appealing image to many small woodland owners, what they often actually have is a uniform forest of trees roughly the same size and spacing. In these situations, thinning is the best opportunity to enhance structural diversity.

From top to bottom, examples of young, intermediate and mature conifer forests with low structural diversity

You can use thinning early in the life of a forest to create both horizontal and vertical structure (recall the cookie metaphor for definitions). Some specific ideas for making your forest more structurally diverse through thinning include:

  • Thin early to promote layers of plants on the forest floor.
  • Mix it up with a variable density (rather than uniform) thinning strategy:
    • Leave some areas dense or even unthinned.
    • Thin some other areas heavily to grow big trees and promote regeneration of new trees.
  • Be messy. Leave snags and dead wood behind.
Grand fir started to seed in this stand after an earlier thinning. Structural diversity could be improved by removing a small patch of overstory trees (like the three in the foreground), releasing the trees beneath them.

Opportunities in an older, maturing forest are to create gaps and leave legacies.   If you find a group of young, shade-tolerant trees coming up on the forest floor, you can create a small gap to give them room to grow. Or you can cut a patch and plant it with shade tolerant species such as western hemlock or grand fir to create another canopy layer. Both of these things could be part of a regularly planned thinning harvest.

 

Any harvest is a chance to enhance the structural diversity of the future forest. Leaving dead wood (both standing and down) is particularly beneficial for wildlife.  If doing a clearcut harvest, you can also leave some live trees, in groups or islands when possible.  Good candidates include trees that are hard to access, have defects, or are intermixed with snags you wish to protect. Even if they blow down, the downed wood is another important structural legacy.

We hope this series has given you some new ideas about how to enhance your woodland diversity and enrich your experience as a landowner. There is lots more information out there to help you work out the details.  Here are a few:

This is an excellent publication from WSU Extension, Diversifying Forest Structure to Promote Wildlife Biodiversity in Western Washington Forests (written for our neighbors to the north, but just as applicable to western Oregon).

Wildlife in Managed Forests: Oregon Forests as Habitat published by Oregon Forest Resources Institute

Woodland Fish and Wildlife Publications

Alternative Forest Management series in the OSU Extension Catalog

 

The post Growing a Diverse Forest: Steps to a Structural Diversity “Forest Makeover” appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Opportunities to enhance species diversity in small woodlands

Tree Topics - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:27pm

By Amy Grotta and Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Our previous installment of this series introduced the key elements of forest diversity. Species diversity (a.k.a. compositional or biological diversity) is one of those elements.  So how do you achieve it, especially if what you are starting out with is a plantation forest with only a few species? The transition to an older forest with many plant species will not happen quickly. However, at every stage in a forest’s life cycle, there are opportunities and choices one can make to move the needle to a more species-rich forest.

The rest of this article and the accompanying infographic takes us through these choices, stage by stage.

Preparing to grow a new forest: have more than zero tolerance for shrubs

One of your best chances to grow a more diverse mature forest is on a just-logged site, even before you plant any new trees. This is (perhaps ironically) often one of the most diverse stages in forest development, when many sun-loving leafy plants show up.  They provide important food and cover for many birds and other animals. The trick is to balance this vegetation with the needs of growing tree seedlings.  You’ll still need to establish a stand of young trees successfully to meet Forest Practices rules. We’ll look at this stage again later in another article.

After logging, there are typically still native shrubs left behind. Sure, they may have taken a beating, but most will rebound if given the chance. So as you prepare the site for planting, whether with herbicides or machinery, you can intentionally save (choose to keep) some of these shrubs to meet your diversity objectives. Some specific strategies:

  • Identify and mark the shrubs you want to preserve. Consider keeping them in scattered clumps and “sacrificing” the space they occupy, rather than planting trees there.
  • Be selective in the species that you preserve, choosing those that won’t quickly outgrow planted trees. For example, Oregon-grape, cascara, and oceanspray grow slowly, while salmonberry and thimbleberry spread quickly. Bigleaf maple clumps are too competitive for most objectives/situations and should be controlled.
  • Use spot sprays of herbicide instead of a broadcast spray.
  • Evaluate what vegetation is growing on the site, and choose an herbicide strategy that targets the worst competitors while leaving desired vegetation. For example, you could select an herbicide that controls grasses, thistles and other non-woody weeds but is easier on shrubs. Consult product labels and the PNW Weed Management Handbook for guidance.
  • Keep a close eye on things, and quickly take steps to correct a situation if things look like they are getting out of hand.
Young planted trees getting along nicely with broadleaf plants. The dead clumps are bigleaf maples controlled with herbicide.

Establishing a new forest: species and spacing choices

Planting multiple species of trees may seem like an obvious strategy to increase species diversity. Yet it’s not as simple as mixing up the seedlings across your planting site if you want to keep that diversity long-term. Trees all have different growth habits and growth rates. When trees of different growth habits are closely mingled, the faster growing tree tends to win out.  Red alder and Douglas-fir are a good example (see illustration). Plant clumps of individual species rather than an intimate mixture to reduce competition, make subsequent tending of the stand easier, and keep diversity longer. If one of your motivations for having a diverse forest is to have a resilient forest, then keeping a mix of species in the canopy may be important.

Fast-growing alder will overtop and kill neighboring Douglas-fir (top). Instead, plant these species in groups (bottom)

Work with, not against, your site, and use microsites as a “palette” on which to paint your species choices. For example, plant wet areas to cedar, alder, or even ash.

The other planting decision you can use to enhance diversity is tree spacing. By planting trees further apart (say at 12-foot instead of 10-foot), you are giving more room and time for shrubs to re-establish. You can also resist the urge to come back in and replant spots where seedlings did not make it (as long as you’ve met Forest Practices Act reforestation requirements). Instead, allow hardwoods to fill in small gaps.

Tending a young forest: stay proactive

Your job of growing diversity is not done after planting.  Invasive weeds and crowding are two things to keep an eye on.  Some specific tips:

  • Stay on top of invasive weeds before the canopy closes. Resist the temptation to leave blackberries or scotch broom to get shaded out once tree crowns touch. Unfortunately, shade is not a particularly selective form of weed control: by the time the weeds get shaded out, so will many of the understory plants you desire.
  • Extend the life of your understory by thinning early and often.
  • Thinning also is an opportunity to diversify the tree canopy, by choosing to leave behind “underrepresented” species. Thin around and release oaks, madrone, true firs, and any other minor species, as long as they are vigorous. (Don’t try to release suppressed trees that won’t respond to thinning.)

Harvest: leave a legacy

A mature forest can have many kinds of plants growing in the understory that you want to keep. When it comes time to do a timber sale, how can you carry that diversity into the next-generation forest? This is your opportunity to leave legacies.

  • Retain some hardwood trees. Better to leave a single-stemmed bigleaf maple than to cut it and deal with the inevitable stump sprouts.
  • Mark and protect clumps of native shrubs.

The bottom line with all of this is that growing a multi-species forest does not have to be a revolutionary form of forest management. As illustrated above, you can be opportunistic, make proactive decisions, and even small tweaks to your management practices to maintain and enhance species diversity according to your interests. This article provides some ideas, which you can tailor for your own forest. You might want to talk with a professional forester, including your local Extension agent, to design a site-specific strategy.

The next post in this series will look at structural diversity (the other major aspect of forest diversity), and ways to achieve it.

The post Opportunities to enhance species diversity in small woodlands appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Recipes for Growing a Diverse Forest

Tree Topics - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:28pm

Brad Withrow-Robinson and Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension.

 

Many landowners are interested in growing a diverse forest as discussed in the previous post.  Their reasons may include having an attractive woodland retreat, providing habitat for wildlife or having a more resilient forest.  Whatever the reason, knowing what different parts of forest diversity look like is a key step towards getting it.

There are several key parts to diversity: those things that grow and live in a forest, how those things are arranged and when those things happen. Each is shaped or influenced by the physical environment (like soils or elevation) and natural processes (like competition, storms or fire).  Many kinds of diversity can also be enriched by us.

Probably the first thing people think about as diversity is the number and types of plants and animals in the forest. Certainly, what is growing in the forest (the species composition) is an important part of diversity.  A mix of trees which includes cedar and maple along with Douglas-fir is more diverse than monocrop of Douglas-fir alone in the forest canopy.  You can think of the different kinds of plants as the building blocks of a forest, or maybe better, ingredients in a recipe.  An oatmeal raisin cookie is more diverse than an oatmeal cookie.  But not twice as much.  There are many ingredients in cookies that go unobserved or unseen.  While trees are the most obvious and the defining elements of the forest (like the oatmeal and raisins), understory plants, soil microorganisms, fungi, and other elements play less glamorous but essential roles (like the flour, sugar and baking powder) in making the cookie a cookie.

 

 

Another easily observed feature of diversity is the forest’s structure, or how things are arranged.   Looking up and down you may see one or more layers of vegetation from the tree canopy to the leafy plants growing on the forest floor.  Looking at these layers, you are looking at the vertical diversity.  An Oreo cookie has more of it than our oatmeal cookie does. This structure affects how the woods look, but also how things work. Having more vertical diversity can be visually appealing.  And because different animals use different parts of this vertical forest structure to forage, roost or nest, it may mean more types of animals using your woods too.

 

Likewise, looking side to side we can see the texture of the forest (its horizontal diversity).  The woods may be quite uniform throughout, with little difference from place to place.  Or the woods may be uneven, with groups or patches of different things scattered about. These could  be areas with different ages, sizes or species of trees. To picture this horizontal diversity, let’s think about cookies with a similar variety of ingredients but different horizontal structure: chocolate and chocolate chip.  Chocolate cookies are uniform throughout, but chocolate chip cookies are patchy, and more diverse. Like vertical structure, this horizontal structure provides different conditions that may be visually appealing or suit different animals.

Perhaps the least obvious part of woodland diversity is time, or perhaps better, processes that take time. It may be cheating a bit to include time as part of diversity, but as an observer of nature and care-taker of a woodland, it is important for you to recognize its impact on the different parts of diversity.   Some kinds of diversity can happen quickly, others just take time to develop.  Cookie dough is great, but it is not a cookie until it has spent some time in the oven.

Imagine a riparian restoration plantation along a stream. You can quickly create species diversity by planting a mix of species, and horizontal diversity by planting patches of different trees or shrubs rather than blending them together. However, to get vertical diversity with layers including large trees (desired to shade more of the stream longer and/or have large logs to fall in the steam), you need decades, maybe even a century or more for that to fully develop.

As a landowner, you have many opportunities (such as planting, controlling invasives or thinning) to shape your woodland property.  Each is a choice between paths that take you to different destinations, with different outcomes, depending on the recipe you pick. We hope this introduction will help you choose a path to your destination. Coming up in our next article: specific steps you can take to enhance your woodland’s diversity according to you objectives.

But now, it is time for a cup of coffee. And a cookie!

The post Recipes for Growing a Diverse Forest appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs