Green Acres

2019 Golden Triangle Sheep Seminar in Conrad sponsored by the Front Range Wool Pool

The annual event will take place on Tuesday, December 17 at the Moose Lodge in Conrad. Registration will begin at 2 p.m. Presenters and content are as follows:

• Dr. Whit Stewart, via internet, Wyoming Extension Sheep Specialist

Tour of the South American Sheep Industry

• Trestin Benson, MSU Wool Lab Co-Manager and Grad Student

Integration of Sheep into Vegetable Farming

• Brent Roeder, MSU Sheep and Wool Extension Specialist

Overview of Electronic Tag Systems

MSU, Wool Lab & Sheep and Wool Market Updates

• Mike Hoggan-USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services

• Ken McKamey- MWGA President Elect

•Dave McEwen-National Wildlife Services Advisory Council

A potluck supper with roasted lamb will take place at 5:15 p.m. followed by the Wool Pool Meeting at 6:00 p.m. If you own sheep and would like to sell your wool for more dollars per pound, please consider attending this important regional meeting.

Christmas Tree Care

There are many “tips” to caring for a Christmas tree that propose to make it last longer or stay greener. In truth, all a tree really needs to maintain freshness is adequate water. This is easily done by using the proper tree stand and keeping the water level in the stand above the base of the tree. The following tips will help to maintain the freshness and aroma of a live Christmas tree this holiday season.

Use a tree stand that holds enough water for the

size of the tree. The rule of thumb is one quart of water per one inch of stem diameter. A stand that holds one gallon of water is standard for most trees. The tree will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week, so check the water level daily, refilling as necessary to keep the trunk submerged.

Make sure the stand is the proper size for the tree. Do not “adjust” the size of the tree trunk to fit the stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed. Before setting the tree in the stand, remove with a perpendicular cut, 1/2-1 inch off the bottom of the trunk. This allows the tree to take up water more freely as you will remove any tissue that has begun to callus over. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle or into a V-shape, the cut should be flat, which allows the tree to sit in the stand more easily and provides more surface area for water uptake. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

Fill the tree stand reservoir with plain tap water. Monitor your tree for dryness. Run your fingers across the needles to determine if they are dry and brittle. If most needles break easily or fall off, the tree is too dry and should be removed from the home. Lowering room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.

Information for this article was taken from the MSU Extension Yard and Garden fact sheet 1302P. The fact sheet was written by Dara Palmer, MSU Extension Assistant Montana Master Gardener Coordinator and Toby Day, MSU Extension Horticulture Associate Specialist

Montana State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.