OSU

ConiferBy Kym Pokorny
We buy live Christmas trees with the best of intentions, promising ourselves to plant them in the garden as soon as the holidays are over. But resolve has a way of fading like resolutions after January.
Moved outside without the care they need, the beautiful, and not inexpensive, trees meant to go in the ground in winter, languish, fade to brown and eventually die. One alternative is to buy plants meant to stay in pots, said Al Shay, a horticulture instructor at Oregon State University.
“It’s a trade-off,” he said. “You give up big trees for smaller, slower-growing plants that you can bring in year after year. But what’s small? Is four feet too small? Three feet? It’s relative.”

SpinachPlant fall and winter vegetables now
By Daniel Robison
In mild parts of western Oregon and along most of the coast, it is possible to grow a succession of garden vegetables throughout most of the year. Gardeners can extend the season well into fall in many parts of the Pacific Northwest with a little knowledge and protection of their plants from the elements.
When space becomes available after harvesting the last spring-planted peas or greens, keep those veggies coming.

Flowering currantBy Denise Ruttan
If you don't have much space to plant shrubs, you'll want to keep an eye out for Oregon Snowflake, a new flowering currant developed by Oregon State University that is smaller than other currants.   
This low-growing shrub is the first cultivar to come out of OSU's new ornamental plant breeding program, according to Ryan Contreras, a plant breeder and assistant professor in OSU's Department of Horticulture.

Process turns cellulose into energy storage devices

Tree harvest

Maple and hedgeAs the fall colors begin to fade across Oregon cities, this is a good time for homeowners to pay some attention to the trees in their yards.  Collectively, the trees around us make up the urban forest - a place where 68 percent of all Oregonians live.

HoneybeeBy Daniel Robison
Photo by Lynn Ketchum
Sensor data will eventually inform the design of horticultural landscapes that attract bumblebees to crops that depend on pollination to produce fruits and vegetables.

Oregon State University will design miniature wireless sensors to attach to bumblebees that will provide real-time data on their intriguing behavior.
Many aspects of bumblebees' daily conduct are unknown because of their small size, rapid flight speeds, and hidden underground nests.

Dead treesOregon State University has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to investigate increasing impacts of drought, insect attacks and fires on forests in the western U.S., and to project how the influence of climate change may affect forest die-offs in the future.

South SisterA new report by scientists at Oregon State University projects that by the middle of this century there will be an average 56 percent drop in the amount of water stored in peak snowpack in the McKenzie River watershed - and that similar impacts may be found on low-elevation maritime snow packs around the world. The findings are based on a projected 3.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase. It details special risks facing many low-elevation, mountainous regions where snow often falls near the freezing point. In such areas, changing from snow to rain only requires a very modest rise in temperature.

It’s more than camping and fishing this summer in Lane County

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.