Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors wind breaks

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers
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Updated: 3/12/2013 8:45 am

Multiple varieties of hearty trees, like evergreens, pines, red oaks, and pistachio, just to name a few, arrived at Lubbock's Soil and Water Conservation District office last week awaiting land owners to pick them up and plant them as windbreaks. Randy Underwood, who is the District Conservationist for our region, said that area producers have been ordering trees from their program for the past 20 years, and have been reaping the benefits of having wind breaks around their property ever since.

"This thing is for home or farm stead wind breaks," Underwood said. "We've also had some people pick them up as feed lot windbreaks for some of these bigger feed yards they use those trees around the outside for wind breaks for their cattle, so it's been a real viable program. The District tries to sell these trees very reasonably to our producers."

The Soil and Water Conservation District has a goal to do just what their name implies. And establishing strong root systems and wind breaks is an effective way to keep topsoil from blowing away.

"It's a good thing to hold down the dirt around the house or the soil movement, whatever you want to call it, but it's worked for the last 20 years," Underwood said. "We've got trees that we sell from our people in New Mexico that grow them for us, and then the other trees we sell are from the Texas Forest Service that are grown here locally in Lubbock."

Area land owners like Roy Cooper get to pick the kind of trees they want to plant, learn about how to best manage their trees when they put them in the ground, then enjoy their beauty for years to come.

"I ordered 12 juniper and four desert willows, mainly for a wind break to plant on the west side of the house," Cooper said. "There was an ad in the Idalou Beacon that we saw and then I called Jo Ann and talked to her about them and I checked the trees out on the internet to see what I wanted, and then I placed my order."

"These things are pretty hearty, they're grown in bigger pots," Underwood said. "We offer them in like 15 gallon, seven gallon, and five gallon, and one gallon pots that are grown over in New Mexico. They take off a little faster than an annual seedling does, therefore they've done real well for our program and people have had good success growing them."

And if you are an area landowner interested in planting an agricultural wind break using trees from the Soil and Water Conservation District, this tree program is offered every winter. So next year you can have the chance to pick out your very own trees.

"For the last 20 years or so, the local Soil and Water Conservation District has tried to help local farmers and ranchers and land owners with a tree program," Underwood said. "So what we do is order trees from about the first of November through the end of February, and then deliver in March for the landowners that want wind breaks."

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