The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

December 29, 2012

Tree seedlings available through the state

ENID, Okla. — Tree planting time is just around the corner in Oklahoma.

Pine and hardwood seedlings and seed-ling packages can be ordered online or by mail from Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

In addition to enhancing wildlife habitats, anyone wanting to plant seedlings for timber production, fuel wood production, windbreaks or shelterbelts should order their seedlings at this time, said Kirby Smith, of Oklahoma Department of Agric-ulture, Food and Forestry.

December through early March is the ideal time for planting seedlings. OFS can assist landowners in selecting the right species to help meet their objectives and in lining up a contractor to plant the seedlings.

In eastern Oklahoma a few acres of seedlings planted for timber production can be an excellent source of income, Smith said. After initial planting, a stand of trees needs little attention until first thinning and harvest time. A few acres of idle land, planted now, can grow into cash in as little as 10 years and also add value to your property, Smith said.

A one-acre pine planting makes an excellent place to hay cattle in the winter, Smith said. Hardwood species planted for fuel wood production can mean an abundant supply of cost-efficient fuel for home heating. Trees planted in strategic locations around a home can help save money by reducing heating and cooling costs by as much as 40 percent.

In some parts of the state, programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Huber’s free seedling program can help with the initial costs of tree planting. Tax incentives associated with tree planting also may apply. Increased crops and forage production also add to the economic reasons for good conservation practices, Smith said. More is produced on land with good timber management, both environmentally and economically.

Oklahoma Forestry Services provides tree planting and timber management assistance to landowners. Anyone having any questions about ordering seedlings, seedling prices or timber management may contact Oklahoma Forestry Services at (405) 522-6158 or go to the website at www.forestry. ok.gov.

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