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The work and wonder of winter woods

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Experts provide a guide on how to enjoy and improve the forest in cold months.

On this Horticulture Day, Billy Beck, ISU extension forester, tells listeners how to practice good forest stewardship and why winter is the perfect time to explore the woods. He also shares the importance of being educated on non-native plants and controlling invasive species to limit ecological harm.

Later in the hour, Aaron Steil joins the program and the two answer questions ranging from addressing wounds on tree trunks, the benefits of a diverse windbreak, fighting back against garlic mustard and more.

For those interested in learning more about stewardship, Beck is running a Master Woodland Steward Program in spring 2023 that will include intense forestry training.


  • Billy Beck, assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management, ISU Extension Forester 
  • Aaron Steil, Iowa State University Extension consumer horticulture specialist 
Talk of Iowa TreesHorticultureHort Day
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Aaron Steil is a Consumer Horticulture Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Aaron contributes his expertise to the Garden Variety podcast and newsletter and to Talk of Iowa's Horticulture Day program.
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.