Build Your Tree Inventory

This is the year to plant a tree in the lawn. It could replace one lost to disease, pest or wind. Possibly, no tree has ever risen in the side yard outside the window you glance through each morning.

What the reason, adding trees to your property undertakes enhancements with multiple benefits. Every property could use more shade. Some sites could use a windbreak. Perhaps the view could stand to be softened with a native tree or shrub.

Next month marks the launch of the annual Soil & Water Conservation District Fall Tree Sale. Native trees and shrubs await homes where they can thrive, benefiting man, all kinds of beasts and birds, and insects we favor like butterflies.

Trees are part of the big picture; trees round out the general plan of nature. With recent losses, the entire county tree inventory warrants review. No formal tally exists, but Hendricks County has lost hundreds of ash trees from the ravages of the emerald ash borer. One cul-de-sac in Danville has lost a dozen trees, all of them ash. Much shade has been lost and the immediate area is hotter during the summer.

A woodlot west of Danville likely has radically changed. Fully 48 out of 51 trees at one corner were ash when it was last visited a decade ago. Every ash tree in one woodlot north of Danville died and became firewood some time back.

Retired forester Jack Nelson recommends fall plantings for reasons that include container-grown trees’ roots will continue growing until the freeze. Next spring, established roots are ready to support the growing tree.

Nelson has witnessed widespread tree loss with dismay. “I’d like to see a countywide effort launched immediately and sustained indefinitely,” he remarks. “It’s really the only way to reverse the trend.

“Mature trees are years away, so why delay moving in that direction?” he asks.

According to Nelson, 10 years after planting a healthy container grown seedling yields a return of a 15- to 20-foot tree, depending upon species.

Tree sale advance order intentions can be called in to the Hendricks County Soil & Water Conservation District office, (317) 745-2555, ext. 3. Order form follow-ups will be mailed shortly thereafter.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

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