(Chelsea Update would like to thank Dennis Rice for the information in this story.)
By planting properly selected plants you can provide food and cover that will attract a variety of wildlife to your property.
Evergreens provide good nesting cover for birds and thermal cover for larger animals. Cones from pines and spruces are an excellent food source for songbirds, while the leaves and berries from other plants provide needed winter food for many birds and animals. A well designed planting can provide food and cover for the whole year.
Home heating costs can be reduced by planting tree and shrub windbreaks. Windbreaks provide protection for up to 10 times their height by reducing wind speeds that cool your home, causing your furnace to run longer and burn more fuel to keep you comfortable during the winter. They also reduce wind erosion, reduce stress on crops and gardens, which increases yields, act as excellent wildlife habitat, and provide privacy screening.
Naturalizing your landscaping by planting a variety of trees, shrubs, native wildflowers and prairie grasses can reduce maintenance costs, provide habitat for wildlife, and add beauty to your property, and help reduce erosion.
Trees, shrubs, prairie grass and wildflower plants for these conservation uses are available for order from the Washtenaw County Conservation District Spring Tree and Plants Sale.
Orders for tree and shrub seedlings will be accepted through March 23 while supplies last.
Distribution of seedlings and other conservation materials will take place on April 28-29 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
Orders for day lilies, prairie grass and wildflower plants will be accepted through April 28, while supplies last. Distribution of native plants is scheduled for May 19, at the Conservation District office.
Trees and shrubs purchased through the Conservation District are not intended for commercial uses, such as nursery stock. Public Act 89 of 1929 prohibits planting stock purchased from conservation districts from being resold with the roots attached.
Purchases through this program support work by the Conservation District in Washtenaw County.
To obtain a catalog for the Spring Tree and Plants Sale, call or visit the Washtenaw County Conservation District office, 7203 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor; telephone: (734) 761-6721 ext. 5.
Information on the sale and a downloadable order form are also available on the District website at: www.washtenawcd.org. On-line orders can also be submitted through the District website.