Spam from Pam October 2023 – Great Plains Society of American Foresters’ Newsletter

Spam from Pam October 2023 – Great Plains Society of American Foresters’ Newsletter




Spam From Pam


Great Plains Society of American Foresters Newsletter


October 2023

What is Spam from Pam? It is an email update to inform GPSAF Members and Friends about activities, events, meetings, and odds and ends happening in and around Kansas and Nebraska regarding forestry or conservation. If you know of any event coming up, contact Pam at

I will also try to include short news releases to talk about what projects are going on amongst our members and our agencies. If you have an article you want to see published email them to me (Pam)!

Also, for those aspiring photographers, send in your pictures and I will put them in the publication. Share your talent with your fellow foresters. 

Trees Fall for Autumn

Pam Bergstrom

Birch Trees in Fall. This was a 4H Member's painting that caught my eye. Madison County 4H in Nebraska.             My father told me when I was young that as I got older, the seasons and years would fly by. At the time, for an 8-year-old farm girl whose life revolved around summer when she could play with baby kittens, that didn’t seem possible. As I have gotten older, and I want to think wiser, the seasons and years fly by and here we are near the end of summer 2023 and the start of fall 2023. One question though . . . where did summer and spring go?

            If you have trees or shrubs, you are probably wondering what you need to do to get them ready for the winter months. Today, I’m going to go through some tips and chores you need to think about performing before the first big freeze comes and that dreaded snow arrives.

            In most of eastern Nebraska, the summer was hot, dry, and on some days just plain ole brutal with the heat. Going into the fall, my first suggestion is to make sure your trees and shrubs are well watered and have enough moisture to keep the roots alive. When watering woody plants, the best thing to do is to get a soaker hose or just put the nozzle of the garden hose close to the trunk, but not right up to the trunk. If you get the trunk wet for too long, it can cause rot to form. The best thing to do is to leave the hose end about 6 – 12 inches away from the trunk and let a slow trickle come out. For the best results, move the end of the hose around the tree every few hours because the roots will go out all the way around the tree or shrub. It is a good idea to soak the tree from all sides for about 8 – 12 hours depending on the size of the tree.

            If you’re not sure if your tree or shrub needs watering, dig down about 8 inches into the ground and see if there is moisture in the sub-soils. If there is, you should be good, but if the soil is dry you will need to water. You may need to water once a week for a couple to three weeks if you are in a very dry area or have sandy soils. If, during the later fall, it is still dry and snow has not appeared, you can still water those trees and shrubs, you just water during the warmer hours of the day from 10 AM – 3 PM and the key is to stop watering right at 3 PM so if it does freeze, the tree doesn’t get hurt.

            Besides watering, you need to apply some more wood mulch around your trees and shrubs. I know we talked about doing this in the spring, but after talking with other foresters and arborist, it is a good idea to put on some more wood mulch around the trees and shrubs since the mulch will help the soil retain moisture and act as an insulator to keep the roots from getting damaged from the cold. When putting mulch down, make sure to leave a space between the trunk of the tree and the mulch. As we’ve mentioned, piling mulch right up to the tree will cause disease and decay in the tree’s trunk. Your mulch should be about 3 – 4 inches deep and go out to the end of the drip zone or to the tips of the branches. You can go a little farther out if you have the mulch and the room and in fact the farther out you go the better. A tree’s roots will go out one to two times the height of the tree and in some cases has been found to go out three times the height of the tree in dryer climates.

            Also, I invite you to go out and enjoy the splendid colors of the fall! Fall is a great time where trees remind us that change, though scary, is a beautiful thing to behold. I would like to recommend you visit state parks, recreation areas, and remember the arboretums in your area.  For a list of arboretums and public gardens around Nebraska, go to

            For more information about tree care and tree health, for Nebraska check out  In Kansas, go to


Forest Farming Webinar through Penn State.


2022 Fall – Winter Fire Science Webinar Series

If you miss these webinars, you can catch up on the tapings at



Remember Your Silent Auction Items for the 2023 GPSAF Fall Meeting in Kansas! November 1 – 2, 2023!



Events Calendar

October 2023:


October 9 – Columbus Day


October 10 – Tree Tour of Prairie Pines. Prairie Pines Nature Preserve. Lincoln, Nebraska. 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM.


October 13 – Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Fall Plant Sales. Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Greenhouse on UNL’s East Campus. 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM.


October 16 – 20 – Big Rivers Forest Fire Management Compact Wildfire Training Academy. Carterville, Illinois.


October 18 – Splash into Fall. Getting Little Feet WET Workshop Online. 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.


October 18 – Webinar. Spongy Moth (Formerly Known as Gypsy Moth): Recent Impacts, Spread, and Management of a Non-Native Defoliator.


October 20 – Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Fall Plant Sales. Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Greenhouse on UNL’s East Campus. 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM.


October 21 – Back to the Future Day.


October 22 – Play Fetch with Your Dog/Make a Dog’s Day


October 24 – Plants and Pints. Glacial Till Cider House and Tasting Room. Ashland, Nebraska. Starts at 7:00 PM. You need to pre-pay for this event.


October 24 – Bat Week Educator’s Workshop. Crete, Nebraska. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.


October 25 – 28 – SAF National Convention. Sacramento, California. 



October 25 – Bat Week Educator’s Workshop. Prairie Pines by Lincoln, Nebraska. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.


October 26 – Penn State Forest Farming Series: Goldenseal.


October 27 – National American Beer Day


October 30 – November 10 – Southern Blue Ridge Prescribed Fire Training Exchange TREX.


October 31 – Halloween



November 2023:


November 1 – 2 – Great Plains SAF Gathering in Northeast Kansas. See attached PDF and note the time to depart Walmart is now 12:30 PM. Remember your silent auction item(s)!


November 1 -5 – Eastern Nebraska Wildfire Academy. Ponca State Park. Ponca, Nebraska. or


November 4 – National American Bison Day. Don’t pet fluffy cows!


November 5 – American Football Appreciation Day.


November 5 – National Build and Burn a Bonfire Night.


November 5 – Daylight Savings Time Ends.


November 6 – 10 – National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Santa Fe, NM.


November 7 – Election Day


November 8 – 9 – Nebraska Project Learning Tree and Project WET Summit in Nebraska. Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center near Wood River, Nebraska.


November 9 – The Chaos Never Ends Day


November 11 – Veterans’ Day


November 13 – December 18 – RX-310 – Introduction to Fire Effects Online Course. University of Idaho.


November 15 – Webinar. Oak Wilt Biology and Management.


November 15 – National Clean out the Fridge and Freezer Day (Home and Work)


November 17 – National go Hiking Day or Take a Hike Day


November 18 – National Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Day


November 18 – Treat your Daughter(s) like a Princess Day


November 23 – Thanksgiving



A child riding a sled

December 2023:


December 2 – Winter Fest at Haskell Ag Lab by Concord, Nebraska. 9 AM – Noon.


December 2 – Bartender Appreciation Day


December 4 – International Tree Dressing Day

There’s no better way to celebrate Tree Dressing Day than to go out and dress a tree! Choose a tree, or group of trees, that are important to you or your community and dress them in ribbons, cloths, lanterns, and more.


December 4 – 8 – The 10th International Fire and Ecology Management Congress. Monterey, California. 


December 5 – National Denim Jeans Appreciation Day.

What forester doesn’t love a good pair of jeans?


December 6 – 8 – The Perennial Farm Gathering 2023 – Virtual.


December 6 – Tree Mitten Day.

Hang up some new or gently used mittens in a tree for someone less fortunate to have!


December 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


December 9 – National Remember to Buy and Send Christmas Card(s) Day


December 14 – National Roast Chestnuts Over an Open Fire Day


December 19 – Look/Cut/Buy a Real Christmas Tree Day


December 21 – Winter Solstice and First Day of Winter


December 21/22 – Short Person Appreciation Day


December 25 – Christmas Day


December 30 – National Bacon Day


December 31 – New Year’s Eve






Save the Dates!


April 3 – 4, 2024 – Dakotas SAF and Great Plains SAF Joint Meeting/Conference. Forestry Across the Plains. Pierre, South Dakota.  More Details to Come!


September 17 – 20, 2024 – National SAF Convention. Loveland, Colorado.


October 23 – 27, 2025 – National SAF Convention. Hartford, Connecticut.




Pam Bergstrom

National Technical Assistance Agroforester

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nebraska Forest Service

1800 North 37th Street

Lincoln, NE 68503

Work: 402.472.6603

UNL Email:

USDA Email:   








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