Over 72 Thousand Trees Planted by Lower Loup NRD in 2015

There were 72,552 conservation trees planted across the Lower Loup Natural Resources District this year.   The number of trees sold in the NRD is down slightly from last year’s 85,971 total.

The Lower Loup NRD's tree planting program is one of the largest in the state and covers the entire District.  The NRD is made up of all or parts of 16 Nebraska counties.  Landowners and NRD crews could choose to plant any of more than 40 species of trees and shrubs in 2015.

One of the most popular species again this season was red cedar.  This perennial favorite performs well in a variety of situations and soil types.  There were 39,669 red cedars planted across the Lower Loup NRD throughout the spring and early summer.  Other popular varieties of trees and shrubs included plum, chokecherry, Ponderosa pine, and Colorado blue spruce.

The trees and shrubs planted across the District in 2015 are serving a variety of purposes.  The majority are planted to provide windbreaks, either field windbreaks, livestock windbreaks or farmstead windbreaks. Still others will serve as wildlife habitat. 

Trees in the District are planted in two ways.  The landowner can either plant his trees by hand or NRD employees will plant the trees by machine.  The total number of trees hand-planted in the District this year was 29,252 and the machine plant total was 43,300.

Many of the trees planted across the Lower Loup NRD got their start in Nebraska.  The U.S. Forest Service grows the majority of the seedlings planted in the state at the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey.  The seedlings, when they are two years old, are distributed to NRDs statewide through the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts. 

Additional trees were ordered through nurseries in Colorado and North Dakota.  Most often, these trees were of a variety not available from Nebraska nurseries.

Now is a great time to plan for next year’s conservation trees!  For more information on how to put the various conservation tree programs to work on your land, contact your nearest Natural Resources Conservation Service office.  For more information on trees and tree planting, contact Richard Woollen, North Central District Forester for the Nebraska Forest Service, at the Lower Loup Natural Resources District, 2620 Airport Drive, just off North Highway 11, in Ord or call 308-728-3221.