June 24th  2015 Blog

[caption id="attachment_68" align="aligncenter" width="634"] Several of the 2015 Sister Cities Student Delegates[/caption]

Becky Emerson CarlbergDo ticks love tomatoes as much as we do?   We have been constantly picking off ticks from our sleeves and shorts while in the garden.  Closer examination revealed the tomato plants were harboring lone star ticks.  One plant had at least 4 ticks hanging out, ready to latch onto anything warm-blooded.  In the fact sheet EPP 7001 ‘Common Ticks of Oklahoma and Tick-Born Diseases, it states one female lone star tick can lay 9,000 to 12,000 eggs.  That translates to one town of ticks per female tick.  Probably other plants are launch pads for ticks, but it was interesting to see these arachnids on the tomato plants.  Too many ticks this year.   Must invest in a flock of Guinea hens.  I hear they love to eat ticks.

Bigger than life pictures and info at:  http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2097/EPP-7001web2014.pdf.

My attention was first drawn to the newly planted serviceberry tree leaning toward the south at the Japanese Peace Garden on Thursday night.  It was the evening before the State Master Gardener Conference that this year was being held in Shawnee.  A social was scheduled at the Pottawatomie County OSU Extension Center for Thursday evening with food, music and its surrounding gardens open for viewing.  Also accessible at about the same time was the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art as well as the Japanese Peace Garden. Storms moving through earlier dropped considerable rain, leaving puddles and areas under water.  A strong north wind discombobulated ‘Autumn Brilliance’, the serviceberry hybrid planted several days before.  It would need to be set back upright and probably staked.

The Sister Cities student delegates and sponsors showed up, many wearing boots, to meet and greet the visiting Master Gardeners from Shawnee and other communities in Oklahoma.  The evening turned out to be breezy and comfortable.  Over 120 people attended the Social at the Extension Center, and well over 50 gardeners walked through the Japanese Garden.

The next morning, June 19th, was check-in for master gardeners from all over Oklahoma at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.  Hosted by the Multi-County Master Gardeners, the State Conference of 2015 was titled ‘Change Your World’.  After a hearty welcome given by Tom Terry, David Hillock, OSU State MG Coordinator stated some statistics:  there are over 30 MG groups in counties across the state, 256 new MGs were certified this past year,  master gardeners put in 83,000 volunteer hours and 6.4 million hours educational interventions (whatever that means), 1.7 million dollars benefit to Oklahoma and 1,115 pounds of produce were donated to food pantries.

The first speaker, Mark Bays, began his talk on ‘Oklahoma Forests:  Past, Present & Future’.  Mark is an Urban Forester Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.  He climbed into his space ship and went back in time to 15 billion years ago, gave a brief history of the universe, described the development of the continents on earth and what the earth is projected to look like 250 million years into the future.  Apparently all the continents will have rejoined back together, which elicited a quip about hoping the political problems were solved by then.  Through the ice ages we traveled, hopping over polar ice caps, glaciers and inner-glacial periods.  Ten thousand years ago Oklahoma was mainly grasslands.  Nine thousand years ago, oak savannas formed.  Five thousand years ago the oak woodlands emerged and by one thousand years ago, pines and hickory trees were growing here.

Today, petrified forests can be found at Altus and marine invertebrates are preserved on bluffs are near Stillwater.  Sixty percent of the fresh water flows from forests at a cost much less than artificially treated and filtered water. Twenty-eight percent of Oklahoma is now forested, and forests are one of the largest agricultural crops in the state, bringing in $2.5 billion annually.

In the area spanning parts of Texas, Kansas and central Oklahoma is found Cross Timbers.  Twenty foot tall post oak trees may be over 400 years old.  Eastern redcedar is native in all counties of Oklahoma except the extreme Panhandle.  The first state nursery was by Stillwater and focused on shelter belts.  The nation’s first shelterbelt tree was planted in 1935 in Oklahoma.  It was an Austrian pine.  The shelterbelt program was responsible for thousands of miles of trees being planted from 1935-1942 through the Great Plains states.

The next speaker was Todd Lasseigne, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Tulsa Botanic Gardens located 8 miles from downtown.  ‘From New to Old, Test to True, Timeless Plants for Oklahoma Gardens’ was his topic.  Plants react to changes, he said, since they can’t run away.  Huge amounts of DNA have been built up storing knowledge over the years.  Native plants change throughout their native ranges.  Sweet Bay Magnolia has a range from the Eastern USA to Texas and Arkansas.  In Louisiana and eastern Texas, the leaves and flowers are larger and the trees tend to remain in an evergreen state.  Further north, they become semi-deciduous.

Many places have incomplete records of native flora.  One broadleaf Yucca was discovered in 4 counties in Texas in 2003.  The goldenrods in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma are quite fluffy compared to goldenrods elsewhere.  American Wisteria blooms later than its Japanese cousins.

As the climate changes, either plant populations adapt or die out.  Buckley’s Oak, a Texas red oak that reaches 25 feet in height, can survive drought and heat.  The Seaside Alder is only found in the Delmarva Peninsula on the East Coast, Georgia and Oklahoma.  Not drought tolerant, the tree prefers boggy soils but can be utilized to stabilize stream beds in parks.  Plants touch people by their color, their stature and their properties.

Plants can connect directly with people, as with the creation of bald cypress arches that grow from side to side and join high overhead.  Even some non-native plants can contribute to people interaction, as with Japanese Hackberry in its weeping form that may form a tunnel.

End of Part 1

June 24th  2015 Blog [caption id="attachment_68" align="aligncenter" width="634"] Several of the 2015 Sister Cities Student Delegates[/caption] Becky Emerson CarlbergDo ticks love tomatoes as much as we do?   We have been constantly picking off ticks from our sleeves and shorts while in the garden.  Closer examination revealed the tomato plants were harboring lone star ticks.  One plant had at least 4 ticks hanging out, ready to latch onto anything warm-blooded.  In the fact sheet EPP 7001 ‘Common Ticks of Oklahoma and Tick-Born Diseases, it states one female lone star tick can lay 9,000 to 12,000 eggs.  That translates to one town of ticks per female tick.  Probably other plants are launch pads for ticks, but it was interesting to see these arachnids on the tomato plants.  Too many ticks this year.   Must invest in a flock of Guinea hens.  I hear they love to eat ticks. Bigger than life pictures and info at:  http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2097/EPP-7001web2014.pdf. My attention was first drawn to the newly planted serviceberry tree leaning toward the south at the Japanese Peace Garden on Thursday night.  It was the evening before the State Master Gardener Conference that this year was being held in Shawnee.  A social was scheduled at the Pottawatomie County OSU Extension Center for Thursday evening with food, music and its surrounding gardens open for viewing.  Also accessible at about the same time was the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art as well as the Japanese Peace Garden. Storms moving through earlier dropped considerable rain, leaving puddles and areas under water.  A strong north wind discombobulated ‘Autumn Brilliance’, the serviceberry hybrid planted several days before.  It would need to be set back upright and probably staked. The Sister Cities student delegates and sponsors showed up, many wearing boots, to meet and greet the visiting Master Gardeners from Shawnee and other communities in Oklahoma.  The evening turned out to be breezy and comfortable.  Over 120 people attended the Social at the Extension Center, and well over 50 gardeners walked through the Japanese Garden. The next morning, June 19th, was check-in for master gardeners from all over Oklahoma at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.  Hosted by the Multi-County Master Gardeners, the State Conference of 2015 was titled ‘Change Your World’.  After a hearty welcome given by Tom Terry, David Hillock, OSU State MG Coordinator stated some statistics:  there are over 30 MG groups in counties across the state, 256 new MGs were certified this past year,  master gardeners put in 83,000 volunteer hours and 6.4 million hours educational interventions (whatever that means), 1.7 million dollars benefit to Oklahoma and 1,115 pounds of produce were donated to food pantries. The first speaker, Mark Bays, began his talk on ‘Oklahoma Forests:  Past, Present & Future’.  Mark is an Urban Forester Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.  He climbed into his space ship and went back in time to 15 billion years ago, gave a brief history of the universe, described the development of the continents on earth and what the earth is projected to look like 250 million years into the future.  Apparently all the continents will have rejoined back together, which elicited a quip about hoping the political problems were solved by then.  Through the ice ages we traveled, hopping over polar ice caps, glaciers and inner-glacial periods.  Ten thousand years ago Oklahoma was mainly grasslands.  Nine thousand years ago, oak savannas formed.  Five thousand years ago the oak woodlands emerged and by one thousand years ago, pines and hickory trees were growing here. Today, petrified forests can be found at Altus and marine invertebrates are preserved on bluffs are near Stillwater.  Sixty percent of the fresh water flows from forests at a cost much less than artificially treated and filtered water. Twenty-eight percent of Oklahoma is now forested, and forests are one of the largest agricultural crops in the state, bringing in $2.5 billion annually. In the area spanning parts of Texas, Kansas and central Oklahoma is found Cross Timbers.  Twenty foot tall post oak trees may be over 400 years old.  Eastern redcedar is native in all counties of Oklahoma except the extreme Panhandle.  The first state nursery was by Stillwater and focused on shelter belts.  The nation’s first shelterbelt tree was planted in 1935 in Oklahoma.  It was an Austrian pine.  The shelterbelt program was responsible for thousands of miles of trees being planted from 1935-1942 through the Great Plains states. The next speaker was Todd Lasseigne, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Tulsa Botanic Gardens located 8 miles from downtown.  ‘From New to Old, Test to True, Timeless Plants for Oklahoma Gardens’ was his topic.  Plants react to changes, he said, since they can’t run away.  Huge amounts of DNA have been built up storing knowledge over the years.  Native plants change throughout their native ranges.  Sweet Bay Magnolia has a range from the Eastern USA to Texas and Arkansas.  In Louisiana and eastern Texas, the leaves and flowers are larger and the trees tend to remain in an evergreen state.  Further north, they become semi-deciduous. Many places have incomplete records of native flora.  One broadleaf Yucca was discovered in 4 counties in Texas in 2003.  The goldenrods in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma are quite fluffy compared to goldenrods elsewhere.  American Wisteria blooms later than its Japanese cousins. As the climate changes, either plant populations adapt or die out.  Buckley’s Oak, a Texas red oak that reaches 25 feet in height, can survive drought and heat.  The Seaside Alder is only found in the Delmarva Peninsula on the East Coast, Georgia and Oklahoma.  Not drought tolerant, the tree prefers boggy soils but can be utilized to stabilize stream beds in parks.  Plants touch people by their color, their stature and their properties. Plants can connect directly with people, as with the creation of bald cypress arches that grow from side to side and join high overhead.  Even some non-native plants can contribute to people interaction, as with Japanese Hackberry in its weeping form that may form a tunnel. End of Part 1