OSU

WateringBy Kym Pokorny
The forecast promises high temperatures this summer, so take care to protect plants for the long, hot haul.
“Already this year, I’ve noticed soils are drying out more and sooner than I’ve seen since I moved to Portland eight years ago,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “It’s critical to be proactive about watering.”

Stressed firBy Mary Stewart
Many Oregonians have noticed widespread damage in landscape and forest trees this spring – and weather may be the culprit.
“Browning or dieback is often caused by weather-related stress, sometimes in combination with pests and diseases,” said Glenn Ahrens, a forester with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. Douglas-fir trees are the most common victims, he said, but stress due to weather is affecting many tree species and a variety of problems are showing up.
On some Douglas-firs, branches and tops are turning red or brown. Sometimes the entire tree dies. Older trees typically have milder symptoms.
“This sudden mortality or ‘flaring out’ of branches and tops is a classic symptom of drought in conifers,” Ahrens explained.

Rust diseaseBy Kym Pokorny
Charmingly warm weather coaxed roses into bloom early this year, which means dealing with the usual diseases and pests earlier, too.

Sweet potatoesBy Kym Pokorny
When he was nine years old and riding with his brother on the back of a two-seater tractor on 30 acres in southern California, Gary Jordan planted sweet potatoes one at a time.

ConiferBy Kym Pokorny
We buy live Christmas trees with the best of intentions, promising ourselves to plant them in the garden as soon as the holidays are over. But resolve has a way of fading like resolutions after January.
Moved outside without the care they need, the beautiful, and not inexpensive, trees meant to go in the ground in winter, languish, fade to brown and eventually die. One alternative is to buy plants meant to stay in pots, said Al Shay, a horticulture instructor at Oregon State University.
“It’s a trade-off,” he said. “You give up big trees for smaller, slower-growing plants that you can bring in year after year. But what’s small? Is four feet too small? Three feet? It’s relative.”

SpinachPlant fall and winter vegetables now
By Daniel Robison
In mild parts of western Oregon and along most of the coast, it is possible to grow a succession of garden vegetables throughout most of the year. Gardeners can extend the season well into fall in many parts of the Pacific Northwest with a little knowledge and protection of their plants from the elements.
When space becomes available after harvesting the last spring-planted peas or greens, keep those veggies coming.

Flowering currantBy Denise Ruttan
If you don't have much space to plant shrubs, you'll want to keep an eye out for Oregon Snowflake, a new flowering currant developed by Oregon State University that is smaller than other currants.   
This low-growing shrub is the first cultivar to come out of OSU's new ornamental plant breeding program, according to Ryan Contreras, a plant breeder and assistant professor in OSU's Department of Horticulture.

Process turns cellulose into energy storage devices

Tree harvest

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.

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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.