Sunday, June 29, 2008

Workshop for Landowners Involved with Gas Leasing

Penn State Cooperative Extension announced that a workshop entitled "Understanding and Negotiating Natural Gas Leases" will be held on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at Structural Modulars, 101 Southern Avenue, Strattonville, PA (Clarion County). The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Speakers include public, regulatory, and industry experts who will discuss the Intricacies, Advantages, and Disadvantages of signing a Natural Gas Lease. The Cost of the Workshop is $15.00 per person. Attendance is limited to 100 persons due to space available.

Please call the Crawford County Extension Office to register to attend at (814) 333-460. Most prior participants of these workshops have realized financial rewards worth thousands of dollars. This course is intended to inform you of the concerns you will need to address as a landowner considering a gas lease.

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Scott Sjolander at (814) 333-7460 in advance of your participation or visit.

“This program is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Consult an attorney”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Urban Forest Resources

I am often asked questions about how to manage our urban forest. That is, your back yard shade tree. These trees have to survive in a very demanding environment very different from our natural forested environments. My first comment to most is to consult with a certified arborist through the International Society of Arborculture (ISA). These folks have to pass a rigorous exam and are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain certification.

Second I often refer folks to one of a few very good web sites. I thought I might share a few of these with my readers.

The first is a site entitled "Trees Are Good." It is sponsored by the ISA. The most important section on this site is the "Tree Care Information" link found across the top of the page. This page provides you with brief, up to date information on everything from selection to pruning and mulching. I often refer folks to these fact sheets. They are a wealth of information.

Lastly, is a site called "Pennsylvania Trees." This site provides a wealth of information for the PA tree owner. It was put together by a number of professional entities including Penn State, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the local ISA Chapter, USDA Forest Service, and others.

I hope you find these web sites useful in answering some of your urban forestry questions. Penn State Cooperative Extension also provides a wide array of publications on managing trees in urban settings, everything from selection and planting to pests and fertilizing. Contact your county office for a complete list.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Woody Biomass Opportunities in Eastern Hardwood Region

The report Eastern Hardwood Forest Region Woody Biomass Energy Opportunity examines the woody biomass energy opportunities in the 35 states that comprise the Eastern Hardwood Forest Region, with the dual objectives of providing an educational overview of the market that exists today, and offering a baseline reference for advanced, targeted feasibility studies with the wood fuel arena.

For more information, visit the Forest Service website. (Note: this is a large file and may take a few minutes to download).

Article edited from the may 27, 2008 edition of the E-Forrester, the Society of American Foresters Electronic Newsletter.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Forestry "Podcasts" Now Available!

Have you heard there is forestry in the air? Forest landowners, natural resources professionals, and anyone interested in learning about our forests can now download podcasts from Bob Hansen, D.F., Forest Resources and Maple Products Extension Educator in Penn State’s Northeast region.

"What is a podcast?" Simply put, a podcast is similar to a radio broadcast. It comes from the combination of the word iPod and broadcasting. However, a podcast can be played on any computer or device that supports the MP3 format, including iPods. People can subscribe to receive topic specific podcasts via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) channel. This is similar to a magazine subscription except that it is a broadcast instead of print.

Dr. Hansen’s first podcasts are available at the iTunes store. To access them you need to have the free iTunes download on your computer and then visit iTunesU at The Pennsylvania State University. On the iTunesU site scroll down to The College of Agricultural Sciences, click there and find NE Pennsylvania Forests. Podcasts currently available are "Selling Timber" and "Emerald Ash Borer." While on the site, subscribe to NE Pennsylvania Forests and listen to future podcasts as they are uploaded. Future podcasts will cover topics on the care and management of woodlands, especially relating to Pennsylvania.

While you are on your computer, visit the Bradford County Extension website at On that site, navigate to the natural resources link and then the forestry resources link. There scroll down to the podcast site and click on the Northeast PA Forests link. Visit the site often to try it out.

After listening to the podcast Bob welcomes your feedback and ideas for future topics. If you have suggestions, email Bob at New 'casts will be posted on a regular basis. Listening to these podcasts is a new and simple way to get a daily dose of forestry. Try it out.

Contact: Bob Hansen

Monday, June 2, 2008


One of the world's most mysterious insects is about to invade the skies over western Pennsylvania, but an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says it's not a cause for serious alarm.

Residents of Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Tioga, Union, and York Counties soon will see an emergence of periodical cicadas, commonly but mistakenly called 17-year locusts. "These insects are harmless to people, but they can damage shade trees, fruit trees or high-value ornamentals," says Penn State Extension entomologist Gregory Hoover.

Damage caused by periodical cicadas occurs during egg-laying. Using the blades of a saw-like device on her abdomen, a female will cut several small pockets in the bark of a twig before depositing 400 to 600 eggs. This process can cause small limbs or seedlings to wilt and may provide an opening for disease. Adults live only a few weeks, but the twig injury they cause may be apparent for several years.

When the time is right, usually in late May or early June, the nymphs exit the soil through half-inch holes and climb a foot or more up trees or other objects. Within an hour, they shed their nymphal skins and become adults.

Adult cicadas are clumsy flyers, often colliding with objects in flight. Males begin their constant singing shortly after they emerge, but the females are silent. When heard from a distance, the cicadas' chorus is a whirring monotone, sometimes described as eerie-sounding. On rare occasions when an adult eats, it sucks fluid from small twigs but does not feed on leaves. Ten days following emergence, mating takes place.

Adults live up to four weeks above ground. Six to seven weeks after the eggs are laid, the nymphs hatch and drop to the ground. There, they enter the soil, not to see the light of day for 17 years.

For a free fact sheet on periodical cicadas, visit the Web at: