Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tree seedlings available at affordable price

March 27, 2008

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If you are thinking about planting a few trees and shrubs for wildlife habitat in your yard, why not plant several? The Kansas Forest Service's Conservation Tree Planting Program offers seedlings at little cost to anyone who wants them.

Tree seedlings purchased through the tree-planting program may be used for a variety of applications. The program has long been a source of trees for windbreaks, woodlots, erosion control, and filters for streams and waterways in rural areas. As cities continue to grow, the Forest Service has also approved use of the seedlings for songbird and other wildlife habitat, noise barriers, blocking views and marking property lines.

There is no restriction on where you live or whether you are the landowner or tenant of the property.

The seedlings come in bundles of 25 per species, with the exception of four specially packaged bundles. The songbird bundle (18 seedlings), pheasant bundle (100 seedlings), quail bundle (75 seedlings) and wildlife mast bundles (125 seedlings) all come with a special mix of species. The songbird bundle is an excellent choice in a smaller yard.

Last year 28,254 seedlings were ordered to be planted in Douglas County, which was the most of any county in the state. Residents who took advantage of the program should be commended for their efforts.

More than 30 different species of seedlings are grown in a greenhouse near Manhattan.

Most of the seedlings are shipped bare-root (with no soil) and are about 1218 inches tall. The first year, watering and weed control around the plantings are important, but once the trees establish in their new site, they will require little care.

You can order tree seedlings online at www.kansasforests.org or pick up order forms at the Douglas County Conservation District Office, Natural Resources Conservation Services office and the K-State Research and ExtensionDouglas County office. You also can call (888) 740-8733 for more information.

Jennifer Smith is the Douglas County Extension Agent Horticulture for K-State Research & Extension. She can be reached at 843-7058 or smithjen@ksu.edu.

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