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Outdoors & Environment

Getting New Auburn Oaks Off to Good Start

Auburn Oaks Planted

AUBURN, Ala.-Auburn University’s iconic oak trees returned to campus when replacement trees were planted Saturday, Feb. 14. The university is using cutting edge technology to reduce the establishment time and increase the overall health and longevity of the new Auburn Oaks on an urban site. In 2013, Auburn University removed the two oak trees after they were poisoned in 2011. For ... Read More »

Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program : Restoring the Reefs

Oyster gardening program

The Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program is a volunteer-based project that researches, educates and maintains the reefs in Mobile Bay for the community and the 300 species of vertebrates and invertebrates that use the reef as their habitat. Oyster Gardeners have been working together for 14 years to enhance the reefs, including a 10 acre reef reserve. The oysters from Oyster ... Read More »

Alabama Natural Resources Council Hosts Symposium and Awards Ceremony

Alabama Natural Resources

AUBURN, Ala.–Covering almost 70 percent of the state, forest lands are one of Alabama’s most abundant and diverse natural resources. The Alabama Natural Resources Council is a leader in promoting the stewardship of the state’s forests, waters and wildlife. People interested in learning ways to better manage their own forest lands should plan to attend the ANRC symposium at 2 ... Read More »

Firewood: Keeping Home Fires Burning


Buying firewood can be confusing.  How much is really in that pickup truck?  What kind of wood is it? The first thing you should know is understanding firewood volume. Dr. Mathew Smidt, a forestry specialist with Alabama Extension, said many times firewood is sold by the pickup truck loads which are not standard sizes.  The standard measure is a cord which ... Read More »

Protect Yourself: Tips for Safe Chainsaw Use


All too often, people do not read the operator’s manual.  That may not be a problem for hair dryers and vacuums.  But Dr. Mathew Smidt, an Alabama Extension forestry specialist, says when it comes to chainsaws, the first thing to do is read and understand the owner’s manual. “If you only read one manual in your life, read your chainsaw owner’s ... Read More »

Pond Upkeep–Testing the Waters

picture provided by Dr. Rusty Wright

Some land owners may believe that their ponds should be left alone and self-sustaining. Some say “nature will run its course”, but in many areas, that may not be the best practice. Areas with high levels of soil acidity (low pH) can cause a pH imbalance in ponds. Overall, Alabama soils are generally acidic, typically containing red clay with high ... Read More »

Winterizing Your Home

Alabama is considered to have mild winters in comparison to other parts of the country, but the state does experience some winter weather extremes almost every year. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, do it now before the temperatures settle into winter averages. Alabama Extension professional Virginia Morgan White shared some  tips to help cold proof and winterize your home ... Read More »

Repurposing Old Christmas Trees as Fish Attractors

Christmas Tree

AUBURN, Alabama–When the holidays are over and you’re left with dried up Christmas trees, you can still use your old trees for seasons to come. After the holidays, bundle old Christmas trees to use as fish attractors in your pond. Fish are attracted to tree bundles for many reasons. Small fish hide in the bundle to avoid larger predators. Algae ... Read More »

How to Prepare for Severe Cold Weather Conditions

Winter has come early in some parts of the country. In mid-November temperatures dropped into the 20’s  with wind chills in the teens, while in the North, records amount of snow, wind and below-freezing temperatures caused chaos. Usually severe cold and heavy snowfalls don’t occur until mid-winter (January or February).  In the northern parts of the United States, roads have been shut down, some people have been stranded in cars for up ... Read More »

How to Stay Safe During Tornado Season

Alabama is one of the few states in the United States that has a tornado season that technically occurs year-round. However, Alabama does have two peaks in the season, which are considered the most conducive to tornados. These two peaks occur from March to April and also the last two weeks of October through November. As the second peak in ... Read More »