Event to focus on conservation tree and shrub planting

MANHATTAN -- “Fifty Million in 50 Years” is the theme of the Kansas Forest Service's (KFS) 2005 Fall Forestry Field Day, which celebrates the distribution of 50 million conservation trees and shrubs to the people of Kansas. Scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13, in Manhattan, the Field Day provides a variety of educational opportunities with a focus on conservation tree and shrub planting.

Participants will gather at the Kansas Forest Service State Office, 2610 Claflin Road in Manhattan, at 8:30 a.m. and be divided into two groups. One will tour the Forest Service State Office, and the other will be bussed to the Tuttle Creek Forestry Research site. The groups will reconvene for a barbecue lunch, then switch locations for the afternoon session, which will end at 3:30 p.m.

At the Kansas Forest Service State Office, participants will tour the tree packing room, cooler, and greenhouse where seedlings are grown in containers. Josh Pease, who directs the Conservation Tree Planting Program, will describe the process of growing trees from seed to sale, correct handling of seedlings, and seedling quality. Judy O’Mara, Kansas State University plant pathologist, will be on hand to provide the latest information on pine diseases and treatment. Foresters will also lead tours through the state office to see the beautiful wood paneling that represents more than 13 different native Kansas woods. Information will be provided about the tree species the paneling was made from. Dave Bruton, utilization marketing specialist, will demonstrate a portable sawmill and post peeler.

At the Tuttle Creek Forestry Research site, Troy Bratton, district forester, will demonstrate proper tree planting techniques using machine planters and dibble bars for hand planting. Participants will learn first-hand how to operate a weed barrier machine and apply plastic mulch over the top of newly-planted seedlings. Dennis Carlson, another district forester, will discuss the use of herbicides to control competing vegetation in young tree plantations.

Charles Barden, KSU extension forester, and Charlie Lee, wildlife damage control specialist, will exhibit deer damage prevention techniques using tree shelters, fencing, and repellents. Dr. Wayne Geyer, KSU silviculture professor, and Gary Naughton, retired KFS forester and consultant, will use a 14-year-old black walnut plantation to demonstrate how and when to thin black walnut using a crown-touching release.

To round out the event, KFS will present the 2005 Woodland Owner Awards. Each year, a woodland owner is recognized at the Fall Forestry Field Day for outstanding management and care of the forest and related resources on private property. This year, Marty Hewins will receive both the State Forest Stewardship Landowner Award and the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award for practicing sustainable forestry for more than 17 years on his Doniphan County farms close to Wathena and Blair. Hewins has improved more than 54 acres of woodland through selective harvest, thinning, and replanting oak and walnut. He has also managed Conservation Reserve Program grass and shrub plantings to enhance wildlife habitat. As the 2005 award winner, Hewins will be presented a brand new MS-290 Stihl chainsaw, a safety kit, a walnut plaque, and a sign at the Field Day.

The 2005 Fall Forestry Field Day requires a $13 registration fee. Registration information may be found online here or by phoning the Kansas Forest Service State Office at 785-532-3300.