PC Extension, Conservation hold shelterbelt workshop
October 7, 2015
On Wednesday, September 23, the Phillips County Extension and the PC Conservation District hosted a Shelterbelt Workshop.
The workshop guest speaker was Dr. Peter F. Kolb, the MSU Extension Forestry Specialist and an Associate Professor of Forest Ecology & Management housed at the University of Montana in the Department of Forest Management. Dr. Kolb has over 30 years of experience and shared with a group of a dozen Phillips County residents' proper shelterbelt choices and care for our area. The workshop started off at Dr. Anne Johnson's Vet Clinic where a fully grown shelterbelt is established.
A June 1958 photo of the clinic with absolutely no vegetation was viewed by all. Now the clinic has an interior row of Caragana shrubs with exterior row of Russian Olive and Green Ash trees. A demonstration on pruning an established shelterbelt and how to open up the canopy area for better nutrition was discussed. Dr. Kolb stated, "The suction out of a leaf multiplies with every increase in wind or air temperature. At 80 degrees and 30% humidity the water suction on a leaf exceeds 200 lbs psi. A vacuum operates at 40 lbs psi!" Dr. Kolb has studied forestry with a specific research emphasis in the effects of heat, water stress and grass competition.
The Ron Sjostrom farm east of Malta was the location of the second half of the workshop. Mr. Sjostrom's shelterbelt was a prime example of how maintenance and proper placement early on can create and ideal shelterbelt. Two years ago Mr. Sjostrom had a crew of helpers and rented the PC Conservation Districts in line tree planter to start the shelterbelt. There was plenty of placement between the trees within the rows and between the rows of species planted. From the exterior looking in a wedge was created with four rows of trees, 1. Lilac, 2. Russian Olive, 3. Chokecherry and 4. Buffaloberry. The trees have been kept productive by continuous plowing in between the rows to minimize water consuming ground cover.
PC Extension Agent Marko Manoukian then gave a demonstration on proper protective equipment for pesticides and the importance of calibrating sprayers. Agent Manoukian stressed, "Always read and follow label instructions." Three pesticide application points were given for those who qualified and attended the workshop.
PC Conservation District Administrator Jenifer Anderson reminded everyone that they are now accepting orders for trees and shrubs for the 2016 spring planting season. A list of items available for sale or rent included landowner map booklets, landscape fabrics, planting products and rentals for the Sunbelt fabric layer and tree planter was included in a booklet distributed to all attending.
Everything covered on Wednesday and more can be found at the MSU Extension Service pdf Trees and Shelterbelts written by Dr. Kolb or email: [email protected] PC Extension Agent Manoukian can be reached at [email protected] and PC District Administrator Anderson at [email protected] for any questions on starting a shelterbelt or maintaining an established shelterbelt.