Text Size

How to plant shade trees in Texas

How to plant shade treesWritten by Adam Russell

In Texas, late-fall and early winter is the perfect time to plant shade trees.

Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offer some expert advice to help you get your sapling out of the container, into the ground and off to a good start.

Transplanting and establishing container trees is a relatively easy process if you follow Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recommendations. Now is a good time to apply these tips and get shade trees in the ground.

Read more: How to plant shade trees in Texas

Texas A&M Forest Service launches TreeMD application

header image conserveCOLLEGE STATION, Texas —Texas A&M Forest Service launched an application today to help users quickly identify the root of a tree’s problem, whether it be caused by insects, diseases or other factors.

The TreeMD application is part of the Texas Forest Information Portal, and its main feature is a diagnosis tool which allows users to quickly find results from TreeMD’s vast database. Users are prompted to enter the tree species, prominent symptoms exhibited or even the specific part of the tree that is being affected to help diagnose the problem. In the event there are still questions on the actual cause, users can upload pictures and connect with a professional.

Read more: Texas A&M Forest Service launches TreeMD application

Transplant tips to establish fruit trees

transplant tips to establish plantingBy Adam Russell, TAMU

Establishing fruit trees in Texas takes some effort, but these time-tested tips from a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert can guide the way from transplant to production.

Peaches are the most universally planted fruit tree in Texas.

When it comes to fruit trees, Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension fruit specialist, Uvalde, said to plant in late December through February. The key is that trees be totally dormant at planting.

Read more: Transplant tips to establish fruit trees

IMAS ‘Guided by Curiosity’ exhibit open

imas devil mask exhibit 1The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) presents “Guided by Curiosity,” an exhibition featuring items from the museum’s permanent collection that will pique the viewer’s interest and fuel the imagination. It will be on exhibit now through March 6, 2021.

“Guided by Curiosity” is the result of four exhibitions curated by members of the museum’s education staff that debuted online earlier this year as individual virtual exhibits. At a time when most museums are focusing their efforts on putting more content online, IMAS saw the popularity of these virtual exhibitions as a compelling reason to “buck the trend” by bringing the works of art together in the gallery as “Guided by Curiosity.”

Read more: IMAS ‘Guided by Curiosity’ exhibit open

A Tejano Christmas Carol plays on PCT Facebook, Dec 20-Jan 4

Tejano Christmas Pic 1 ATCC 2019The Pharr Community Theater will present the popular Charles Dickens adaptation, A Tejano Christmas Carol 2019, on the Pharr Community Theater FB page. The two-act play will be screened live and free of charge starting December 20, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. until January 4, 2021. To watch the show, find The Pharr Community Theater FB page and give it a like and you can watch it with your family at home.

Read more: A Tejano Christmas Carol plays on PCT Facebook, Dec 20-Jan 4

Natural holiday season

natural indigenous quita mazatlan 600pxBy Colleen Hook, Executive Director, Quinta Mazatlán

Amazing things happen in nature in the wintertime, and everyone senses that change is coming. Many cultures around the world have winter festivals that involve celebrations of light, including Christmas with tree lights, Hanukkah with the nine-branched Menorah, Kwanzaa with the seven-candle Kinara, Las Posadas with children lighting the way with candles, and many more.

Read more: Natural holiday season

Battlefield Trail extension opens

caracaras trail 4238 600pxBROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and leaders from the City of Brownsville, the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, and across Cameron County, Texas, marked the opening of the Historic Battlefield Trail Extension at a private ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Palo Alto Battlefield last month.

Read more: Battlefield Trail extension opens

McAllen asks community to share #TrailMoments

The City of McAllen, in conjunction with the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, is encouraging residents to take advantage of the many hike and bike trails in the community and to post the information on their social media, utilizing the hash tag #TrailMoments. The effort is part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy Trail Moment initiative, in hopes to capture moments of joy, solitude, exercise and self-care.

Read more: McAllen asks community to share #TrailMoments

Rare birds of the RGV presentation

rare crimson collared grosbeak 600pxJoin the Center for Urban Ecology at Quinta Mazatlán for a journey into the world of rare birds on Saturday morning, December 12. The program will deepen your understanding of who our rare birds are, what makes them rare, and puts them in the context of a changing bird community in the Rio Grande Valley. Visitors will get to share in the excitement and mystery of rare birds of the past, speculation on which ones may show up next, and will leave knowing more about the birds that secret away in the Rio Grande Valley’s forests, marshes, and even yards.

Read more: Rare birds of the RGV presentation

Virtual basic raptor ID course

The Edinburg World Birding Center is delighted to have local raptor expert, Bill Clark, present virtually a Basic Raptor ID course. Build up your hawk watching skills in this program as you learn helpful tips to identify raptors. He will provide an ID overview of vultures, osprey, harrier, and falcons. He will then go into detail about buteos, accipiters, and others.

Bill Clark is a photographer, author, researcher, and lecturer and has over 50 years of experience working with birds of prey, including five years as Director of NWF's Raptor Information Center.

This is a six-hour course consisting of three two-hour sessions. The first session will begin on Friday, December 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The last two sessions are on Saturday, December 12 at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration deadline is two days prior to the program. This program will be delivered via zoom. Register at the EWBC website: www.EdinburgWBC.org or call them at (956) 381-9922. Payment can be taken by phone or in-person.

Illuminated walking trial opens

illuminated trail bear clan tipiThe trails of Quinta Mazatlán in McAllen will be lined with thousands of candle luminarias to celebrate the winter holidays around the world. Presented by SpawGlass, ILLUMINA Fest 2020 takes place on December 16, 17, 18, and 19 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets go fast and can only be purchased online at www.ticketleap.com, search for Quinta Mazatlán.

Read more: Illuminated walking trial opens

Jean and Steve Fisher are at it again

jean and steve fisher fooddonations1This past week, Olga Papp of Lone Star National Bank, on South Padre Island, was excited to accept a pickup load of grocery items donated by Winter Texans Jean and Steve Fisher of Iowa. The bank is helping with a food drive for the food bank. The donated grocery items will be taken to Pharr where bank employees will continue to volunteer by helping to sort and distribute the food to needy families in the Rio Grande Valley. This is the Fisher’s third year visiting the Valley and each year they have found at least one organization to support. Their first year they donated nearly $5000 of stuffed animals to Sunny Glen Children’s Orphanage. Last year, they donated over $10,000 in Christmas presents, clothes and other items to over 30 children in Cameron County. When asked by the bank manager, Martin Infante, why they were generous with their donation, Jean said it is because they have been blessed and enjoy giving back. When we did a story on them last year, we learned Jean grew up in foster homes and has a connection with how hard it can be this time of the year. Both have worked hard to get where they are today and feel they are blessed with everything they have. They have made the choice to give back like this at least once a year to share their blessing with others. Last year Jean said, they were not in it for the glory, “It is not about the giving or the getting, it is letting them know that someone cares.”