KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Every year as the snow subsides and spring begins to appear the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District becomes very busy with questions about trees. Where can you find tree stock? How do you plant them? What are the benefits of trees?
Fortunately, SWCD has the answers.
The SWCD will be holding its annual tree sale this spring. The seedlings are offered to the community at a discount and can be planted for timber, wildlife habitat, windbreaks, air quality and water quality as well as economic benefits and property aesthetics.
Order forms are currently available from the SWCD office, by mail request or on the SWCD website, www.kosciuskoswcd.org. The deadline for orders is April 7 and tree pick-up will be held April 17.
Evergreen species offered this year include: American arborvitae, Norway spruce, white pine, and concolor fir.
Hardwoods offered are: Bald cypress, tulip poplar, sugar maple, river birch, persimmon, red oak and black walnut.
Ornamental trees and shrubs available: Red bud, white flowering dogwood, serviceberry, lilac and highbush cranberry.
Groundcovers include: Pachysandra, sedum angelina and creeping phlox. Stella de oro and peach daylilies will also be available.
To assist with your spring planting, marking flags, fertilizer tabs and tree planting bars will also be available.
Conservation trees are working trees.
Trees clean our air. They absorb carbon dioxide and give oxygen in return. Trees help remove lung-damaging dust, ash and smoke from the air. Trees lessen the impact of urban “heat island” effect and reduce changes in weather patterns. Trees provide shade which reduces temperatures in urban areas.
Trees help with water quality, trees help prevent sediment, nutrients and chemicals from getting into streams. Trees help slow down the movement of storm water which reduces soil erosion and flooding. Tree leaves and roots act as natural water filters that trap pollutants. Trees provide shade which reduces temperatures in streams benefiting many aquatic fish and organisms. Trees help water enter the ground and recharge water tables.
Trees provide economic benefits. Trees properly placed around buildings reduce air conditioning and heating costs 10 to 35 percent. Trees boost the market value of you home. Trees reduce the need for community facilities that control storm water. Trees can help stimulate economic development, attracting new businesses and tourism.
Trees provide homes for countless living creatures. The food and shelter provided by trees is necessary for the survival of many mammals, birds and insects.
Trees sequester carbon. On the global scale, the carbon sequestration of trees can be an important weapon in combating greenhouse gases. Every time we plant a tree for shelter or shade, we become part of the vision of pioneering conservationist Aldo Leopold, who said. “Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel.”
Trees fund conservation efforts in Kosciusko County. Profits from the annual tree sale help SWCD implement conservation programs, including cost share programs as well as education and outreach.
For additional information about the SWCD tree sale program, contact the office at (574) 267-7445, ext. 3.