Natural Resource News
Conservation Planting 101
Do your animals need wind protection? Do you want to save money by reducing your energy consumption? Do you want to reduce noise, create a visual barrier or establish wildlife habitat? There are many conservation benefits to planting a windbreak, shelterbelt or getting trees and shrubs established. The Division of Natural Resource and Conservation has teamed up with Montana State University Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local conservation districts to offer low cost seedlings (bare root and containerized) to be used in conservation plantings.
A few things to think about before you order trees. What do you want to accomplish with your planting? What is the existing vegetation like where you want to plant? Is there perennial vegetation that will compete with the seedlings? Is there going to be grazing pressure from livestock or wildlife? Do you have browse protection or the area fenced off? Is it feasible to water the trees in the event of a dry spring or long hot summer? It is often difficult to get a good survival rate on tree shrub establishment. It is in your best interest to take every measure possible to give them the best opportunity for survival.
Not sure what to plant? No problem, the DNRC’s website has lots of information on what trees are suitable for different issues, how to plant and care for your seedlings, and available inventory. Visit their website at http://dnrc.mt.gov/forestry/Nursery/ call 406-542-4244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for current information. NRCS, MSU Extensions, and your local CDs are also available to help you develop a plan to meet your needs.
You can also learn a wealth of knowledge by attending the Feb. 28 Conservation Tree Planting workshop held at the Ennis Elementary Cafeteria. The event will start at 6 p.m. and will cover the details you need for getting your conservation planting project going. Call the MCD office for more information 682-7289, or just show up to the event. If you want dinner for the small $5 fee, give us a call in advance and let us know you are coming.