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TREES

Throughout the year you  may have questions about caring for your trees. Looking for advice on tree care?John Ball, PhD, Forest Health Specialist SD Department of Agriculture, Extension Forester SD Cooperative Extension provides frequent Pest Alert information sheets which are helpful. The information bulletin also gives directiions for sending questions and/or plant  samples to the specialists at SDSU.

Click HERE for the link.




 John Ball, SDSU Extension Forester and Forest Health Specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture comments on the droughty conditions and the effect on trees.

"The most common symptom of moisture stress is leaves turning a lighter green than is typical for the species. Affected leaves are also showing brown and crisp margins, with browning often occurring between the leaf veins," Ball said. "Some trees in the southeastern part of the state are already having leaves curl and fall, a symptom of severe stress. Eventually trees showing severe moisture stress will begin to die back."

In current drought conditions, evergreen foliage on drought-stressed trees, particularly seedlings, is turning yellow to almost purple at the tips of the needles. Some of the older needles, which were formed three to five years ago, on drought-stressed trees are beginning to drop prematurely.

"There is not much that can be done at this time other than water," Ball said. "This is particularly important for new plantings, whether they are seedlings in a new windbreak or a tree just planted in a yard."

 He says a seedling is going to need between a pint and a quart of water per day, while a newly planted tree will need about 2 to 3 gallons per day at this time.

"Most young tree belts are probably not receiving anywhere close to this amount and I suspect there will be a lot of replanting next spring," he said.

Ball says established trees will not need daily watering, but still require weekly watering to survive this dry, hot summer. A 2-inch diameter tree, as measured at 6-inches above the ground, should be receiving about 20 gallons of water a week. 

"This is best-applied slowly with a soaker hose placed near the tree," he said. "Tree roots typically extend out as far as the tree is tall, but the critical watering zone is a distance out about two-thirds the height. As an example, if the tree is about 24-feet tall, the watering should occur within 16 feet of the trunk."




News

Summer Food in Wintry February

 

16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.


more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News