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K-State Today

May 22, 2014



K-State hosts National Walnut Council meeting

By Robert L. Atchison

Aside from producing a nut enjoyed in cookies and candies, black walnut makes it one of the most commercially valuable trees in the U.S. contributing millions of dollars annually to the Kansas economy. Forest inventory estimates that Kansas is home to more than 25 million black walnut trees that also provide habitat to wildlife and other essential environmental benefits.

This year Kansas has the unique opportunity to host the National Walnut Council meeting June 8-11 in Manhattan. The meeting features both nationally recognized and local experts in fine quality hardwoods and black walnut tree production, marketing and processing, according to Bob Atchison, Kansas Forest Service forester.

The meeting will begin with an optional preconference tour of the 8,616-acre Konza Prairie, home to more than 300 bison and 50 species of prairie wildflowers, many of which will be in full bloom at the time of meeting, followed by a reception sponsored by Tallgrass Brewing Co. at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

The meeting will include field days hosted at the Chase-Riat Black Walnut Plantation and Kansas State University's Geyer Forestry Research Area; both sites feature more than 40 years of research on black walnut and other fine quality hardwoods. These field days will provide information on tree planting, proper methods of pruning and thinning woodlands, wildlife habitat, sawmill demonstrations and opportunities to observe best management practices for black walnut and oak trees.

Indoor programs include Landowner Show and Tell sessions and presentations from experts in the field of black walnut growth, culture and utilization.

The deadline for early registration is May 26. Those unable to attend the entire meeting may register for just the field days or indoor sessions.

The meeting program and registration may be found online, by calling the Kansas Forest Service at 785-532-3310 or emailing atchison@k-state.edu for additional information.

The Walnut Council is a nonprofit, science based organization that encourages research, discussion, and application of knowledge about growing hardwood trees. This international association represents nearly 900 woodland owners, foresters, forest scientists, and wood-producing industry representatives. The council promotes sustainable forest management, conservation, reforestation, and utilization of American black walnut, Juglans nigra, and other fine hardwoods