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UTTC AGRO-ECOLOGY UPDATE
Janurary 6, 2016

By Linda Hugelen, UTTC Land Grant Agroecology Extension Educator

Campus Tree Assessment
How about taking a guess at the number of trees on the campus of United Tribes Technical College.

When Joel Nichols, Community Forestry Specialist with the North Dakota Forest Service, began making a tree inventory assessment, he thought UTTC might have, maybe, 500 to 600. As a tree professional, you’d think his guess would be close. But even he missed the mark.  Nichols’ survey during the summer of 2015 was a high-tech but laborious affair. With a GPS unit in hand, he spent many days on campus, fixing the location of every tree and assessing its condition.
It turns out that the 106 acre main campus of United Tribes is home to more than 1,278 trees!

A good many were planted when the site was a former military post known as Fort Lincoln. As you might expect, the older ones are in declining condition and need maintenance. More recently under United Tribes, there have been many trees planted with support from the Plant Materials Center at Lincoln-Oaks Nursery, the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, the North Dakota Forest Service, the NDSU Extension Service, and the college. The purposes have been experimental, food production, ceremonial, commemorative and beautification.

Nichols calculates the appraised value of UTTC’s community forest resource at $4.5-million. He reported and described his findings in an illustrated PowerPoint presentation November 9 to an ad hoc campus trees committee, composed of the college’s most ardent “tree-huggers.”  The written report, titled “United Tribes Technical College Community Threat Assessment Protocol Final Report,” contains numerous maps and graphs that describe everything from tree health and condition, to the species diversity, annual benefits, and replacement values. It also includes recommendations and plans for managing this important campus resource.

Nichols expert work is very much appreciated. He is to make a presentation early in the new year to the college’s Facilities Committee.

Joel Nichols presenting a condition assessment of United Tribes campus trees.

Tree Pruning Workshop
The Agro-ecology Department hosted a tree pruning workshop November 17.  Joel Nichols, from the NDSU-North Dakota Forest Service, taught the principles and techniques of tree pruning, followed by a demonstration and hands on training. Several trees on campus were pruned during the training.

UTTC tree pruning workshop participants, from left: Mara Yborra, Joe Andino, Joel Nichols, Robert Fox and Linda Hugelen.

House Plant Care Workshop
A workshop devoted to House-Plant Care was held December 2 during a lunch meeting in the Skill Center. The featured presenter was Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension Horticulturist, who gave an interesting and informative talk. Each workshop participant planted a “paper white” that they were able to take with them.
United Tribes News photos DENNIS J. NEUMANN

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