From dead pines to caffeine consumption


By Barbara Addison,

By Barbara Addison,

Lehisa de Fornoza

and David Coltrain

Do you have any dead pines? They could be dead from pine wilt, and it is important to cut down those trees and chip or burn the wood as soon as possible to prevent spread. More than likely, dead pines are because of drought conditions from the last four years. If in doubt and you have a dead pine, take the conservative approach and get it cut and destroyed soon. We usually see emergence of the beetles (which carry the disease-causing nematode from tree to tree) in May, so early April is a good target for removal of trees. Cut or chip as soon as possible because the beetle can survive just fine in trunks, branches, etc. Do not use dead pine wood for firewood or any other use.

Pine Wilt is a devastating disease on Scots (Scotch) Pine and can also attack Austrian, white and mugo pine. Garden City has had only a very small number of confirmed trees die from Pine Wilt, and we want to keep it that way. Kansas State University plant pathologists report that Pine Wilt is established in the eastern part of the state, out to Beloit, Great Bend and Pratt. In the rest of western Kansas, we see occasional instances of the disease and work with landowners to destroy the pines to prevent further spread into our western rural and urban pines.

In Kansas, the symptoms for Pine Wilt usually appear from August through December. In general, the trees wilt and die rapidly within a short period of time. Occasionally, trees may survive for more than one year. The needles turn yellow/brown and remain attached to the tree. The early stages of the disease are subtle and may vary. The pinewood nematode is transmitted from pine to pine by a bark beetle, the pine sawyer.

Three to four weeks following infestation by the pinewood nematode, transpiration of the foliage decreases and resin production is reduced. Needles initially show a light grayish-green discoloration and then turn yellow and brown. The disease may progress uniformly through a tree or branch by branch, depending upon the size of the tree and the environmental conditions during the growing season. The needles remain attached for up to six to 12 months after the tree has died. The rapid death of a tree contrasts with other pine problems such as fungal diseases, insects or environmental stresses.

In addition to rapid wilting and yellowing of the foliage, another important symptom is reduced resin production. When branches of a healthy tree are cut, a thick, sticky resin will be produced at the site of the wound; on a diseased tree, resin may be absent. Branches and twigs become brittle and dry and will break easily. Trees yellow from winter burn may appear similar but will have flexible branches and good resin production.

If you have any questions about Pine Wilt or any other concerns, call David Coltrain at 272-3670 or email

Farmers Market Vendors Program

The Garden City Farmers Market is looking for vendors for the 2014 Farmers Market.

The "Getting Ready For Your Local Farmers Market as a Vendor" program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Finney County Extension Office, 501 S. Ninth St..

Potential vendors can learn how to sell at the Garden City Farmers Market by attending the program and letting the Farmers Market Committee see how many vendors have an intent to be a vendor.

The program includes the challenges, the requirements, food safety issues and much more dealing with being a vendor.

There is no cost to participate as a vendor at the market. Vendors are to abide by the traditional basic rules of having homemade items, home-grown fruits and vegetables, home-baked food, jams and jellies, bedding plants, homemade items, honey, garden vegetable transplants, crafts and much more.

Restrictions for the local Farmers Market are: no cream pies, no meat products unless processed in a certified, inspected kitchen, no home-canned pickles, fruits, vegetables, salsa. Also, no garage sale or flea market items.

The Finney County Extension Office will again sponsor the 14th Annual 2014 Garden City Farmers Market each Saturday morning at the Westlake parking lot, from June 7 through Sept. 27 from 7 a.m. to noon.

We again are excited for this event and sincerely hope that each novice and experienced vendor has enjoyed and experienced some profit through their participation in previous years of the Garden City Farmers Market.

If you have any questions about the Farmers Market or other concerns, call David Coltrain or Barbara Addison at 272-3670 or email

Caffeine facts

Do you rely on caffeine to wake you up and keep you going? Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, alleviating fatigue, increasing wakefulness, and improving concentration and focus.

For most healthy adults, moderate doses of caffeine — 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) or about two to four cups of brewed coffee a day — aren't harmful. But some circumstances may warrant limiting or even ending your caffeine routine. Read on to see if any of these apply to you.

Although moderate caffeine intake isn't likely to cause harm, too much can lead to some unpleasant effects. Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat or muscle tremors.

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you're susceptible to the effects of caffeine, just small amounts — even one cup of coffee or tea — may prompt unwanted effects, such as restlessness and sleep problems.

How you react to caffeine may be determined in part by how much caffeine you're used to drinking. People who don't regularly drink caffeine tend to be more sensitive to its negative effects. Other factors may include body mass, age, medication use and health conditions such as anxiety disorders. Research also suggests that men are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine than are women.

Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. But caffeine can interfere with this much-needed sleep. Chronically losing sleep — whether it's from work, travel, stress or too much caffeine — results in sleep deprivation. Sleep loss is cumulative, and even small nightly decreases can add up and disturb your daytime alertness and performance.

Using caffeine to mask sleep deprivation can create an unwelcome cycle. For example, you drink caffeinated beverages because you have trouble staying awake during the day. But the caffeine keeps you from falling asleep at night, shortening the length of time you sleep.

To change your caffeine habit more gradually, try these tips:

* Keep tabs. Start paying attention to how much caffeine you're getting from foods and beverages. It may be more than you think. Read labels carefully. Even then, your estimate may be a little low because not all foods or drinks list caffeine. Chocolate, which has a small amount, doesn't.

* Cut back. But do it gradually. For example, drink one fewer can of soda or drink a smaller cup of coffee each day. Or avoid drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day. This will help your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessen potential withdrawal effects.

* Go decaf. Most decaffeinated beverages look and taste the same as their caffeinated counterparts.

* Shorten the brew time or go herbal. When making tea, brew it for less time. This cuts down on its caffeine content. Or choose herbal teas that don't have caffeine.

* Check the bottle. Some over-the-counter pain relievers contain caffeine — as much as 130 mg of caffeine in one dose. Look for caffeine-free pain relievers instead.

If caffeine is a part of your daily habits, be mindful, it's never too late to start making changes.

Source: Mayo Clinic.

For more information, call Léhisa de Fornoza at 272-3670.

comments powered by Disqus
I commented on a story, but my comments aren't showing up. Why?
We provide a community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day.
Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. We expect civil dialogue.
Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome.
Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum.

If you don't see your comment, perhaps you ...
... called someone an idiot, a racist, a moron, etc. Name-calling or profanity (to include veiled profanity) will not be tolerated.
... rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
... included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
... accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
... made a comment in really poor taste.