Millions of ash trees have died in Ohio, meaning millions of chances exist for Ohioans to cut them down with chainsaws.
A series of talks at Farm Science Review will show how to do it safely. The series, called “Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance,” will be given three times in the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area: on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and on Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“With all the dead and dying ash trees out there” — no thanks to the emerald ash borer pest — “I really wanted to see an opportunity for landowners to learn how to use their chainsaws the right way,” said Kathy Smith, a co-organizer of the series and of more than four dozen other talks in the Gwynne area during the Review.
She’s the forestry program director in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.
“A chainsaw is an easy tool to use,” she said, “and an even easier one to misuse and end up severely hurt.”
Talks in the Gwynne area — 67 acres of green space with forests, ponds and prairie — will focus on conservation topics of interest to farmers and others, including trees, pastures, grasslands, wetlands, wildlife, insects, water and fish. Among the speakers and topics are:
• Dave Apsley of OSU Extension and Bob Mulligan of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will present “Things You Should Consider Before Selling Your Timber” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20 and at the same time Sept. 21.
• Joe Boggs of OSU Extension will give a “Zika Virus Update for Ohio” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20. Zika is a mosquito-transmitted virus of concern in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and increasingly in the southeast U.S.
• Marne Titchenell of OSU Extension will discuss “Attracting Songbirds to Your Property” from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 20.
• Bill Lynch, who’s retired from OSU Extension, will look at “Fish Stocking in Ponds” from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and “Stormwater Ponds” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both on Sept. 21.
• Lee Beers of OSU Extension will present “Low-Impact Logging: Is It Right for You?” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 21.
• Brian Kleinke and Matt Smith, both of OSU Extension, will talk about hydroponics and aquaponics in back-to-back sessions from 2 to 3 p.m. Sept. 21.
• Chris Penrose of OSU Extension will explain “Managing Nutrients on Pasture” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22.
• Smith herself will lead a “Tree ID Walk” from 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 22.
Other topics will include composting, pollinators, pond aeration, invasive species, wildlife “night sounds,” deer exclusion fencing and grazing warm-season grasses. A complete schedule of all the Gwynne talks is atgo.osu.edu/2016Gwynne.
Besides the chainsaw series, activities held every day in the area will include pasture and grassland management tours from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; “Soil and Water Conservation District National Archery Program for Schools-Type Archery” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and “Preparing for the Envirothon” from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Envirothon is a national competition testing high school students’ knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife and related topics.
“I think what most (Review-goers) enjoy about the Gwynne is the opportunity to interact with resource people on specific topics, see some of those topics applied on the landscape, and get answers to their management questions,” Smith said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities like this available — ones where you can cover a wide range of topics in a small area.”