OSU

Maple and hedgeAs the fall colors begin to fade across Oregon cities, this is a good time for homeowners to pay some attention to the trees in their yards.  Collectively, the trees around us make up the urban forest - a place where 68 percent of all Oregonians live.

HoneybeeBy Daniel Robison
Photo by Lynn Ketchum
Sensor data will eventually inform the design of horticultural landscapes that attract bumblebees to crops that depend on pollination to produce fruits and vegetables.

Oregon State University will design miniature wireless sensors to attach to bumblebees that will provide real-time data on their intriguing behavior.
Many aspects of bumblebees' daily conduct are unknown because of their small size, rapid flight speeds, and hidden underground nests.

Dead treesOregon State University has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to investigate increasing impacts of drought, insect attacks and fires on forests in the western U.S., and to project how the influence of climate change may affect forest die-offs in the future.

South SisterA new report by scientists at Oregon State University projects that by the middle of this century there will be an average 56 percent drop in the amount of water stored in peak snowpack in the McKenzie River watershed - and that similar impacts may be found on low-elevation maritime snow packs around the world. The findings are based on a projected 3.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase. It details special risks facing many low-elevation, mountainous regions where snow often falls near the freezing point. In such areas, changing from snow to rain only requires a very modest rise in temperature.

It’s more than camping and fishing this summer in Lane County

Measuring thatchBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Alec Kowalewski
Thatch is a common problem in Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass lawns.

May is an optimum time to aerate and dethatch your lawn.
If your lawn is made up of perennial ryegrass or tall fescue, you likely don't have to worry about thatch, said Alec Kowalewski, a turfgrass expert for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Compost pileBy Denise Ruttan
Compost organic matter such as animal manure to feed your garden. Photo courtesy Tufts University

Don't get rid of the manure that chickens, horses or llamas leave behind.
Animal manure is rich in nutrients that make it a great organic fertilizer for your garden, said Melissa Fery, an instructor with the Oregon State University Extension Service's small farms program.
"Manure is a low-cost fertilizer and a wonderful way to utilize nutrients instead of creating a pile that is not getting used and could be harmful to water quality," she said.

Be on the lookout for azalea-damaging pest this spring

By Denise Ruttan
Adult Azalea lace bugAn adult Azalea lace bug. Photo by Robin Rosetta
Gardeners and nurseries should be on the lookout this spring for a relatively new pest in Oregon that damages azaleas and rhododendrons, according to experts with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
The azalea lace bug was first confirmed in Oregon in 2009 by OSU researchers after it was found in Washington in 2008.

By Denise Ruttan
LettucePhoto by OSU's EESC
Lettuce is a cool-season crop that can be planted in March in western Oregon.

Is this dry winter making you anxious to dig in the dirt again? There's some good news if you garden in western Oregon and are an optimist.
Cool-season plants can be directly seeded into the ground in March in the Willamette Valley and southern Oregon, said Bob Reynolds, the Master Gardener coordinator for the Oregon State University Extension Service in Jackson and Josephine counties.
Cool-season crops include peas, arugula, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, fava beans, kale, kohlrabi, spinach, chard, turnips and lettuce.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.