End–of-summer greetings from your Extension Forester!
With any luck, there is not too much smoke in your air this year, after a relatively mild fire season. In spite of this relief, we know that wildfire risk is an increasing concern, even in our “wet side” forests of western Oregon. Some big news on this front is that the Oregon Legislature approved funding for a new Oregon State Wildland Fire Extension Program to address wildfire risk across the landscapes of Oregon.
Amanda Brenner, our new Extension Forestry Education Program Assistant started work on August 15 (filling the position vacated by Rose Clarke in May). Amanda’s background includes wildfire preparedness education, natural resource management, environmental education, and outdoor recreation. She moved to Oregon from Colorado just this last spring and got a great introduction to forests in Oregon working a summer job on the Tillamook State Forest. Amanda has a reputation as an excellent communicator and coordinator, which will come in handy as she joins the team to put together the 30th annual Tree School on March 21, 2020!
Forest Health Highlights: While the heat and drought have let up a bit for 2019, lasting effects of several bad years are causing continuing challenges for tree health. We have become familiar with common problems of drought and heat stress, followed by insect or disease issues on Douglas-fir, true firs, and red alder. Reports of dying western redcedar and bigleaf maple seem to be increasing this year. Unfortunately, we still do not have a clear explanation of the causes for these, though we believe that climate stress is still a major factor. OSU and ODF are starting to track occurrences of western redcedar dieback, so if you have this problem, please report it to me.
Best wishes to you and your trees this season.
OSU Extension Forester, Clackamas, Marion, Hood River Counties
This new program will add capacity for up to six new OSU Extension Wildfire Specialists to work with agency and industry partners, communities, landowners, and land managers. The work to be done is too big for any one ...