Growing trees for a healthier environment

Many Oakland County landowners are using naturalized landscaping to reduce maintenance costs, provide habitat for wildlife and add beauty to their property. Incorporating trees, evergreens and shrubs are effective initial steps toward healthy conservation efforts.

The Oakland Conservation District offers homeowners and community landscapers a variety of Michigan native trees, shrubs and evergreens during their annual Tree and Shrub sale Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted at the Waterford Oaks Greenhouse, located within Waterford Oaks County Park. To ensure the availability of specific products, pre-ordering is strongly recommended. Order forms are available on the District website, OaklandConservationDistrict.org.

Through the sale of carefully selected products, the District helps homeowners with their environmental efforts, providing naturalized, non-invasive species and education. Teaching residents to use simple landscape techniques promotes healthier communities and reduces energy costs. By creating a windbreak or two in a yard makes sense and saves dollars. Cold winter winds can be reduced by up to 10 times the horizontal distance of the height of the windbreak. This will help the furnace from working too much and helps save on heating bills. Alternatively, windbreaks slow the speed of hot summer winds, keep the house cooler naturally and reduce summer cooling bills.

Adding landscape protection can also reduce wind erosion, reduce stress on crops and gardens, which increases yields, act as excellent wildlife habitat, and provide privacy screening.

If you want to attract wildlife to your property, planting properly selected plants can provide food and cover for a variety of animals.  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.

The Oakland Conservation District provides education about many conservation efforts and techniques, for more information call (248) 922-7822 or visit the Oakland Conservation District website, www.OaklandConservationDistrict.org.

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 Oakland County.  

The Oakland Conservation District is a local unit of state government, assisting private landowners, businesses and others, with management of their natural resources in Oakland County. The District works cooperatively with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.