Join the Oregon Women Owning Woodland Network on Saturday, January 21st for a program on “How to Interpret Your Timber Cruise“. Learn how to understand what a cruise report tells you about your timber, when is the right time to have a cruise done, and options for updating an old one. If you have a cruise report from your own property, bring it along to work with.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 21st, 2012
Time: 9 am to noon (brown bag lunch optional)
Location: Hyla Woods, Timber (owned by the Hayes family) – see flyer for directions

Here's the tree being harvested...

Congratulations to Washington County’s own Dallas and Sharon Boge, Master Woodland Managers from Gales Creek. They grew this year’s State Tree, now on display in the Capitol rotunda in Salem. Thanks to daughter Sue Curtis for supplying the photos. Happy holidays everyone!

The tree on display in the Capitol rotunda

Time to pull out the 2012 calendars! For the 3rd consecutive year, I’ll be teaching a winter shortcourse, Woodland Management 101. If you are  new to owning or managing forested land, this is a great place to start learning about taking care of your property. We’ll cover a little bit of everything, from tree identification to tax issues, over the course of five evenings and one field session. Here’s a flyer with all the details.

Course dates/location: Wednesday evenings, Feb. 1st – 29th, 2012 (Saturday field session Feb. 25); Columbia County Extension office in St. Helens.

Sign up by sending in the registration form or calling the Extension office, (503) 397-3462.

The OSU Women Owning Woodlands Network presents a workshop: “Getting Computer Savvy: Google Earth and other Forestry Resources” on Friday, December 2nd, 9 am – noon at Clackamas Community College (the location of Tree School).

In this hands-on computer session, learn how to use Google Earth, Oregon Explorer, and Web Soil Survey to explore your property from your desktop. You will create and take home property maps with aerial photography, soil data, topography, fish and wildlife information, and more. Time willing, we will tap into a couple of social media opportunities that enable us to keep in touch and learn from home.

Participants should be comfortable navigating the Internet, but no specific experience with these programs is necessary.

RSVP to (541) 766-6750 or chrissy.lucas@oregonstate.edu.

To learn more about the Women Owning Woodlands Network, click here.

The fall edition of Tall Timber Topics, our quarterly newsletter, is now available. Click here to download it. This issue contains information on seedling supplies, tax tips for 2011, an update on the Columbia County Forest Health-Human Health Initiative, a rundown of upcoming educational programs to mark on the calendar, and more.

As always I welcome your comments on the content and/or format of our newsletter. Comment below this blog post, or drop me a note. Happy reading.

If you are considering a thinning project, join us for an informal, educational field tour just outside St. Helens on Thursday, October 20th, 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Landowner and OSU Master Woodland Manager Vince Cooney finished up a thinning project on his property last month and has offered to host a tour for anyone that would like to learn more about it. We’ll discuss thinning principles, equipment, financial considerations, and follow-up management.

Please RSVP to the Extension office, 503-397-3462 for planning purposes. Directions: From Hwy 30 in St. Helens, turn onto Sykes Rd. (at the Burgerville). Follow about 2.5 miles and at the bottom of a large dip in the road, turn right on to a rocked road marked by a Tree Farm sign.

The NRCS in both Columbia and Washington Counties are now accepting Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications from forest landowners who want forest management plans. The application deadline is October 31, 2011. Approved applicants will receive cost-share funding to have a management plan written by a qualified professional.

Nathan Adelman, NRCS Soil Conservationist in Hillsboro says, “In Washington County, priority will be given to applicants who have 10 or more acres of forest and who agree to complete, with NRCS cost share, afforestation on 3 or more acres of land that is not now and has not recently been in forest. Basically, our office would like to help non-industrial forest landowners plant trees on land that is not currently wooded.”

Columbia County landowners should be receiving more information about the program in the mail, and a series of informational meetings will be held throughout the county during the second week of October.

For more information, contact:
Washington County NRCS: Nathan Adelman, 503-648-3174 ext. 101
Columbia County NRCS: Don Mehlhoff, 503-397-4555 ext. 105

Join the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and your neighbors at Rural Living Field Day, Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Malinowski Farm, 13450 NW Springville Road, Portland.

Experts from a wide variety of non-profit and government agencies will be on hand to teach and answer questions about issues on your land, including forestry, pastures, livestock, wildlife, invasive weeds, marketing your farm, water and soil quality and conservation planning.

This is also a wonderful opportunity for you to talk with your neighbors about the issues they face on their properties, learn about the types of conservation projects that have been completed in your neighborhood and discover what might be possible for you and your woods, farm, garden or natural area. You can also learn about the variety of funding sources available for the projects you have in mind.

Cost is only $10 per person or $15 per family. Lunch will be provided. Lots of information, brochures and guides will be available free of charge. Registration is required. Just click “Events” at http://www.wmswcd.org/ and select the Rural Living Field Day. Please fill out the form and send it in with your check to WMSWCD, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, Ste. 450,Portland, OR, 97210. Call Forest Conservationist Michael Ahr (503/238-4775, ext. 109) or Rural Conservationist Scott Gall (503/238-4775, ext. 105) for more information.

Attendees will choose which classes they wish to attend during each of three sessions during the day. Each session will be led by local resource managers and professionals. Partners for this comprehensive educational event include the Tualatin, Clackamas and Columbia Soil & Water Conservation Districts; OSU Extension; Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Small Woodlands Association.

I’d like to give a shout out to my friend, Extension co-worker, and hard-core cyclist Nicole Strong, who is combining her work and workout on the Cycle Oregon route this week. Every day along the route through the rural hills of southern Oregon, Nicole and a cadre of volunteers are hosting an information tent and engaging riders in conversations about the forests they are passing through. Nicole is writing about the ride on her blog and you can follow along, here.

Summer must be coming to an end. I say that not because the kids are going back to school or the tomatoes are (finally) starting to turn red, but because today I got my first call of the year about a strange and striking looking insect.

This is a banded alder borer. It is a native wood boring insect, but it is not considered a forest pest because it generally infests dead or downed wood (people often find them on their firewood piles). This insect is often confused with the Asian Longhorn Beetle, which is one of the nation’s most un-wanted invasive pests. If you find a large, black and white insect with long antennae, chances are it’s the banded alder borer (the good guy), but to be sure, look for a white head with a large black dot on it. See the photo above.

I am not sure about the banded alder borer’s life history, but I think the adults must be most active in August and September because that’s when the calls and emails start to come in.