November 24, 2014

Spring tree sale nears its end

By John Fischer|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Conservation District’s (ACD) annual spring tree sale is in full swing but will come to a close on April 8.

Until then, Arenac County residents looking to spruce up their properties can purchase a wide assortment of trees, shrubs, fruit trees and fruit bearing plants, says ACD Director Joanna VanDenBoom. She added the conservation district also offers a wide range of seedling, transplant and deciduous sizes.

“Whether you want trees for a large farm area or just for wind resistance, we (ACD) have many different amounts,” VanDenBoom said. “Even though we (ACD) sell seedlings in the thousands, you can get fruit plants, transplants and deciduous in groups of five.”

She added all profits from the tree sale are retained by the ACD.

“We’re (ACD) grant-funded through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and next year, our $11,605 budget is going to be cut in half,” VanDenBoom said, adding a boost in tree sales may help offset the budget cuts handed down from the state.

She also shared some background on how the ACD and its tree sale came about.

According to VanDenBoom, in the 1930s during the infamous “Dust Bowl” that resulted from mass amounts of acreage being cleared nationally for development, stripping lands of trees, the U.S. Government wanted to reach local people regarding conservation, which is why strategically placed diverse boards, formerly called soil conservation districts, were established in counties across the country. The tree sale has been an annual event since ACD’s inception about 55 years ago.

“Conservation districts provide a service to the public to conserve land,” she said. “We (ACD) have about 300 separate pre-orders (for the tree sale) and we get about 50-100 walk-ins throughout the sale.”

VanDenBoom says individuals looking to snatch up trees will have another opportunity to do it later this year if they can’t get in an order this spring.

“We have a smaller sale in the fall,” she said. “But we don’t offer near as much. The spring sale is really when you want to shop.”

VanDenBoom says tree sale pick up is Friday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Arenac County Fairgrounds.

For more information, contact VanDenBoom at the Arenac County Conservation District at 989-846-9662.

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