Put Your Christmas Tree to Good Use

by Sarah Browning, Extension Educator – Horticulture

Add fruit garland to your Christmas Tree

Add fruit garland to your Christmas Tree

Before taking your Christmas tree to the recycling center this year, consider using it to create backyard habitat for birds. To attract birds to your backyard, you must provide their three basic needs- food, water, and cover or shelter. Your old Christmas tree will provide excellent shelter for birds, providing protection from wind and predators. It can also serve as a feeding station, where you provide a buffet of food that our native birds love.

Before taking the tree outside, remove all decorations and lights, including tinsel. To provide the most shelter possible for the birds, place the tree on the south or east side of the house, sheltered from winter’s harsh north and west winds. Anchor the tree securely by setting the stump into the ground or a large bucket of damp sand, and securing the top of the tree with twine to nearby building, fence or trees.

There are several more ways to recycle your Christmas tree. Learn more, read the entire article “Recycling Ideas – Christmas Trees“.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Advertisements

Make an Ice Suncatcher

This article appears in the November/December 2018 Newsletter:

Make an ice suncatcher

by Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate – Horticulture

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County)

This winter-themed ice suncatcher (left) has raspberries and spruce branches. This fall-themed ice suncatcher (right) has orange slices, vinca stems and yellow food coloring. (Photo by Mary Jane Frogge)

Making an ice suncatcher with natural materials is a fun winter activity for all ages. Using water, natural materials, freezing temperatures and a little time, you can create an outdoor decoration to place in the yard during the cold winter months.

1. Collect twigs, leaves, pinecones, cranberries, seeds, orange and apple slices, or other small natural materials to use as decoration for your suncatcher. The suncatcher needs a hanger, use a small loop of twine or ribbon.

2. Fill a pie or cake pan half full with water. Add a bit of food coloring to add color to your suncatcher. Arrange your decorations in the water. By adding fruit or bird seed you can make your suncatcher a bird feeder too. Position the hanger in the water leaving the loop out for hanging later. Place the pan outside if you have freezing temperatures or in the freezer to freeze overnight. After you have the pan in place to freeze, add more water to fill the pan. If you are doing this activity with kids, it can be a bit messy. It might be a good idea to make them outside.

3. When frozen, pop it out of the mold or run the underside of the cake pan through warm water for a few seconds until it loosens. Hang your ice suncatcher on a fence or a tree in the yard. Remove the ribbon or twine once the ice suncatcher has melted.

Check out the entire November/December issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the March 2018 NEBLINE!

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Early Spring Care for Fruit Trees

Peach tree in May - photo by Vicki Jedlicka

Peach tree in May – photo by Vicki Jedlicka

This feature article appears in the March 2018 NEBLINE Newsletter:

Early Spring Care for Fruit Trees

by Sarah Browning, Extension Educator – Horticulture

When the apple and cherry trees start to bloom, we know spring has finally arrived. Fruit trees are wonderful additions to the home landscape, both as fruit producers and ornamental blooming trees.

To maximize the health of your fruit trees, begin with proper pruning, then provide good care through fertilization, watering and mulching throughout the summer. Next, develop an integrated pest management plan tailored to the specific insect and disease problems affecting your trees.

Pruning, research, trouble for fruit trees, integrated pest management, and early season pest control are covered in the feature article in the March issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter. View Page 1 and Page 3 for rest of this article (near the bottom of the page).

Check out the entire March issue of the free NEBLINE newsletter for much more from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the March 2018 NEBLINE!

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –