Homeowners with five acres or less of forestland do not usually want to manage them intensively for timber harvest. Most owners of these “backyard forests” are primarily interested in keeping their trees healthy and attractive. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not consider doing anything actively until backyard forest trees are visibly suffering from some kind of insect or disease problem. By the time they bring a sample into the Extension Office or another expert, it is often too late. Remedies for bark beetles, root diseases, and similar forest health problems are usually preventative.

A 2-hour workshop titled Backyard Forests will help forest owners apply basic concepts of forest ecology to keep their trees healthy. Participants will learn about tree species native to north Idaho; how forests grow and change over time; common forest insects & diseases; methods to improve forest tree health and reduce potential insect, disease and fire problems; and ways to enhance forest wildlife habitat.

Backyard Forests will be held on from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, February 18, 2023, in Room 302 at the University of Idaho Research Park (located at 958 S. Lochsa Street in Post Falls, Idaho).  The program can accommodate a limited number of people. Those wishing to participate should pre-register at the University of Idaho Extension Office in Kootenai County by Friday, February 10. A $10 registration fee covers handouts and refreshments. For registration questions, contact the University of Idaho Extension Office in Kootenai County at (208) 292-2525. The program is co-sponsored by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Department of Lands and is part of the University of Idaho Master Gardeners’ Horticulture Class Series. Additional sessions of the program will be held February 23 in Sandpoint and March 23 in St. Maries.