Monday, November 30, 2009

Fresh Christmas Tree care

It's that time of year again when christmas decorations begin going up and the decision of when to put up the real tree has to be made.  Always choose the freshest tree possible from a lot you trust.  The needles should bend and not snap.  Also when the tree is thumped against the ground green needles should not dislodge.  Once you have gotten the tree home remove another 1 to 2 inches of the base of the trunk and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.  For a longer lasting tree place the tree out of the direct flow of air and away from direct sunlight.  Once inside and in the stand fill the resevoir with a solution of 1cup of corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of liquid bleach in one gallon of water. Keep the resevoir full with this solution as long as the tree is in the house.

For more specific information go to Christmas tree care.
And for a list of Christmas tree growers in Kentucky visit

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blooming Early or Blooming Late

You may have noticed, like many folks, that spring flowering plants haven't given up yet.  Plants like forsythia, lilacs and even iris are blooming this fall.  We can normally blame premature flowering on low rain fall summers followed by wet falls. However that is not the case in this year.  My theory was confirmed after talking to Dr. Rick Durham (our ornament plant specialist at UK) that this premature or late blooming is a result of a wetter and cooler October followed by a warmer and dryer November.  October set the stage for a light dormancy period which was easily broken by our beautiful November weather.  The take home message is we can't really do anything about the situation.  We should hope to see temperatures moderate back to seasonal without any sudden moves down in temperature.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On our Extension Today radio show, airing on WBRT 1320 AM there were several questions asked regarding invasive species.  I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss in more detail some identification and options.  The three that were mentioned on air (purple wintercreeper, burning bush, and japanese honeysuckle) are particulary  problematic when established in a forest setting.  They will simply take over and root out the natives.  There are many other species that are problematic and you can research on your own at Bernheim or our UK Invasive species working group's page.  Control is a difficult task with these plants because they are so efficient at propagating themselves persistence is the answer.  If you want to study further control methods try our Weed Science Page.  Looking into alternatives is an important first step.  This Landscaping with Natives pub will provide you with some direction.

Bush Honeysuckle (above)                                                           

Purple Wintercreeper (Below)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

YouTube - UKAgriculture's Channel

Also Check out the Ag colleges you tube channel the link is below. There are several "how to" and "whats going on in KY" videos uploaded with more on the way. YouTube - UKAgriculture's Channel: "UK College of AgricultureUKAgriculture's Channel"

See Blue Go Green

See Blue Go Green is a compilation web site that is designed to be a one stop shop for all things green. We are in the process of updating, adding, and increasing the impact of the site. Our goal is to make this a go to site for eduactors and homeowners wanting to use good research based information to make their curricullums and their lives more green. So check out the link below and let me know what you think.
See Blue. Go Green. Ag. & Natural Resources