October 09, 2009

Forestry experts say fall colors will come early


Despite drought conditions in parts of the state for most of the year, there should be plenty of colorful foliage worth seeing across North Carolina this fall, according to a North Carolina State University expert. Dr. Robert Bardon, associate professor of forestry and extension forestry specialist at N.C. State, says that in areas of the state that have experienced drought, people should expect to see colors early, and that the leaves will change color faster.

“People should be hoping for weather conditions that are warmer during the day and cooler at nighttime – since they create the most vibrant fall colors,” Bardon says. “However, if we have a wet fall, we can expect less vibrant colors this season.”

During the spring and summer, leaves manufacture most of the food necessary for a tree’s growth. The food-making process occurs in cells that contain the pigment chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. The leaves also contain other pigments that are masked most of the year by the greater amount of chlorophyll.

In the fall, partly because of the changes in the period of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. As the chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and yellow colors surface. Other chemical changes create additional pigments that vary from yellow to red to blue.

Some of the understory trees – small trees, shrubs and vines that grow under the taller trees – across the state have already begun the chlorophyll breakdown process. Leaves at higher elevations in North Carolina, such as Mt. Mitchell, are the first to change, usually around the end of September or beginning of October, Bardon says. Then the trees in the lower elevations, moving south and east across the state, begin to change.

“North Carolina is very fortunate to have multiple opportunities to experience fall foliage, given the diversity of parks across the state, ranging from national parks, to state and local parks,” says Dr. Stacy Tomas, assistant professor and tourism extension specialist in parks, recreation and tourism management. “With the shrinking economy, everyone is feeling the pinch in their wallets. Heading out to a park to enjoy the fall foliage and taking in a picnic and a hike is a fun, affordable, family-friendly mini-vacation we can all enjoy.”

-C. Barnhill, News Services

Posted by Natalie at 08:13 AM

April 06, 2009

Tourism Extension has new Web site

The N.C. State Tourism Extension unit has launched a new Web site, which is designed to benefit Extension agents and other professionals working throughout North Carolina. The Web site will provide useful information on a variety of tourism-related topics, identify resources, and provide a forum for sharing current news and information. Visit the new Tourism Extension Web site at www.ncsu.edu/tourismextension/.

Posted by Natalie at 03:20 PM

March 03, 2009

Forestry to celebrate Arbor Day

tree with sunlight

The Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University invites the public to its Arbor Day Celebration and Open House on March 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the campus of N.C. State University.

Events will include a tree seedling give-away, a plant adoption center for youth, timber sports demonstrations from the N.C. State University Forestry Club, and various presentations from faculty and members of the urban forestry community.

“We want to create a festive atmosphere where North Carolinians can come together to celebrate Arbor Day, as well as learn what our department has to offer those interested in a natural resource career. This also is an opportunity for faculty and students to share and discuss research projects and experiences with the public. We hope there is a little bit of something for everyone!” stated Shannon Ford, undergraduate program coordinator for the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

Faculty will lead a guided campus tree walk, tours of the environmental technology labs and the Turner House native plant garden. A tour of the N.C. State Campus will also be available. Exhibitors from various forest-related organizations will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. The 2009 North Carolina Arbor Day Poster contest winner, chosen from a selection of 5th grade poster entries across the state, will be announced at noon.

For a full schedule of events, directions, and parking information please visit www.ces.ncsu.edu/forestry/arborday. Sponsors include the Triangle Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, Weyerhaeuser and the Encore Center at N.C. State University.

A day is set aside each year in North Carolina, as in many other states, to show just how much trees are appreciated. In 1967 the North Carolina legislature ratified a bill establishing Arbor Day in North Carolina as the first Friday following March 15. This year Arbor Day falls on March 20.
-Renee Strnad

Posted by Natalie at 03:30 PM

November 16, 2007

Despite drought, NC Christmas trees look good for 2007 holiday season

Christmas tree harvest

Even with the recent drought in North Carolina, this year's Christmas tree crop will be just as good as last year's, according to Jeff Owen, North Carolina State University area extension forestry specialist who works with Christmas tree growers across the N.C. mountains.

Read more in the North Carolina State University news release.

Posted by Dave at 01:40 PM

May 15, 2006

4-H WHEP contest winners announced

Chris Moorman at WHEP contest
Extension wildlife specialist Chris Moorman, center, works with participants in the 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program Contest held April 29.

The 2006 North Carolina 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) Contest was held at Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve in Mecklenburg County April 29. Twelve teams and 10 individuals from 10 counties competed in the contest, which included recommended on-site habitat management practices, wildlife species identification, wildlife foods identification and interpreting wildlife habitat from aerial photographs.

The Alexander County senior team will represent North Carolina at the National 4-H WHEP Invitational during late July in Madison, Wis.

Members of the Alexander Senior Team are Michael Hill, Caiti Cranford, Vanessa Patterson. Coaches for this team are Lenny Rogers, Alexander County Extension director, and Dennis Wahlers, Alexander County forest ranger. Suzanne Rhinehart is the 4-H agent.

The Henderson County senior team, which placed first in the state, represented North Carolina in 2004. Teams may attend the National WHEP Invitational only once, so Alexander County, as second place team, was chosen to represent the state this year.

Though a competitive event, WHEP’s primary purpose is to increase participants' knowledge of wildlife management practices while building life skills including leadership and teamwork. The North Carolina State Council of Quail Unlimited and individual chapters currently sponsor the NC WHEP program.

Team rankings:
Senior Team Division (age 14-19):
1. Henderson: Katie McCraw, Kyle Stinnett, Lory McCraw, Patrick McCraw
2. Alexander: Caiti Crandford, Michael Hill, Vanessa Patterson

Junior Team Division (age 9-13):
1. Catawba: Adam Coto, Ben Huysman, Chris Moore, Mason Coto
2. Henderson: Bethany Hyde, Caleb Worrell, Drue Stinnett, Gideon Worrell
3. Stanly: Chris Almond, Jared Hatley, Nicholas Lambert, Timothy Hatley

Senior Highest Individual Score:
1. Lory McCraw, Henderson County
2. Katie McCraw, Henderson County
3. Andrew Kimball, Johnston County

Junior Highest Individual Score:
1. Adam Coto, Catawba County (contest highest score)
2. Gideon Worrell, Henderson County
3. Ben Huysmen, Catawba County

Posted by Natalie at 02:50 PM

February 10, 2006

Wood biomass workshop will be March 13-14

An upcoming conference at N.C. State University's McKimmon Center will focus on "Energy from Wood: Exploring the issue and impactf for North Carolina." The conference will be held March 13-14.

This conference will:
* Present much of the known information about potential impacts and opportunities on North Carolina’s forests from a wood biomass economy;
* Offer an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to explore issues surrounding woody biomass; and
* Prepare stakeholders for the future policy discussions surrounding the use of woody biomass for energy.

The conference will be useful for policy makers, regulatory agency staff, industry (energy, foresters, forest landowners, manufacturing), scientists, environmental interests and local or regional biomass energy users.

For more information, visit the Conference Web site at

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is one of the workshop sponsors. Others are listed on the Web site.

Posted by Natalie at 08:56 AM

January 04, 2006

Forestry Extension group receives national recognition

The Forestry Extension and Outreach Program at North Carolina State University was awarded the 2005 Family Farm Education Award from the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs and the National Woodland Owners Association. The prestigious award is given to one university program each year.

"I received many compliments from forestry deans, directors and department heads about the quality of the people and programs at N.C. State," said Barry Goldfarb, professor and head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

Members of the Forestry Extension and Outreach Program include: Rick Hamilton, Robert Bardon, Chris Deperno, John Frampton, Jim Gregory, Dennis Hazel, Mark Megalos, Susan Moore, Chris Moorman, Anne Napier, Jeff Owen, Jean Pittman, Jill Sidebottom, Renee Strnad and Becky Townsend.

Posted by Natalie at 09:00 AM

December 02, 2005

Christmas trees fresh, despite drought

photo of Fraser fir

North Carolina Christmas tree growers shipped a fresh crop of trees in 2005 despite a dry fall, said a tree expert at North Carolina State University.

The North Carolina mountains, where most of the state's trees are grown, were extremely dry from August until mid-November, says Jeff Owen, an area Christmas tree specialist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. It had been expected that a tree moisture content survey conducted by N.C. State would indicate that trees were dryer this year than in 2004. But Owen said the survey of cut Fraser fir Christmas trees indicated more than 96 percent were fresh.

"This means families looking for the perfect North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree will have a wide selection of fresh, high-quality trees," Owen said.

Fresh Fraser fir Christmas trees have soft pliable branches and needles, and all the needles adhere to the stem when brushed. Fresh bark is smooth rather than wrinkled. A fresh tree will feel cool to the touch even on a warm day compared to a dry tree under the same conditions.

To preserve freshness in the home, Owen suggested that tree buyers always get their retailer to make a fresh cut off the bottom of the tree. This improves water uptake. Trees should be stored and displayed at home with the trunk in water, Owen added.

The freshness survey is one way the quality of this valuable crop is monitored. This year, foliage samples from 488 Christmas trees in storage yards were evaluated for moisture content. Foliage samples were collected the week before Thanksgiving as Christmas trees were being shipped from North Carolina farms. Moisture content is a measure of freshness and a cut tree's ability to rehydrate when displayed in water. Out of nearly 500 trees sampled, only two (0.4 percent) were dry and 16 (3.3 percent) somewhat dry.

Owen said growers did get rain before most trees were shipped, which benefited the entire crop. Yet trees stored before it rained contained almost as much water as those cut after the rain. In fact, the 2005 results are almost identical to survey results from 2004, a very wet harvest season.

Owen said the similarity between 2004 and 2005 survey data is a testament to the care North Carolina growers provide to a perishable crop of more than 4.5 million trees. During this year's dry harvest season, growers delayed cutting as long as possible. They managed cut trees more carefully to reduce exposure to sun and wind. Most growers cooled their trees off under natural shade or elaborate shade structures. Most irrigated their storage yards and trees to minimize moisture loss. Most North Carolina growers are going the extra mile to ensure fresh trees are shipped year after year regardless of the weather, Owen said.

Twenty-six Fraser fir growers in Avery, Alleghany, Ashe and Jackson counties participated in this year's survey, most of them for the third consecutive year. The Fraser fir freshness surveys conducted over the last three years have been a joint effort of College of Natural Resources faculty and county Cooperative Extension agents at N.C. State University and Fraser fir Christmas tree growers across the North Carolina mountains.

Along with the farm survey, retail Christmas tree lots in North Carolina and Florida are surveyed for freshness and care practices each year. It takes an industry-wide effort to ensure consumers have fresh, high quality trees from which to choose.

Posted by Natalie at 02:25 PM

November 29, 2005

Natural Resources hires new outreach associates

Congressman Charles Taylor and Senator Elizabeth Dole have joined forces to provide funding that will enhance N.C. State University’s natural resources outreach/extension capability.

“We are fortunate to hire three outstanding individuals who are charged to work with extension agents, industries and many other agencies and groups to foster economic development of North Carolina’s forest-based resources,” says Rick Hamilton, Forestry Department Extension leader.

These three new outreach associates in N.C. State University’s College of Natural Resources are on board and available to help with programming needs in three areas.

Mark Megalos, outreach associate in forestry, is based on N.C. State’s campus. Megalos’s priority will be on county programming. He has three workshops, “Working Forest Summits for North Carolina Landowners,” scheduled for early December. The workshop will be held Dec. 1 in Williamston, Dec. 6 in Fletcher and Dec. 7 in Elon.

Megalos is a former Extension forest stewardship specialist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. He returns to Extension, having served since 1999 as state coordinator of the Forest Stewardship Program and Forest Legacy Program of the N.C. Forest Service. He can be reached at mark_megalos@ncsu.edu or 919-513-1202.

Harry Watt, who is based in Statesville, is a business improvement outreach associate working with the wood products industry. Watt will work with the state’s wood products manufacturing industry, which includes furniture, cabinets and millwork. He can be reached at harry_watt@ncsu.edu or 704.880.5034.

Bill Ryerson, outreach associate for tourism, is based in Dobson at the Surry County Cooperative Extension Center. He can be reached at bill_ryerson@ncsu.edu or 336.401.8025. Ryerson will work with landowners and communities to enhance regional tourism efforts.

Ryerson has a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in tourism and hospitality management from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He also has many years of experience as a business process engineer helping businesses better understand how they can better serve the customer while improving operations. Coupled with his business and tourism background, he has a special interest in the understanding and enhancing the economic contribution of tourism to individual businesses, as well as to communities, regions, and the state.

Posted by Natalie at 07:50 AM

Retired Extension specialist raises White House Christmas tree

Earl Deal, retired Extension wood products specialist, had the honor of having a Christmas tree from his Smoky Holler Christmas Tree Farm in Laurel Springs, chosen as the White House tree this year. Read more

Posted by Natalie at 07:49 AM

October 06, 2005

Project Learning Tree plans fall workshops

It must be the impending leaf color change that has brought on all these October Project Learning Tree workshops! For a current listing of PLT workshops statewide, visit the NC PLT web site at www.ces.ncsu.edu/plt. Download literature lists, activity materials, and discover NC PLT online.

We will also be out and about this fall at the North Carolina Charter Schools' Conference, the North Carolina Science Teachers' Professional Development Institute, and other local events. All workshops below, and the materials, are provided free of charge to participants.

October 10
9am - 4pm
PreK-8 Workshop
Holmes Educational State Forest
To Register: Holmes ESF Rangers 828-692-0100 or holmesesf@ncmail.net

October 18
9am - 4pm
PreK-8 Workshop
Turnbull Creek Educational State Forest
To Register: Turnbull Creek ESF Rangers 910-588-4161 or tcesf@intrstar.net

October 18
9am - 4pm
PreK-8 Workshop
Jordan Lake Educational State Forest
Chapel Hill (near Pittsboro)
To Register: Jordan Lake ESF Rangers 919-542-1154 or ncdfrjordanlake@mindspring.com

October 19
9am - 4pm
PreK-12 Workshop (includes the PreK-8 Activity Guide and two High School modules)
Woodmen Camp
To Register: Mark Case 336-498-7750 or WoodmenCamp@aol.com

October 22
9am - 4pm
PreK-8 Workshop
Bur-Mil Park, Frank A Sharpe, Jr. Wildlife Education Center
To Register: Tracy Pegram 336-373-3813 or tracy.pegram@greensboro-nc.gov

And in November....

November 7, Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs, Cary
November 17, Blue Jay Point County Park, Raleigh
And to wrap up the year.....
November 19, Duke University

All the above workshops are six contact hours. To receive 1.0 CEU renewal credits or EE Certification in Criteria I, participants will need to complete a super simple homework assignment for the additional four contact hours.

November 4 & 5, 2005
8am - 4pm both days
PreK-8 Workshop
W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir
To Register: Miriam Fleming 336-921-3390 or miriam.j.fleming@saw02.usace.army.mil
**This workshop will be counted as a 10-hour PLT workshop for EE certification and CEU renewal credits. W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir is a North Carolina Environmental Education Center, with many unique features. Tours will be given, as well as time to explore the area individually.

Posted by Natalie at 02:51 PM

September 06, 2005

24 graduate from NRLI

North Carolinians from across the state are the most recent graduates of the Natural Resources Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized and founding model offered by other states such as Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Montana, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and Indiana. Developed by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and housed within the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at N.C. State University, the institute is designed to build the leadership capacity of North Carolinians involved in natural resource management and some of our most contentious environmental issues.

Graduates represent a diverse mixture of experiences, backgrounds, affiliations, and statewide geographic locations. During the 18 month leadership development program, participants engage in exploring the leader within as expanding their understanding about the practice and responsiveness of leadership. Progress Energy provides partial scholarships for participants to attend who otherwise would not be able to do so. As part of their learning environment, Institute participants put practice to work as they develop and apply a leadership project mentored by the institute faculty. The 2004 graduates and their projects are listed below.

Alexander County
Tommy Sports, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources
Project: Expectations of Plan Development and Procedural Conflicts that Effect Work in Field and Product Distribution to NCDFR Customers

Beaufort County
Kevin O’Kane, Weyerhaeuser
Project: Creation of a Memorandum of Agreement to Protect RCW Habitat and Maintain Flexibility of Use of Weyerhaeuser Property in Tyrell County

Tom Stroud, Partnerships for the Sound
Project: Creation of a Memorandum of Agreement to Protect RCW Habitat and Maintain Flexibility of Use of Weyerhaeuser Property in Tyrell County

Buncombe County
Alma Watson, Puckett Institute
Project: Development of Tool Kit to Support the Natural Resource Experience

Carteret County
Blake Price, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Marine Fisheries
Project: The Formation of the Marine Fisheries Commission Sea Turtle Advisory Committee

Columbus County
Mary Beth Hanson, International Paper
Project: Accessibility to the Green Swamp: Partnerships Providing Workable Solutions

Craven County
Tim Lisk, Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
Project: Partnership for a Multi-Use Trail System in Wake County

Dare County
Sara Mirabilio, N.C. Sea Grant College Program
Project: Utilization of Cultural Models and Collaborative Learning to Advance Management of the North Carolina Blue Crab Fishery

Fairfield County
Roger Stallard, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources
Project: Forestry Education Outreach to Non-Industrial Private Forestland Owners and Establishment of Multi-County Landowner Association to Address Policy Issues Impacting Forestry

Guilford County
Amy Armbruster, UNC-Greensboro, Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling
Project: University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Buy Recycled Campaign

Jackson County
Steve Yurkovich, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources Management
Project: A Collaborative Approach to Address Issues Related to the Cullowhee Dam Water Supply System

Mecklenburg County
Jeff Lineberger, Duke Power
Project: Land Conservation Opportunities and the Catawba-Wateree Hydro Relicensing Project

New Hanover County
Elisa Barrett, Earth Rescue and Sierra Club
Project: Providing a Broad Perspective Bibliography Relating to Global Warming and Climate Change

Orange County
John Howard, N.C. Department of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of Forest Resources
Project: Development of a Cooperative Agreement for the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources and Orange County

Wake County
Stephen Bentley, Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
Project: Wake County Land Stewardship Business Plan

Alan Clark, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Resources
Project: Addressing Runoff Pollution through Education and Outreach: A Department of Environment and Natural Resources Initiative

Gabrielle Cooper, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Resources
Project: Comprehensive Water Conservation Program for the City of Raleigh

Marti Gibson, City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department
Project: Comprehensive Water Conservation Program for the City of Raleigh

Nancy Guthrie, Clean Water Management Trust Fund
Project: Review of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Stewardship Procedures

Rusty Harris-Bishop, Ft. Bragg and the Sustainable Sandhills Initiative
Project: Facilitation of the Sustainable Sandhills Project

Todd Kennedy, N.C. Department of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of
Water Quality
Project: North Carolina Department of Transportation Cross Training Program

Elizabeth Lee Lusk, N.C. Department of Transportation – Office of Natural Environment
Project: North Carolina Department of Transportation Cross Training Program

Janine Nicholson, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Education.
Project: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning: Implementating the EIC Model in North Carolina

Shardul Raval, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources
Project: Collaborative Process for the Development of a Land Acquisition Policy & Procedure for the NCDFR Educational State Forest Expansion Plan

For more information on the Natural Resource Leadership Institute or to learn about the upcoming 2006 Leadership Development Program, contact Mary Lou Addor, 919.515.9602 or Mary_Addor@ncsu.edu, or visit the NRLI Web site, www.ces.ncsu.edu/NRLI.

Posted by Natalie at 01:43 PM

June 22, 2005

Extension publications update

New publications on forestry, soil science, apiculture and poultry science are available on the Web.

The following Woodland Owner Notes have been revised and printed:
--Financial Incentives for Forest Management, WON-4. To order copies of this free publication, contact robert_bardon@ncsu.edu. This publication is not available through Communication Services.

--Nutrition Management for Longleaf Pinestraw, WON-30. To order copies of this free publication, contact david_blevins@ncsu.edu. This publication is not available through Communication Services.

--Developing Wildlife-Friendly Pine Plantations, WON-38. To order copies of this free publication, contact chris_moorman@ncsu.edu. This publication is not available through Communication Services.

First…See a Forester, AG-619, has been revised and printed. To order copies of this free publication, contact robert_bardon@ncsu.edu. It is also online at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/forestry/pdf/ag/ag186.pdf. This publication is not available through Communication Services.

SoilFacts: Using Baffles to Improve Sediment Basins, AG-439-59, is available on the Web. Visit the Soil Science Department homepage at http://www.soil.ncus.edu and follow the publications links. This is a Web-only publication; it is not available through Communication Services.

To find the following bee publications on the Web, go to the apiculture program home page at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture, click on "Extension," then click on "Beekeeping Notes."
Honey Bee Dance Language, AG-646
Different Types of Honey Bees, AG-654
A Comparison of Russian and Italian Honey Bees, AG-655

The Department of Poultry Science has revised its Web site, and AG-651, Poultry Farm Biosecurity Field Manual by Abel Gernat, is now online at:
This publication is written in English and Spanish. You will find links to this and other poultry science publications at: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/

Posted by Natalie at 03:31 PM