The Polar Vortex is over, and the groundhog has had its say, and your local soil and water conservation districts are gearing up for spring with their annual tree seedling sales.
The 2019 Tree and Wildlife Packet Sales are now underway at both the Gallia and Meigs Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The tree seedling sales have been an annual tradition in both counties for years, with proceeds helping to fund educational programs and other activities conducted by the respective districts.
This year, both Gallia and Meigs counties have similar offerings and ordering deadlines
This year’s individual hardwood offerings include Black Cherry, Black Walnut, Northern Red Oak, and White Oak in packets of 25 seedlings. Also available are Bald Cypress, Eastern White Pine, Norway Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce and Scotch Pine in packets of 25.
The Hard Mast Packet returns for 2019 and consists of four each of Northern Red Oak, White Oak, American Chestnut, Hazelnut, and Shellbark Hickory, (20 seedlings total), while the Pollinator Tree Packet consisting of two each American Plum, Common Hackberry, Elderberry, Shadblow Serviceberry, and Silky Dogwood (10 seedlings total) is also available.
Other offerings include Dwarf Belle of Georgia Peach (two trees), and Shiitake Mushroom kits consisting of 200 plugs. Native ground cover plants being offered include Wild Ginger, Partridge Berry, and Wild Columbine in trays of 25. Both counties are also offering erosion control packets (two pounds).
Meigs County is offering additional seed packets including Wildflower and Grass mix, wildlife food plot mixes, and Ohio Pollinator Seed Mix Packet and an Ohio Pollinator Packet (no grasses).
Both counties are offering bluebird boxes and bat boxes, marking flags and Plantskyydd deer and rabbit repellant available in ready-to-spray quart bottles or in a powder concentrate.
The deadline for ordering trees or seed packets is Wednesday, Feb. 20 with trees being available for pickup in early April. Tree and shrub seedlings should be between six and 18 inches tall, depending on the species, and should be planted promptly after pickup and watered regularly.
The key to tree seedling survival is to pick the right location based on the requirements of the tree, to pick them up promptly and get them planted as soon as possible – preferably the same day, and then to water them regularly and protect them from critters (namely deer).
The trees themselves provide a benefit to wildlife and to our environment in many ways, such as providing shelter, cover, shade, and beautification. To a certain extent, it is something that we do without expecting to benefit from it personally, however some of the seedlings that I have planted over the years have finally grown to the point where I can use their shade and enjoy the birds and other animals that call them home.
For order forms, prices or more information, contact your local SWCD.
For the Meigs SWCD call 740-992-4282 or stop in 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 113 E. Memorial Drive, Suite D, Pomeroy. Order forms and additional information are available at www.meigsswcd.com.
For the Gallia SWCD call 740-446-6173 or stop in between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., weekdays, at 111 Jackson Pike, Suite 1569, Gallipolis. Additional information is also available at www.galliaswcd.com/documents.
Jim Freeman is the wildlife specialist for the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at email@example.com