August 30, 2010

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will offer a forestry webinar series on select Tuesdays beginning Sept. 28. The series is designed for woodland owners, farmers and others interested in woodland, timber and wildlife topics.

"The Forestry Fall Webinar series is an excellent opportunity for woodland owners and those with an interest in forestry to get a significant amount of information in a relatively short time, without having to drive great distances to attend," said Billy Thomas, UK extension forester and one of the coordinators of the webinar series.

Sessions in the six-part series will convene at various county extension offices from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET, with local sites connected through a Web-based conferencing system. The presentations originate on UK's Lexington campus, but the technology allows participants at each site to ask questions of the experts.

Series topics include:

  • Tree Identification, Sept. 28-Trees blanket 47 percent of Kentucky's landscape and many of them, such as oak, walnut, yellow poplar and hickory, are valuable hardwood species. Doug McLaren, extension forestry specialist, will teach participants to identify trees by examining the structural elements. McLaren said being able to identify the trees that are in the landscape could make a walk through the woods even more enjoyable and rewarding.
  • How Climate Change is Affecting Natural Resources, Oct. 12-It's not a rumor; armadillos, once denizens of Gulf Coast states, now call Kentucky home. Extension Wildlife Professor Tom Barnes will lead a discussion about how the changing climate is already affecting plant flowering and the abundance and distribution of plants and animals in the state.
  • Maple Syrup Production, Oct. 26-Maple syrup production isn't just for New Englanders anymore. High quality syrup can be produced in Kentucky. Forestry Extension Professor Deborah Hill will lead participants through the syrup-making process. She'll also address the different maple varieties capable of producing a sap high in sugar. For those who are not interested in producing syrup on their own, there may be opportunities for woodland owners to become sap suppliers.
  • Woodland Certification, Nov. 9-There is an increasing demand for products produced in a sustainable manner, and Kentucky's sawmills are responding by seeking out certified woodlands to fulfill their customers' requests. In turn, the owners of these certified woodlands often find they have a competitive advantage. Jeff Stringer, UK forestry professor in hardwood silviculture and forest operations, will lead a session explaining the process of woodland certification.
  • Selling Timber, Nov. 16-Selling timber is often one of the largest financial transactions a woodland owner ever makes. In this session, Thomas will discuss strategies for selling timber at a fair price. He also will review the factors that influence how much money a company will offer and the organizations that can help navigate the timber selling experience.
  • Wood Identification, Nov. 30-Whether furniture shopping or wandering through museums, knowing the type of wood that was used in construction of an article can come in handy. Terry Conners, associate extension professor in wood products, will teach the basics of wood structure and show how to identify more than a dozen of the most common types of wood.

"This webinar series hopefully will open doors and eyes as to some of the opportunities our woodlands provide here in the state," Thomas said.

Participants of the Kentucky Woodland Owners Short Course or other forestry educational programs also will find valuable information in the webinar series. Thomas said they might have additional questions after reflecting on what they learned in the short course, and the webinar series would be an ideal time to ask them.

Interested participants may register for the entire series or individual webinars through participating county extension offices. More information is available online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/fallwebinars.php, by contacting a county extension office or Billy Thomas at 859-257-9153 or billy.thomas@uky.edu.