With the first day of spring less than a month away, Quinton Beaumont, the county’s director of Agricultural Services Board (ASB) said that they are ready to take orders for the 2017 spring tree planting season.
“This year we will be taking orders earlier to ensure species are available and to receive the best pricing possible,” said Beaumont. “County residents can place their orders now, and ASB will ask them to come pay for their trees before they arrive.”
The ASB is accepting orders now and will apply a late fee of 15 per cent for all orders placed after Wednesday, March 15.
“We will not accept orders after April 28,” Beaumont added. “As an added bonus this year, we will be hosting a shelterbelt workshop with Tree Time Services Inc.”
According to Beaumont, attendees of this workshop will receive 10 per cent off any tree orders and for all orders placed through ASB, no freight charges apply.
“We are willing and able to assist in planning your new shelterbelt rows, and we offer a planting service if you order more than 200 trees for a new shelterbelt row,” Beaumont explained. “We also have a plastic mulch applicator free for your use, you just need to purchase the plastic mulch.”
The County of Stettler Agricultural Services department has partnered with Tree Time for a second year and will offer county residents the opportunity to order their shelterbelts through them, with a possible discount as they capitalize on ordering bulk quantities.
“With wind erosion affecting Alberta soils each year, the agricultural department plants about 800 trees in the county each year,” Beaumont stated. “Properly designed field shelterbelts as part of a crop management system approach, prevent and greatly reduce the risk of wind erosion.”
According to Beaumont, properly placed field shelterbelts provide agronomic and other benefits, including reduced soil erosion by wind; increased moisture for crop growth due to two factors – snow trapping and reduced moisture loss through evaporation; potential for increased crop yields and reduced wind damage to crops.
Other benefits are that they provide wildlife habitat and shelter, lower costs of snow removal from roads, beautification of the prairie landscape, reduced environmental effects of agriculture and potential source of income for farmers, such as biomass, timber and non-timber products.