There are lots of reasons to have a written forest management plan. You need one to be a member of the Tree Farm system. You need one to obtain cost-share funding. You can use it to plan and keep track of future management activities.

There are also lots of reasons why most landowners don’t have a management plan. The fun of woodland ownership is in the doing, not in the writing down what you have done or are going to do! Writing a plan takes time and a certain level of knowledge, and having a professional write one for you takes money. 

If you’ve been putting off writing or updating your forest management plan, this fall is the opportunity to git-‘er-done. OSU Extension will be conducting a four-session Mentored Management Planning workshop in St. Helens. You’ll be guided through the writing process and will be paired with an experienced mentor who can provide one-on-one assistance. Work on your plan for “homework” between sessions, and by Thanksgiving you’ll have finished the writing and can get back to the doing!

Dates: Wednesday evenings, Sept. 14, Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Nov. 9

Location: OSU Extension Service, St. Helens

Cost: $40 per family/ownership

Download a flyer for the rest of the details…

Scappoose Bay Watershed Council is sponsoring the following event. Maybe I will see some of you there!

Creek School Forestry Class – August 15, 2011, 6:30 -8:30 pm

Come see what’s in Today’s Forests 
The Oregon Forestry Plan 
Oregon wood products
Prescribed burns and wildfire threat
Forestry management in the face of:
              Changing markets                         
              Endangered species
              Global climate change          
              Population expansion (urban sprawl)
See how you fit into the BIG picture

Speakers will include:             
» Amy Grotta OSU Extension Forester 
» Dave Powers Regional Manager for Forests and Rangelands US EPA Region 10

 JOIN US:                        
 August 15, 2011 6:30 -8:30 pm        ($15) Pre-registration requested
OSU Extension Office               
505 N. Columbia River Hwy St. Helens, OR 97051
To register contact the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council
503-397-7904  or

If you are looking to get outdoors, meet fellow woodland owners, and learn something new, then Saturday, July 23 is the day for you. That day there’s not one, not two, but THREE awesome woodland events to choose from. The hard part may be deciding which one to attend! Here is the rundown:

  • In Vernonia, there’s the Columbia County Small Woodlands Association/OSU Extension Service Summer Woodland Tour & Lunch at the Keasey Tree Farm. Highlights include walking tour and discussion of streamside & upland management, a small scale equipment demo, historic logging exhibit, and a BBQ lunch. Tour begins at 9:00 am. To RSVP, call Bill or Lydia at (503) 556-2014.
  • In Forest Grove, there’s the Washington County Small Woodlands Association summer tour at the Howell Tree Farm, 9 am – 3 pm.  Activities include portable sawmill, firewood processing & pruning demonstrations, stream restoration, walking tour, and a free BBQ lunch courtesy of the Tualatin Soil & Water Conservation District, OSWA and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. 51075 NW Cox Rd, Forest Grove. For details, contact WCSWA.
  • Further south, in Lafayette is an event from 2-6 pm sponsored by the Build Local Alliance at the Trappist Abbey. Tour topics will include silviculture, invasive species, FSC wood products and markets, and working forest conservation easements. RSVP to

The summer edition of Tall Timber Topics is now available. Click here to download and read it. In this issue:

  • Considering logging? Read this first
  • Green alder sawfly
  • Summer calendar of events
  • Blackberry management
  • Ask an Expert
  • Information about upcoming Washington County Extension Office move

Thursday, July 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Forest Grove
“Keeping Your Little Trees Growing”

This gathering will be an opportunity to talk about reforestation challenges and strategies to keep your planted seedlings growing strong. What’s worked (and not worked) for you? Come ready to share your experiences with weed control, animal damage, insects and diseases, and other concerns. We will look at some young trees of several species planted by host Robin Lindsley on her small property, and talk about her efforts to get them “free to grow”.

Whether you are new to managing your land or a seasoned pro, all are welcome and encouraged to come. WOWnet events are designed for participants to learn from one another. And who doesn’t like a potluck in the summer!

For details and directions, view the flyer.


By Paul Oester and Dave Shaw, OSU Extension Service

A native of Europe, North Africa and the Near East, the green alder sawfly (Monsoma pulveratum) (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) was first found in North America in eastern Canada in the early 1990’s, then in Alaska in 2004.  More recently, the green alder sawfly was identified in trap samples in nine Washington counties and one Oregon county (Multnomah).  Examination of insect collections at Western Washington University indicates that this insect has probably been present since 1995.  It was first detected in the contiguous United States on understory shrubs in Vancouver, Washington in April 2010.  We don’t know a lot about this insect but we are beginning to tease out how it operates.

green alder sawfly larva
Figure 1: Green alder sawfly larva (photo by Jim Kruse)

How do you identify this critter?
Adults emerge from overwintering sites in the soil or dead wood in the spring and lay eggs on expanding alder leaves.  New larvae are very pale green and 2-3 millimeters long.  Over time, as the larvae mature, they become a vibrant green (Figure 1).  When fully grown larvae are about 15-18 millimeters long, a little more than ½ inch.  The adults look like a small wasp, and the females (males have not been recorded in North America or the UK) have a black head and antennae.  The middle (thorax) of the adult insect is black, sometimes with some yellow or brownish coloration; their legs reddish brown to black and abdomen black with the margins of the segments white to yellow (Figure 2).

green alder sawfly adult
Figure 2: green alder sawfly adult (photo by Andrei Karankou)

Life history
A pre-pupal stage overwinters and pupation occurs in the spring.  After the eggs hatch in the spring, larvae feed on alder leaves through the spring and early summer, then typically drop to the ground to pupate in the soil.  In Europe and recently observed in Alaska, these insects have been reported to also burrow into rotten wood to pupate (Figure 3).  Just another reason not to move firewood interstate.

What about potential impacts?
Not much is known about how this insect will fare on red alder in western Oregon and Washington, as well as other species throughout these two states.  In Alaska, this species has been feeding primarily on thinleaf alder (Alnus tenuifolia).   There is some concern that the feeding of the green alder sawfly, woolly alder sawfly and the striped alder sawfly combined with stem cankers may lead to reduced nitrogen inputs by alders and perhaps alder mortality.

green alder sawfly pupal niches
Figure 3: green alder sawfly pupal niches (photo by Jim Kruse)

In the Pacific Northwest, several insects feed on alder species so these may compete for host foliage and the additional feeding by the introduced sawfly may have a minor effect.  However, the green alder sawfly begins feeding earlier in the spring than other species and could effectively outcompete native species if foliage becomes limited.  Another concern is the native parasite/predator complex: will these make the switch to the new invader?

What to do?
Efforts by federal and state agencies will include trying to delimit the extent of the sawfly’s distribution and encouraging more monitoring as well as research and education.  The US Forest Service point person for this invasive insect is Kathy Sheehan, based in Portland.  She is coordinating the effort to determine the distribution of the green alder sawfly in Oregon and Washington.  They have already set up trapping sites throughout western Oregon in particular.  Eradication is not a feasible option because of the widespread distribution of detections in Washington and Oregon.  The fact this invader can potentially pupate in dead wood is another reason to manage the distribution of firewood and keep it local.

The bright green larvae are distinct.  If you are out and about in your forest, look for these critters on alder leaves and if you find any likely suspects contact Amy Grotta at the Extension office, 503-397-3462, Dave Shaw, OSU Extension Forest Health Specialist ( at 541-737-2845, or Kathy Sheehan ( at 503-808-2674.  For more information, go to

Green Alder Sawfly.  2010.  Forest Health Protection, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service.  4 pages.

New Pest in Alaska and Washington: The Green Alder Sawfly-Monsoma pulveratum (Retizius).   2010.   Pest Alert.   USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry Alaska Region.  R10-PR-002.  2 pages.

panoramic view from Chehalem Ridge
Panoramic view from the top of Chehalem Ridge (click picture to enlarge)

Last month I was fortunate to have the chance to tour the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, a 1,100 acre property acquired last year by Metro near Gaston. It was a fascinating field trip led by Kate Holleran, who is responsible for directing forest management for Metro at Chehalem Ridge.

Kate described Metro’s management objectives, which include restoring oak woodlands through thinning and release from conifer competition; thinning the extensive, dense stands of young Douglas-fir to improve forest health, productivity, and forest structure; maintain the property’s extensive road network; and protect and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Kate hopes that Chehalem Ridge will be managed as a working forest, with revenues from product sales going back into forest management activities.

Chehalem Ridge is currently not open to the public except through guided tours. Luckily, Washington County Small Woodlands Association has arranged for a tour on August 27th. I look forward to seeing what develops at Chehalem Ridge in the coming years. I think it could be a great local resource to demonstrate forest management for multiple objectives. 

Spring seems to be late in arriving this year, and so is the spring edition of our newsletter, Tall Timber Topics. But here it is at last. In this issue you will find information on new publications on soil management, weed management for Christmas trees, new online forest maps, and a calendar of upcoming events.

Producing, printing and mailing a newsletter takes time. I’m hoping that this blog will be a means of getting information out in an easier and more timely way. But for those who still prefer or rely on a printed source of information, rest assured that Tall Timber Topics is not going away.

A whole bunch of happenings of interest in our areas in the upcoming weeks. Here’s the rundown:
Sat. April 16th, 9 am – 2 pm: Oregon Woodland Cooperative Annual Meeting. Kinton Grange. Members expected, visitors are welcome. Lots of updates on Co-op activities and a potluck lunch.

Tues. April 19th, 6 – 8 pm: Build Local Alliance Spring Showcase. Portland. The event is free and open to the public who are interested in sourcing and utilizing local wood products.

Tues. April 26th, 6:30 pm: Washington County Small Woodlands Association meeting. OSU Extension office in Beaverton. Charlie LeFevere, well-known Oregon truffle expert, is the guest speaker.

Sat. April 30th, 5:30 pm: Columbia County Small Woodlands Association meeting. Beaver Homes Grange. Bruce Alber will speak on herbicide applications for forestry. Dinner beforehand; call 503-556-2014 to RSVP.