Missouri Department of Conservation’s annual tree seedling sales program
Trees provide benefits and cost savings
By Francis Skalicky
Whether you have a large farming operation or merely own a few acres outside the city limits, planting the right trees in the right places can make big improvements on your land. Landowners wishing to make these kinds of improvements can do so through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s annual tree seedling sales program, which is currently underway. Through this program, landowners can purchase bundles of seedling trees from the Department’s George O. White Nursery in Licking.
Bundle sizes vary, depending on the purpose of the planting, but most range between 25 and 50 plants. The ordering period will run through May 1. Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Because of the popularity of this program, shortages in planting stock of some species occur soon after the ordering process starts. The toll-free number in the order form (800-392-3111) allows customers to find out what tree types are still available. The number will be operational beginning Wednesday.
The benefits of this program aren’t limited to the betterment of wildlife habitat. Trees can provide a much-needed windbreak for livestock. A well-placed group of trees can provide energy savings by sheltering poultry houses (or, in some cases, people houses) from cold winter winds and hot summer sun. Trees planted next spring can lead to additional income from timber sales several years down the road. Streams with an erosion problem can greatly benefit from trees placed along the bank.
Because trees have to be purchased in bundles, this program is not designed for homeowners looking for ornamental trees. The tree seedling program is intended for landowners who want to make timber-stand additions or improvements. Anyone wanting large trees or shrubs for ornamental purposes can obtain a list of wholesale and retail commercial nurseries by going to the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s website, http://mda.mo.gov/plants/nurseries