TREE OF THE MONTH
White Willow (Salix Alba)
Commonly seen among lowlands and moisture rich areas, this cold hardy willow is a wetland favorite and thoroughly enjoyed by many varieties of wildlife. It is one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring and the last to drop its leaves in the fall. The low branch formations create a broad spreading crown with the largest tree in North Dakota measured at 75ft tall with a 54ft canopy spread. The root system of this tree is shallow but wide spreading, with bark that is yellowish brown with ridged furrows. The leaves are easily recognized by their long simple lanceolate shape with fine serration, a bright smooth surface and a soft and silky under leaf with a silvery hue. Fluffy catkin type flowers are light green to yellow in color giving way to a silk covered hairy seed. Components of this tree are also known as the original aspirin, with the Native Americans using extract to treat headaches, pain, and fevers. due to a component in the bark called salicin that can be broken down to salicylic acid working in the same way that modern day aspirin does.
Research suggests that where honey bees are absent, Canola growers can make more money on their acres if 30% is left uncultivated as natural habitat for pollinators. This supports the local populations of native bees and other pollinators which feed and pollinate the adjacent crop fields increasing yields.
Strawberries! Juneberries! Raspberries! Oh MY! Looking for a place for all that summer produce? This recipe from the NDSU Windbreak Cookbook is sure to be a hit!
DAKOTA JUNEBERRY PIE
Pastry for a single-crust pie ½ + a c. sugar, divided ¾ c. all-purpose flour, divided 2 c. fresh Juneberries 2 c. halved fresh strawberries 1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries 2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel 3 Tbsp. butter a c. sliced almonds, coarsely chopped hazelnuts or flaked coconut Prepare pastry for a single-crust pie. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry circle around rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry even with edge of plate. Crimp edge as desired. Do not prick pastry. For filling: In a large bowl, stir together ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup flour. Add berries and lemon peel; toss gently to coat. (If using frozen berries, let mixture stand about 45 minutes or until berries are partially thawed but still icy.) Transfer mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. For crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup flour and a cup sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle evenly over filling. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes (or 50 minutes for frozen berries). Remove foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.