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Annual White County SWCD Meeting/Investing in Tree Windbreak Now can Save Money in the Future

February 22, 2019
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Annual White County SWCD Meeting

The White County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its 67th annual meeting on Wednesday, March 13th at the White County 4-H Building in Reynolds at 8:00 a.m. This year the SWCD will be hosting speaker John Scott, Purdue Extension Digital Ag Coordinator, who will be discussing the use of UAV’s (drones) in agriculture, specifically, how they can help improve conservation practices in terms of soil health, nutrient management, and drainage. Weather permitting, there will also be a drone demonstration using Purdue’s Digital Ag Trailer, which will allow participants to view the live feed of a UAV in action. Tickets are $10.00, include a breakfast, and can be purchased in advance from the Soil and Water Conservation District office at 103 Country Lane, Monticello and will also be available at the door. RSVP’s are requested by March 1st.

Investing in Tree Windbreak Now can Save Money in the Future

Before we know it, the ground will be thawed and home and property owners around the county will begin their landscaping plans for 2019. One thing I would recommend considering during your annual tree/shrub spring planting would be installing a tree wind break. Properly installed windbreaks have been shown to have many benefits including: reducing home heating costs, reducing exterior building maintenance, controlling drifting snow, providing food and cover for wildlife, and increasing the aesthetic value of a property, among others.

Planting an affective wind break will take more time and planning than you might think, as the placement and species selected will have a big influence on how well the wind break offers protection. For instance, Purdue recommends a proper windbreak should feature at least two rows of conifers and one row each of tall deciduous trees, tall shrubs, and short shrubs. These should be placed perpendicular to the prevailing winter wind, and at a distance of 2-5 times the height of the windbreak from the area to be protected. Additionally, one should plan ahead and take in account the size of the trees at their maximum height rather than planting height, so keep in mind the presence of power lines, roads, property edges, and any underground obstructions that may be present. 

For additional information and resources, Purdue has an excellent publication you can access for free online titled “Tree Windbreaks for Farms and Homes,” which features species recommendations, planting tips to maximize efficiency, plans to enhance wildlife, and links to several more useful publications. For more information or help accessing the publication, please contact me at 219-984-5115 or awestfal@purdue.edu

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