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K-State Research and Extension News

Tree Tales

Tree Tales provides advice on tree care issues, tree selection and planting, and upcoming events and publications from the Kansas Forest Service.  Each segment is approximately 2-minutes in length, and is presented by forestry experts from the Kansas Forest Service.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

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12-07-18SHARED STEWARDSHIP STRATEGY– The U.S. faces significant issues in sustaining its agriculture and natural resources. Many of the issues have been identified in Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s Shared Stewardship Strategy. K-State forester Bob Atchison says the Kansas Forest Service will be working to address those issues.TT 12-07
11-30-18AN EVERGREEN OF MANY COLORS– The Eastern Red Cedar is an evergreen that serves as a windbreak for homesteads and fields and as food and shelter for deer, game birds, song birds and many other species. While the Eastern Red Cedar is an evergreen, K-State forester Ryan Armbrust says its color is not constant.TT 11-30
11-23-18BENEFITS OF A WOOD STOVE– A wood stove, whether it operates on firewood or pellets, can reduce heating costs in the winter. However, K-State forester Charles Barden says a wood stove might not be right for everyone.TT 11-23
11-16-18SELECTIVELY THINNING TREES– Selectively thinning out lower quality trees, such as hackberry, locust and hedge from woodlands and windbreaks provides firewood as a heating source and clears the way for good walnut and oak. K-State forester Bob Atchison says there is government assistance through EQIP – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program – available to landowners interested in managing their woodlands and windbreaks.TT 11-16
11-09-18BUSH HONEYSUCKLE CONTROL – November is one of the best time to control bush honeysuckle, a non-native invasive shrub plaguing wooded areas in Kansas. They can be easily detected this time of year because it’s one of the only understory shrubs that are still green. K-State forester Ryan Armbrust offers some tips for controlling bush honeysuckle. TT 11-09
11-02-18SELECTING QUALITY FIREWOOD– The days getting shorter and cooler serves as a reminder that it’s time to start securing firewood for the winter. However, not all firewood burns the same. K-State forester Charles Barden discusses the heating value of the various wood species and what constitutes quality firewood.TT 11-02
10-26-18HARVESTING TIMBER IN KANSAS– Kansas farmers and ranchers are often approached about selling timber on their property. However, before any sales take place, K-State forester Bob Atchison says fair market value needs to be determined – which includes seeking bids from several timber buyers. He discusses the steps involved in selling timber and how the Kansas Forest Service can guide sellers through the process.TT 10-26
10-19-18EXPERIENCING FALL IN KANSAS– As we move deeper into fall, a journey across Kansas reveals a spectacular array of colors and beauty. K-State forester Charles Barden discusses some of the best places to experience fall in Kansas. TT 10-19
10-12-18FOREST STEWARDSHIP AWARD– A 200 acre Kansas tree farm has been recognized with a prestigious forestry award for its long-term commitment, productivity and health of their woodlands. K-State forester Bob Atchison has the full story of this year’s Forest Stewardship Tree Farmer of the Year.TT 10-12
10-05-18MANAGING STREAMSIDE VEGETATION– Managing streamside vegetation is an important part of managing Kansas streams. According to K-State forester Jarran Tindle, planting a wide variety of species helps ensure the long-term health and value of the streamside forest.TT 10-05
09-28-18SLOPE STABILIZATION– When stream systems are in balance, the stream migrates at a very slow rate while maintaining its shape and pattern. However, when a stream system is out balance, they exhibit accelerated bank erosion. K-State forester Jarren Tindle discusses how the use of woody vegetation to promote slope stabilization.TT 09-28
09-21-18BIOTECHNICAL PROTECTION– Many streambank systems are out of balance and exhibit accelerated bank erosion and down cutting stream beds. However, K-State forester Jarren Tindle says biotechnical streambank protection can be used to reduce the force of water and increase soil resistance to erosion by establishing a living structure of woody vegetation.TT 09-21 
09-14-18ALLEVIATING STREAMBANK EROSION– Approximately half of the sediment in federal reservoirs in Kansas is coming from streambank erosion. K-State forester Jarren Tindle outlines the steps private landowners can take to slow down streambank erosion, and in the process, extend the life of our reservoirs.TT 09-14
09-07-18FALL TREE PLANTING TIPS– Fall is a great time to add evergreens and deciduous trees to the home landscape. If you’re undecided about which species to plant, K-State forester Charlie Barden says visiting a nursery provides a good idea of how those trees will look in the fall. He also offers tips for fall planting, watering and mulching.TT 09-07
08-31-18PLANTING NUTS IN THE FALL– While most tree planting is done in the spring, those interested in establishing trees in the home landscape this fall should consider planting nuts by collecting local seed. K-State forester Bob Atchison says most trees in Kansas drop their seed in the fall, including black walnut and oak acorns.TT 08-31
08-24-18KANSAS AGROFORESTRY AWARD– The 2018 Kansas Agroforestry Award has been presented to the Kickapoo Tribe for the conservation work they’ve accomplished on their reservation located west of Horton. K-State forester Bob Atchison details the work that’s been done and how you can see that work firsthand by attending Fall Forestry Field Day in October. TT 08-24
08-17-18LATE-SEASON DEFOLIATION– Emerald ash borer has been present in northeast Kansas for several years, but not every ash tree that looks rough is infected. K-State forester Ryan Armbrust says the tree may be experiencing late-season defoliation which is rarely fatal. TT 08-17
08-10-18SIGNS OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE– After accidentally entering the United States on elm logs shipped from France to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1931, Dutch Elm Disease started killing many planted and native elm trees in Ohio within five years. The disease was first reported in Kansas in 1957. Despite the threat of DED, K-State forester Ryan Armbrust says there are a number of American elm hybrids that are well-suited for planting in Kansas.TT 08-10
08-03-18COMBATING OAK WILT DISEASE– Every year a number of oaks in eastern Kansas suffer from a disease called oak wilt which quickly causes decline and death. K-State forester Ryan Armbrust says there’s little that can be done to save a tree from oak wilt but there are steps that can be taken to help protect oaks from exposure to the disease.TT 08-03
07-27-18THE HISTORY OF TREES IN KANSAS– Trees have played an important role in the history of Kansas. Settlers often looked for a grove of tall cottonwood trees as a place to make camp because it meant water was nearby. However, K-State forester Charles Barden says the clearing of trees along streams and rivers caused unstable banks, resulting in muddy water and increased siltation in our reservoirs – something that’s now being addressed through riparian buffers.               TT 07-27 
07-20-18MANAGING WOODLANDS IN KANSAS– There are more than two million acres of woodlands in Kansas. If those acres are properly managed, it can provide an economic value to a farm’s operation. K-State forester Bob Atchison says the Kansas Forest Service can connect woodlands owners with organizations and councils that can help them diversity their income and increase the value of the overall farm.TT 07-20 
07-13-18WINDBREAKS AND CROPS– Research suggests a correlation between properly functioning windbreaks and an increase in crop yields. K-State forester Charles Barden has been researching the connection between windbreaks and crops and now he’s looking to expand the study across the region from Texas to Nebraska.TT 07-13
07-06-18TIPS FOR WATERING TREES– When nature isn’t providing enough moisture to keep trees healthy, homeowners need to make up the difference. But how much water do trees need? K-State forester Bob Atchison offers tips for watering newly planted and mature trees in the home landscape.TT 07-06
06-29-18EARLY SUMMER TREE PRUNING– Many older shade trees in the home landscape will benefit from an early summer pruning. K-State forester Charlie Barden says a light pruning now helps reduce crown size, slows tree growth, keeps troublesome branches away from rooftops and makes mowing the lawn a little easier. TT 06-29
06-22-18WOODLANDS AND WINDBREAKS– The 2.5 million acres of forests and 1.2 million acres of windbreaks, riparian woodlands and other trees in Kansas play a vital role in helping the environment. K-State forester Bob Atchison discusses the benefits of managing and caring for woodlands and windbreaks.TT 06-22 
06-15-18TREE PLANTING SUCCESS– A successful tree planting involves much more than digging a hole and covering it with soil. For example, weeds and grasses should be kept away from the base of the tree to reduce competition for water and nutrients. K-State forester Bob Atchison discusses the steps involved in a successful tree planting.TT 06-15
06-08-18WATERING TREES AND SHRUBS– Even when it rains during the summer, it might not be enough to adequately satisfy the needs of trees and shrubs in the home landscape. K-State forester Charlie Barden offers tips on how to water trees and shrubs without using too much or too little water.TT 06-08
06-01-18PINE TREE NEEDLE BLIGHT– If your pine tree needles have brown tips, needle blight could be the cause. Ryan Armbrust, health and conservation forester with the Kansas Forest Service, says this fungus often results in premature leaf drop which can weaken pine trees.                    TT 06-01
05-25-18THE IMPORTANCE OF WINDBREAKS– The purpose of a windbreak is to reduce wind speed.  K-State forester Bob Atchison says reducing heating costs, providing food and cover for wildlife, and reducing livestock feeding costs and stock losses are just a few of the benefits associated with having a windbreak.TT 05-25 
05-18-18ESTABLISHING PECAN PLANTATIONS– Pecan is the largest member of the hickory family and can be grown in southeast Kansas as a source of additional income. K-State forester Bob Atchison says the Kansas chapter of the Walnut Council will provide additional information about establishing pecan plantations at the Walnut Council Field Day on June 16th at the K-State Pecan Experimental Field near Chetopah.TT 05-18
05-11-18SELECTING LANDSCAPE TREES– Trees can definitely enhance the appearance of the landscape. However, if homeowners choose the wrong species or plant them in a bad location, K-State forester Charlie Barden says trees can become a liability rather than an asset.TT 05-11
05-04-18WALNUT COUNCIL FIELD DAY– The Kansas Chapter of the Walnut Council is hosting a Field Day June 16th at the K-State Pecan Experiment Field in Cherokee County. K-State forester Charlie Barden provides a preview of the field day – which he says may be the last at the 80 acre site.TT 05-04
04-27-18GROWING BLACK WALNUT TREES– Black walnut, which can be grown in the Midwest, including the eastern third of Kansas, is in high demand for wood products. However, for black walnut to thrive, they need loamy soils that are high in organic matter and should be planted in areas that drain well and receive full sun. K-State forester Bob Atchison offers advice for planting black walnut trees.TT 04-27
04-20-18CEDAR APPLE RUST FUNGUS– The alien-like orange objects that appear on the branches of Eastern red cedar trees following a rain storm in April and May are the spore-producing body of one life stage of the cedar apple rust fungus. K-State forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust says these spores find a home on a variety of apples – leading to a second stage of this rust disease. TT 04-20
04-13-18HARVESTING MOREL MUSHROOMS– A variety of wildflowers will soon be blooming in Kansas woodlands. In addition, the arrival of morel mushrooms – which often coincides with turkey season – sends hunters deep into the woods in search of one of the most desired mushrooms in the world. K-State forester Bob Atchison discusses how to harvest and handle these elusive mushrooms.TT 04-13
04-06-18TREE PLANTING DIVERSITY– Throughout history, there have been numerous pests and diseases that have impacted the health of our trees – and that impact was undoubtedly amplified by planting too many of the same species in one place. However, K-State forest health specialist Ryan Armbrust says tree planting diversity involves more than simply planting multiple species.TT 04-06