Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are My Woods Healthy?

Forest Stewardship News release posted on September 23, 2008. Written by: Craig, Janet, and Tara Olver the 2008 Pennsylvania Tree Farmers of the Year. Their Tree Farm "Tall Timbers" is located in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

"The health of your woods is determined by several factors," explains Tree Farmer Craig Olver. Trees are really good about expanding their crowns to fill available space. Barring major human or ecological impact, most forested sites are chockfull of trees and plants filling up growing space and taking advantage of available sunlight and nutrients. But there are a few factors to look for in your forestland when considering its health and vitality.
First you need to consider soils. Good soil can grow big healthy trees. If your woods have more trees than the soil can support, this will result in poor or slow tree growth. Applying fertilizer can offset some soil nutrition problems; however, the cost can be high and the return in the distant future. The most economical method to encourage tree growth is timber stand improvement harvest. As your trees get bigger, they need more room for root and tree branch expansion. "Soils across the state can grow some of the best trees in the world," touts Olver. But the trees must have space below ground for their roots to grow and reach available nutrients and water -- this may mean removing some of the trees and reallocating their space to others.
To read the full story go to:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hunters - Have You Ever Shared Your Harvest?

The Pennsylvania deer-rifle season is right around the corner. This year, as we head to the woods to fill our deer tags, let’s not forget about the local soup kitchens and food pantries that are in need of donations. These facilities feed hundreds of hungry folks each month and would greatly appreciate a donation of venison.

It is very easy to participate. Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) has coordinated venison donations to hungry people in PA since 1991. HSH has established a local network of coordinators and deer processors who can make it easy for you to donate all or part of your deer this year. If you harvest a deer, simply take it to a participating processor. In Centre County this includes; Adler's Market, 1185 Philipsburg-Bigler Highway Philipsburg, 814-342-1993 and Gummo's Butcher Shop, 86 Red Pine Street Port Matilda, 814-574-6187. For additional processors across the state go to the HSH web site at http://www.sharedeer.org/. These professional processors will handle your donation and arrange for transportation to the local food bank. You don’t have to donate your whole deer, you can donate just 5, 10 or even 20 pounds…whatever you like.

If you don’t get a deer this year, you can still participate. HSH absorbs a large cost by paying for the processing of donated deer each year. Even if you don’t donate any venison, your tax-deductible monetary donations are greatly appreciated. It takes a lot to organize the donation of over 200,000 meals per year. See the HSH website at http://www.sharedeer.org/ for more information on how you can help.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Emeral Ash Borer Update

For those of you interested in finding out more about the Emerald Ash Borer I have provided some interesting information and web sites below. This insect has tremendous potential to impact the nurseries, urban landscapes, and forests of Pennsylvania.

What You Need to Know:
- It attacks only ash trees (Fraxinus spp.).
- Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long.
- Adults leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge in spring.
- Woodpeckers like EAB larvae; heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees may be a sign of
- Firewood cannot be moved in many areas of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania,
West Virginia and Maryland because of the EAB quarantine.
- It probably came from Asia in wood packing material.

A number of links are provided below. The first link is to a report provided by Dovetail Partners Inc. It is entitled Firewood Movement and the Emerald Ash Borer. The report is a very good summary of the nature of the problem and justification for various control options. Included in the report are general recommendations for the wood using industry.

For up to date information on the emerald ash borer go to the location website provided below.

To view an interesting and quite entertaining series of EAB videos go to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Don't Move Firewood website.