Weatherford Democrat

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January 17, 2014

Making a green thumb greener

Seeds, tree seedlings and rain barrels on sale through SWCD

Rain barrels, wildflower seeds, tree seedlings now on sale to benefit Parker County Soil and Water Conservation District.

There is still time to order tree seedlings for spring planting from the Parker County Soil And Water Conservation District.  Pre-paid orders are being taken through Feb. 10.

Delivered in bulk by the Texas Forest Service, seedlings will be ready for pick up March 3. The seedlings are affordable plantings that can replace dead or dying trees affected by drought.

Planting now will ensure great shade in the future.  A screen of trees on a home’s west side will begin to lower cooling costs substantially in the summer as they mature, while trees planted on the north side will eventually reduce heating costs. Trees can also be dust traps, catching falling particles on leaf surfaces that would normally stay in the air.

Rain barrels placed to collect runoff from a home’s roof can save untold dollars during the summer and could save precious plants and trees from the devastating effects of the hot summer sun.

Trees and shrubs are nature’s air fresheners because of their fragrant odor, their ability to disperse unpleasant odors, and clean pollutants and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  Trees sequester a large amount of carbon during their life span, but absorption slows as the tree ages.  Saving 25 million trees a year can reportedly have the effect of removing 60 million pounds of pollutants from the air yearly.

The Texas Forest Service provides the seedlings for the district’s annual sale and is shipped from their West Texas Nursery in Idalou, Texas, at the end of February. Each year the choices are slightly different, but always include native hardwoods, evergreens and a selection of shrubs. This year evergreen species include Afghanistan Pine, Oriental Arborvitae, Austrian Pine, Bald Cypress, Deodara Cedar, Fourwing Saltbush, Italian Stone Pine, Lacebark Elm, and Pinyon Pine. Seedlings are generally 6 to12 inches tall and come in plastic tubes. Each has a root volume of 10 cubic inches and sells for $2.80 each or in sealed boxes of 25.

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