The little-known Tuttle Creek Forestry Research Area will open briefly to the public Thursday for the Kansas Walnut Council´s 2009 field day. Located near Manhattan, the secluded site is where Kansas State University scientists are working year-round to provide genetically superior black walnut seeds for Kansas growers.
Key topics at the field day will be improving walnut stands through genetic selection and careful thinning. Other sessions will cover management alternatives ranging from grafting trees and reducing wildlife damage to grading logs and growing stump sprouts for firewood.
"The black walnut is already the most commercially valuable native tree in the state. It´s also the major species on almost 30,000 acres of Kansas forests. But, we haven´t still come close to recognizing its full economic potential," said Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service.
A link to the event´s program brochure, which includes a registration form and driving directions, is available on the Web at www.kansasforests.org/calendar/index.shtml. A hot, catered lunch will be part of the field day´s $12 registration fee.
Interested persons also can register with a check made out to the Kansas Chapter of the Walnut Council and mailed to Kansas Chapter of the Walnut Council, 5197 114th St, Meriden, KS 66512-8763.