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Tree Planting Maintenance Workshop at the Ag Center

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The Adams County Conservation District (ACCD) is hosting a tree planting maintenance workshop at the Ag Center on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The program will offer hands-on training, with topics covering proper tree planting, sheltering, and maintenance techniques,along with information on the importance of planting “the right tree in the right place.”

ACCD assisted local landowners in planting over 15,000 trees and shrubs throughout riparian, upland, turf conversion and urban plantings in Adams County in 2021. Through partnerships with the Watershed Alliance of Adams County, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s K10 Partnership, we distributed nearly 10,000 native trees and shrubs throughout the county to over 300 different planting locations this Spring. We are again hosting the program with similar goals this September 2022.

In addition to connecting our community to the CBF K10 FREE trees and shrubs, we are also working with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, and several other grant programs to install riparian buffers and turf to tree conversions throughout the county. These projects take place on private & public properties, with small suburban homeowners, large rural parcels, municipal parks, homeowner associations properties, new development construction, and on farms just to name a few example locations.

Riparian tree planting projects are our #1 priority, but we also know that a tree planted anywhere adds to our natural, social, and economic successes, and helps intercept stormwater from our impervious surfaces, like our roofs and driveways. A riparian buffer is the vegetated area along a stream or waterway. It may consist of grasses, shrubs, wildflowers, trees, or a combination.

These buffers protect the waterway from nearby land uses, and in the case of trees, can shade the water keeping it cool for species like trout. Riparian buffers play a key role in protecting water quality, but “set it and forget it” is a term that should only be applied to your rotisserie chicken, not your tree planting projects.

Routine maintenance is extremely important to ensure the long-term success and usefulness of any tree planting project. To improve the survivability of your tree planting project, maintenance should begin immediately after the trees have been planted. This will vary depending on the surrounding land uses – typical activities include visually inspecting several times a year and after major storm events, controlling weeds before they grow out of control, replanting where plants have died or been washed away, straightening, and securing tree shelters and stakes, and removing bird netting.

“But wait, there’s more!” Tree planting maintenance requires holistic thought about how the plants, water, wildlife, and land uses function together. Our goal is to provide more than just FREE trees, but also the basic knowledge of how and why we depend on trees to protect our water quality and natural ecosystems. Join us at the Ag Center to learn more about the relationship between our culturally normalized lifestyles and the small changes that we can consider making to become the example that neighbors can follow to increase habitat and greenspaces for wildlife and our communities.

This program is made possible with assistance from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Watershed Alliance of Adams County, and with financial and other support from the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program which is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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