Friday, October 6, 2017

Shelterbelt workshop October 12th

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

Several months ago, I was asked to provide a shelterbelt workshop again here in Liberty County.  As it has been a couple of years, I felt that it was a reasonable request so I approached Peter Kolb, the Extension forestry specialist about coming up Chester.  He graciously accepted my invitation and will be here in Chester on Thursday, October 12th.

Do you know what steps you need to take when you look out at your shelterbelt and see trees and shrubs that are declining?  Many of our shelterbelts were planted decades ago and are in various stages of decline.  There are many decisions that need to be made if we want to continue to utilize shelterbelts for our landscape and farming practices.  Do you renovate, tear an existing row out, start from scratch or explore other options?  Is it better to go from multiple rows to a single row?  What recommendations are out there about suitable trees and shrubs?  If you are wondering how, when or what trees to plant for your yard, a windbreak or shelterbelt, or have older trees that need care or renovation you might want to attend the upcoming workshop.  Growing trees in central Montana is extremely challenging and Dr. Peter Kolb, M.S.U. Extension Forestry Specialist, will be presenting a two-hour session on tree care and shelterbelt planning and renovation in Chester.  The program will be held on Thursday, October 12th, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Youth Center, located at 11 West Quincy Avenue in Chester.  If you have examples or experience, please bring those as well to share.  

The workshop will be presented in two sessions as follows: Hour one will explore how to care for your trees.  This 1-hour session will provide basic tree physiology information as well as practical information on selecting and planting trees.  Understanding the basics of how a tree functions and what it needs with regards to light, water and nutrients to grow and stay healthy will help anyone who has ever had trees to take care of.

The second hour will be outdoors at the Hendrickson Farm, approximately six miles south of Tiber elevator where the group can address the basics of pruning trees to keep them healthy, designing a shelterbelt and technics to renovate older ones.  Determining optimal spacing for varied species and assessing whether pruning or replanting is needed is the first step.  Additional steps focus on good options for shelterbelts and will also be discussed.  The program is free and open to the public.  RSVPs are appreciated but not mandatory.  For more information, please contact the Liberty County Extension office at 759-5625.

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