Windbreak trees now available for order at HSWCD

Staff Writer

Windbreaks are trees and shrubs systematically planted adjacent to fields, homesteads, or feedlots as a barrier to reduce or redirect the wind. They create permanent, natural protection and habitat for wildlife, reduce erosion, and increase land value and natural beauty. Trees also play a role in noise abatement and help in reducing air pollution.
Each year the Howard Soil & Water Conservation District takes orders for windbreak tree seedlings. These seedlings are shipped from the West Texas Nursery which grows zone appropriate seedlings for the state of Texas. The seedlings are 12 to 14 inches in height and need to be protected from the elements in some way until they are big enough to fend for themselves. Many people use PVC pipes or fencing to protect the seedlings from animals, lawn mowers, etc. Seedlings can also be grown in 5 gallon buckets (with proper drainage) until they are large enough to transplant.
Water is critical for the young trees until they have developed an extensive root system. Adequate watering also speeds up their growth. Drip systems are the best method and can provide the amount of water needed without overwatering.
A variety of Windbreak Tree seedlings in sets of 25 are now available for order. Delivered in March these seedlings are received from the Texas A&M Forest Service. Varieties include Afghanistan Pine, Oriental Arborvitae, Cedar Elm, Catalpa, Green Ash, Lacebark Elm, Fourwing Saltbush, Bur Oak, Pecan, Shumard Oak, and American Plum. Sold in sets of 25 seedlings pre-paid orders can be taken at Howard SWCD. Prices range from $50 to $70 plus tax for the set of 25. Prepaid orders will be accepted until February 15, 2018. Come by the office at 302 W. HWY I-20 to see price lists, place orders or obtain further information. The best time to reach the district clerk is between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. Our phone number is 432-267-1871 ext. 3 or e-mail us at howard@swcd.texas.gov or Judith.Tereletsky@tx.nacdnet.net.

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