Soil Conservation seedling sale offers promise of spring
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
For those who wished for the rain to end, Mother Nature answered with a sly grin — and a layer of snow.
With the icy wetness and the bare trees reminding us winter is what winter does, it might seem an odd time to think about planting. That would be shortsighted. Now is the perfect time to prepare for the inevitable change of season to come.
Why? Because the Blount County Soil Conservation District is taking orders for its annual fundraiser/tree sale through Feb. 20. Read the following and imagine the verdant spring days around the corner.
White pine, bald cypress, eastern red cedar, redbud, pink dogwood, white dogwood, red dogwood, sugar maple, red maple, weeping willow, Winesap apple, Granny Smith apple, gala apple, Fuji apple, moonglow pear, Bartlett pear, Kiefer pear, Oriental pear, American hazelnut, mockernut hickory, mulberry, plum, elderberry, persimmon, paw paw, pecan, red raspberry, tame thornless blackberry, silky dogwood, witchhazel and old fashion purple lilac bush.
Yes, Mother Nature rewards us for surviving her winter challenge. Help her out by ordering your seedlings and picking them up on March 6 at the Blount County Soil Conservation District Office, 221 Court St., Maryville. For information, call 983-2011.
All the tree seedlings are grown in Tennessee and are adapted to grow in this region. Planting trees in mid-winter to early-spring gives young trees time to establish their root systems before the summer stresses of heat and drought.
Instructions for planting and caring for the seedlings are provided when the trees are picked up.
The trees help in several ways. The roots hold the soil in place and the leaves create a layer of mulch on top of the ground. They also provide food and shelter for wildlife.
According to the National Arborist Association, trees can increase property values by up to 30 percent. Properly placed, they act as windbreaks, reducing heating bills by 15 percent and as cooling agents, screening out solar radiation.
Still uptight over the snow and ice? Consider this: Trees also help reduce stress, studies show, by providing a calming effect. Plus, proceeds from the sale are used for conservation education programs in Blount County.
Take a lesson from Johnny Appleseed — plant a seedling from the Blount County Soil Conservation District.