Friday, April 26, 2019

Happy Arbor Day!

Arbor Day had its beginnings in an area not always associated with trees or forests, the great plains. J. Sterling Morton (1832-1902) and his wife Caroline Joy French moved from Michigan to the Nebraska Territory in 1854. He strived to encourage tree-planting to improve the environment and beauty of the landscape in hopes of attracting settlers to the area.

On April 10, 1872, Morton’s idea, to set aside a day for planting and calling attention to the benefits of trees, became the first Arbor Day. The birthplace of Arbor Day is Nebraska City, where the Mortons lived in their home called Arbor Lodge. In 1885, Nebraska declared J. Sterling Morton's birthday, April 22, as Arbor Day. Eventually, J. Sterling Morton served as U. S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland from 1893 to 1897.

Today, all 50 states, as well as many countries around the world, recognize Arbor Day in some manner. The day of its observance varies, depending on the best time of year to plant trees in each locale. In Pennsylvania, Arbor Day is the last Friday of April.

Plant a tree to commemorate the day.  Here are some helpful Penn State Extension resources:

Forest Landowners Guide to Tree Planting Success

Planting and After Care of Community Trees

Planting Ornamentals

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Spotted Lanternfly Permits Required

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive insect that threatens Pennsylvania, including the agricultural, ornamental, and timber industries. Help stop the spread!

Businesses and organizations must have SLF permits if they move products, vehicles, or other conveyances within or out of the quarantine zone, which includes the counties of Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill. 

An owner, manager, supervisor, or other designated employee must complete a permit training to demonstrate knowledge of this destructive pest and the quarantine requirements. Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture are partnering to provide in-person trainings offered at various locations across Pennsylvania on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will begin compliance verifications on May 1, 2019. Businesses should obtain their permit prior to this date. Click here for more information, to find out if you need a permit, and to learn more about the in-person training locations. Sign up today. Registration is free!