#5MinuteNatureChallenge

Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Today we are going to talk about the Black Walnut. Everyone knows the beautiful hardwood harvested from the Walnut tree, but it has many other benefits as well. The Walnut is a long-lived tree, reaching full maturity at 150 years of age. The Walnut grows to heights of between 70 and 150 feet tall and can reach over 8 feet in diameter. The Walnut does not tolerate heavy shade and must have a site that allows it direct sunlight to grow optimally. It likes deep neutral soils and does well in moist bottomlands and doesn’t tolerate extreme drought. The Black Walnut grows rapidly, especially in its youth. The fruit of the black walnut can be used as a colorfast dye but beware, handling the fruit will leave you with stained hands. The nuts are extremely nutritious and are a favorite for wildlife like squirrels. In the spring, Walnut trees can be tapped to make Walnut syrup. The process for syrup is the same as maple syrup but the ratio of sap to finished syrup is much higher. Black Walnut, like all members of the Walnut Family (including hickories, Butternut and Pecans) produces juglone in its root tissue. Black Walnut sports the highest concentrations of this chemical. Juglone is a toxin produced by some plants to kill off competition for nutrients. Some plants are highly sensitive to this toxin including most annual vegetable crops, so this tree may not be the best choice for the gardener with limited space.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Good morning Muskingum County! Today we will be focusing on the Douglas fir, one of the trees that we have for sale as part of our 2020 tree sale. Not considered a true fir and sometimes referred to as a false hemlock, the Douglas fir is native to a large swath of the western US and Canada. It is a large tree, growing from between 50-70 feet tall. The Douglas fir is reasonably picky about its growing location and for optimum growth should be planted in a well-drained sandy loam soil. They do not tolerate wet feet or heavy soils and should be watered during extreme drought. The Douglas fir is one of the more popular species of Christmas tree with beautiful dark green-blue green flattened, flexible needles that emit a sweet fragrance when handled and when cut, their needle retention is excellent. For commercial growth, they require good management, especially when young as they do not tolerate high weeds and they are sensitive to spring frost damage. Plantings should occur outside of frost pockets or areas with poor air drainage. They are a popular tree for wildlife, commonly browsed by deer, rabbit, squirrel, and mice. The seeds of Douglas fir are a good food source for a number of birds that overwinter in our area. The Douglas fir is an excellent specimen for windbreak and soil erosion, acting as a restorer for eroded soils.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
This Friday, for our “Meet the Tree” series, we are going to profile the Eastern White Pine. Native to Appalachia, this member of the pine family thrives in Eastern Ohio. White pine trees grow to a height of 80 feet tall and up to 40 feet wide at a relatively rapid pace. They require evenly moist, rich, well drained, acidic soils and do not tolerate alkaline soils and heavy clay soils well. They are a popular specimen for Christmas trees, with soft bluish green needles that almost begged to be touched. White Pine trees, due to their massive and spreading root systems, are perfect for windbreaks to allow homeowners to alleviate some of the pain of high utility bills. Beware planting the white pine close to your house or cars, however. Those beautiful and voluminous branches hold an enormous amount of ice and snow, causing them to be prone to storm damage. They also tend to consistently drop needles, sap and pine cones and require some clean-up effort for the backyard grower.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
We hope you’re having a lovely morning this morning. Today we are going to highlight the Northern Red Oak as our tree of the week. Native to the Eastern United States, the Northern Red Oak is an excellent lumber tree growing at a pace of 24” per year. The Northern Red Oak is a tree that is tolerant of most soil conditions, including clay soils and occasional drought, although it prefers a slightly acidic soil that is moist, loamy and well-drained. Saplings are not very shade tolerant and therefore must be planted in places where they are not under the canopy of other trees and are able to receive full sunlight. Luckily, that makes it a perfect specimen for backyard growth. The tree will reach a height of 60’ tall with a spread of 70’ in urban settings. It is tolerant of salt soils, making it a good roadside choice. The tree is an important food source for wildlife. Deer graze its growth and the acorns are a choice meal for squirrels, turkeys and other game fowl. It is relatively slow to reach maturity, abundant acorn production can take up to 40 years. It is a very long-lived tree with specimens reaching up to 500 years. Its prized foliage turns a deep brick- red in the autumn. It is an excellent shade specimen, growing quickly and helping the homeowner with utility costs during the summer.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
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Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re warm on this January morning. Today we are going to take a peek at the Common Persimmon Tree. Native to the southern half of the Eastern United States, the Common Persimmon tree is an imminently useful tree. The tree reaches 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide and often grows in colonies. It tolerates a variety of sub-prime soils and is an excellent specimen for the restoration of strip mined areas and degraded soils. It tolerates pollution and drought well and will grow in all but the wettest of sites. It is a slow-growing specimen and pest resistant. The tree boosts beautiful deep green foliage and a lovely shape, making it a perfect ornamental tree but is even more prized for its fruit. The 1-2 inch in diameter fruit is bitterly astringent and inedible when unripe but after the first freeze turns a pinkish orange and becomes sweet and delicious. The uses for Persimmons are numerous, making delicious pies, jellies, dried fruit and even wine. Many folks wait until the fruit falls to harvest it to avoid getting unripe fruit. The wood of the persimmon tree is used for turning and has been the prized fruitwood for golf clubs and billiard cues for its prized density. It is a favorite among deer and wildlife and ripens during rut, making it a premier selection for hunters looking to plant trees to draw in wildlife.
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Our biggest event of the night was our annual election. It ended with the re-election of supervisor Lance Deal, who was running against Dr. Lois Zook. We appreciate the willingness of both Lance and Lois to serve… https://t.co/qAYjIuCdpx

Our annual meeting and banquet had some very special visitors this year. With this being our 75th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate our extensive Muskingum County agricultural history. We have a total of 28 farms… https://t.co/CaABU6x9Qu

Our annual meeting and banquet had some very special visitors this year. With this being our 75th anniversary, we wanted to focus on Muskingum County's long farming history and we were lucky to have Kirk Hines from… https://t.co/tE9Jfmzc45

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