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Mason bees are premier pollinators

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By Larry Mauter LCSWA director The season for Mason bees on our tree farm near Waterloo is over. Todd and Kari Stutzman have come and gone twice from our foothill farm. They will be back in late winter 2021 to set up more hives in the two bee condos they’ve installed. The Masons are pollinators. They are eventually moved to California’s Sacramento Valley where they are crucial to fruit and nut crops. The Stutzmans used to make the trips south with their bees but now sell their bees through a broker. That is  allowing them begin expanding their mason bee operations in the Willamette Valley and foothills. Masons are solitary bees and their sole purpose is to reproduce, explained Kari Stutzman. They collect pollen and nectar to provide food for their offspring. In the process they provide pollination, she said. Mason bees are natives and have a one-year life cycle. They are not aggressive. Food sources include early spring flowers, maple trees, fruit trees and e

Forest education sprouts from Linn seedling sales

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Saturday February 1 brought out the customers to pick up plants and check out information booths. OSWA member Dan Thackaberry of Lebanon packs seedlings in moist sawdust on prep day during the 2020 seedling sale. Buoyed by continued success of the Linn County Small Woodlands Association Seedling Sale, board members have increased scholarship and educational funding commitments for the year.  March 5th, directors heard financial results of the February 1st seedling sale.  Treasurer Shirley Holmberg reported that profits from the 25 th annual event, after scholarships, totaled about $9,500. “It was a resounding success, thanks to all the hard-working volunteers and amazing people that make it happen,” Bonnie Marshall, seedling sale chairwoman, told directors. Roughly 500 hours of volunteer time was put in over the weekend of the sale, according to Fay Sallee, LCSWA education committee chairwoman. Seventy - five people, she said, staffed the event— including 4-Hers and the

Benton Woodlands night postponed due to virus

The Benton County Small Woodlands Assoc. has postponed the March 4 Woodlands Information Night because of the Corona virus. Dave Ehlers from the Benton group notified Linn County Small Woodlands Assoc. that the Benton board made the decision. “We have decided to postpone the Woodland Information Night, Wednesday March 4, until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience, but want to avoid a public meeting at this time due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation.” Ehlers said in an e-mail. The Benton and Linn County forestry groups share sponsorship of the annual Woodlands Information Night.

Quarterly board meeting Thursday in Sublimity

Forest education issues and scholarships will be front and center at this week’s Linn County Small Woodlands Assoc. quarterly board meeting. Directors will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in Sublimity at the home of Director Bonnie Marshall. Marshall will deliver her report on the Linn County Small Woodlands seedling sale results. Proceeds from the sale fund the LCSWA Oregon State University and 4-H forestry scholarships. Board President Lee Peterman and OSWA President Mike Barsotti will lead discussion about ONREF — another scholarship program that would be operated with other OSWA chapters. Barsotti is hoping the chapter will make a financial commitment to the program. Also relating to education, directors Jim Cota and Larry Mauter will update the board on the RHM Pine Fund project at Sunnyside Park near Sweet Home. The Bob Mealey-funded project includes planting a grove of Willamette Valley ponderosa pines at Sunnyside, along with educational interpretive sign aimed at campers an

Woodland information night is March 4

Benton County's small woodlands association will host this year's Woodlands Information Night. The event is free and will be held at the Benton County Library meeting room. Hear from knowledgeable speakers and visit with other land owners at this annual event. Topics this year include  GIS Tools Available to Woodland owners by county services, Doug Sackinger-Benton County Public Services; Species Selection in a Changing Climate, Glenn Ahrens -OSU Extension, Clackamas County; Drones in Forestry- uses, types, regulations and more, Cory G. Garms, OSU College of Forestry, Aerial Information Systems Lab; Log Report, Van Decker, Timber owner and Key Man at B & G Logging.  Linn County Small Woodlands Association and Benton County co-host the event every other year. Date:  Wednesday, March 4th Time:  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Location:  Benton County Library, meeting room Questions contact  Pat Boren    

Pine group surveying ponderosas

The Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association  is working to quantify how many acres, the ages, and the location of ponderosa pine plantations in the Willamette Valley. Mike Barsotti, executive director of the group, said this information is valuable for two reasons; it will help answer the questions: 1.) What is the future log supply? and 2.) Growth and yield tables need to be developed for ponderosa pine in the Willamette Valley and the location of stands of various ages on different soil types are needed to be measured to establish growth tables. This information will complement the work of an Oregon State University grad student who used imagery and GIS technology to locate and quantify pine plantations in the Willamette Valley. If you have or know of pine plantations in Willamette Valley, it would be very helpful if you would complete this online  form  (click the form link) or send by email the location, acres, and approx. age of the pine stand to  barsotti@wvi.c

TFOY list expanded; nominees sought

Joe Holmberg has combed his records — adding to list of past outstanding tree farmers in Linn County. Holmberg, who heads up the annual TFOY selection for the Linn County Small Woodlands Assoc., is now taking nominations for the 2020 outstanding tree farmer. The topic will be among the agenda items expected to come up Thursday, March 5 at the board of directors next regularly scheduled meeting. Here is the list supplied by Holmberg. Linn County Outstanding Tree Farmer 2019 Kathy and Tim Otis 2018 Sherm Weld 2017 Ivan and Rebecca Wolthius 2016 Joe and Shirley Holmberg 2015 Dave and Karen Bateman 2014 Linda Butts 2013 Rod and Ann Bardell 2012 Ed and Jim Merzenich and Karen Wilson 2011 Henry and Mollie Wolthius 2010 Dale and Shirley Crocker 2009 Fun Forest (Cota and Melcher families) 2008 — 2007     Neal Bell  2006    Don and Carol Cree  2005    Lon and Laura Rankin  2004   Aaron and Shawna White 2003   Alvin Sorseth 2002   J