Order trees now for early spring planting
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – Now is the time to order conservation trees for spring windbreak planting. Getting a head start on paperwork now can make cost-share programs available for early spring planting, said Steve Lyda, NRCS conservation forestry specialist at its North Platte field office. The best planting time is April while the seedlings are dormant and before the buds start filling.
Conservation trees control soil erosion, protect farmsteads, control and distribute snow and provide wildlife habitat. A windbreak can cut energy costs as much as 40 percent while making the home more comfortable. Windbreaks will reduce traffic noise and provide a place for a family picnic or just to get outside under the shelter of the trees. They also provide food, shelter, nesting and breeding areas, as well as traffic lanes, for wildlife.
A typical field windbreak consists of five rows, Lyda said. Conifers provide density on the windward side. A row of hardwoods like hackberry or honey locust gives the shelterbelt its maximum height and shrubs on the lee side give it some density close to the ground, along with wildlife habitat.
Landowners can plant trees by hand or by machine, or hire a contractor.
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