Roberta Tolan is the new director and agent at the Archuleta County CSU Extension Office.
Roberta is new to Archuleta County, but not new to Colorado Extension. She spent seven years as the horticulture agent in Larimer County where she worked with Master Gardeners and the public to help develop sustainable landscapes, helped agricultural producers increase their income by introducing high-value crops and managed the Larimer County Farmers Market.
Her specialty is trees and shrubs and she enjoys gardening so, in addition to the many Extension programs, she is interested in learning more about the geothermal greenhouse and forest management work being done in the area.
Prior to moving to Pagosa, Roberta was the director of Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, Minn., the director of education at the Denver Botanic Gardens and worked in marketing and advertising in Atlanta, Ga., where she helped to grow small and regional businesses. She earned her master’s degree in landscape horticulture from Colorado State University, a master’s degree in business from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Illinois.
“My husband, David, and I are so excited to be in Pagosa and already feel at home here,” said Roberta. “Everyone has been so welcoming and we are looking forward to getting involved in the community. The Extension staff, 4-H families and volunteers that I have met are fantastic and I am anxious to do what I can to make a difference.”
Roberta loves doing almost anything outdoors, so you might spot her hiking the trails, boating the rivers or skiing Wolf Creek next winter. Please stop by the Extension office and say hello.
Several kinds of caterpillars form silken shelters or tents on various trees and shrubs and are beginning to draw attention in the area.
Most common in spring are various types of tent caterpillars (Malacosoma species) which can infest aspen, mountain-mahogany, fruit trees, gambel oak and cottonwoods.
A few other tent-producing insects also infest trees in Colorado including the uglynest caterpillars (Archips cerasivornana) which infest chokecherry where they produce a messy nest of silk mixed with bits of leaves and insect frass.
Tent caterpillars spend the winter in egg masses glued to twigs of the host plant. Prior to winter, the insects transform to caterpillars and emerge from the eggs shortly after bud break. The newly-emerged caterpillars move to crotches of branches and begin to produce a mass of dense silk. This silken tent is used by the developing insects for rest and shelter during the day. Most often the caterpillars leave the silk shelter to feed at night, returning by daylight, although they sometimes feed during daylight hours as well. The tent is gradually enlarged as the caterpillars grow.
Many natural enemies attack all of the tent-making caterpillars including birds, predaceous bugs, various hunting wasps and viruses. Because of these biological controls, serious outbreaks rarely last more than a single season.
The microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis can be an effective and selective control of all the tent-making caterpillars. Several contact insecticides also are effective including Sevin (carbaryl) and various pyrethroids such as permethrin, cyfluthrin and esfenvalerate.
If accessible, tents may also be pulled out and removed. More severe measures such as pruning or burning are not recommended because they can cause more injury than the insects.
Often there is no need to control these insects except where there are sustained, high levels of defoliation over several years.
For more information on this topic, visit the Colorado Extension website at www.ext.colostate.edu and download Fact Sheet No. 5.583 Tent-Making Caterpillars.
Successful vegetable gardens2
The Archuleta County CSU Extension office is excited to welcome Darrin Parmenter, La Plata County CSU Extension director, to Pagosa Springs for a gardening workshop, June 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The workshop will include topics such as Garden Design and Planning, Soils, Amendments, Composting, Season Extension, Crop Culture, and Storage of Harvest. $20 fee will include lunch.
Call the Archuleta County CSU Extension office at 264-5931 to register.
June 6 — 4-H Shady Pine Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.
June 7 — 4-H Rabbit Mandatory meeting, 3 p.m.
June 10 — 4-H Record Book help, 2 p.m.
June 10 — Livestock Committee, 6:30 p.m.
June 10 — Park Ditch Committee meeting, 8 p.m.
June 11 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.
June 11 — 4-H Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.
June 11 — Farm Bureau meeting, 6:30 p.m.
June 11 — 4-H Colorado Kids Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.
June 12 — Gardening workshop, 9 a.m.
June 12 — 4-H Sports Fishing, 4 p.m.
June 12 — 4-H Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6 p.m.
June 12 — 4-H Animal weigh check, 6 p.m.
June 13 — Mountain View Homemakers, noon.
June 13 — 4-H Cooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.
June 13 — 4-H Poultry Project meeting, 4 p.m.
June 13 — 4-H Leaders meeting, 5:30 p.m.
June 14 — BUNCO fund-raiser, 6 p.m.
June 15 — 4-H Dog Agility Project meeting, 10 a.m.
June 17 — 4-H Scrapbooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.
June 17 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.
June 18 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.