When the temperatures start to rise and the rains starts to fall, we all start thinking about spring. And around our office, springtime not only means it’s time to start thinking about planting crops but also planting trees. So sure enough, Holmes SWCD is once again busy with our annual tree seedling sale.
This year, we are excited to offer some new tree species to our lineup, including the Dawn Redwood. Personally, I love seeing the Dawn Redwood added to our lineup, not only because of its uniqueness as a tree specimen but also because it makes me feel skilled in my ability to grow a seedling and keep it alive.
What makes the Dawn Redwood so unique compared to our other trees is that it is a deciduous conifer. That means that even though it is a cone-bearing tree with needs, it is also deciduous. Those soft, beautiful needles turn a vibrant rust color in the fall and are shed – just like the leaves from the oaks and maples we know and love. Keep that in mind when fall comes our way; if your Dawn Redwood loses its needles it’s not dead, so don’t cut it down; it’s just resting for the winter.
The Dawn Redwood loves wet areas and thrives there, and it is capable of growing upwards of 3 feet each year. My daughter, a high school freshman this year, brought home a tiny seedling in elementary school one year, and it’s already well over 40 feet tall. It’s planted at the end of my driveway, and it’ beautiful shape and unique fall coloring always bring compliments.
Of course, the history of the Dawn Redwood also makes it near and dear to my heart. Known as a living fossil, this tree dates back to the time of the dinosaurs and was once thought to be extinct. Up until the 1940s, this tree had only been seen in fossil records until they were rediscovered in remote valleys of China. A collaborative global effort led to the collection of seeds from these trees that were then distributed around the world, including seeds that were shared with Secrest Arboretum in Wooster.
In addition to the Dawn Redwood, this year we are excited to once again offer traditional evergreen and deciduous seedling packets but also a number of single, ornamental seedlings as well.
Most of our evergreen packets are sold in packs of 25 10-18-inch tall seedlings. Those include Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, White Pine, and Scotch Pine. New this year, we will also be offering a 5-pack of 18-24-inch American Arborvitae. Evergreen seedling backs all sell for $15 each with the exception of the White Pine, which sells for $28 but is a larger-rooted transplant.
All of this year’s deciduous tree seedling packets will also be sold in 5-packs for $10. This year we will offer Tulip Poplars, Red Oaks, and Sugar Maples.
A number of new seedlings are being offered as single-pack ornamentals this year. Common Witchazel and White Flowering Dogwoods will be sold for $3 each, and Dwarf Chinkapin Oaks and Dawn Redwoods will be sold for $7 each.
Tree sale orders can be placed online . Orders will be accepted while supplies last through March 13 and must be picked up from the Holmes County Highway Garage on April 12 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
A Holmes County native, Jane joined the Holmes SWCD staff in 2015 after spending 16 years in public relations for a land-grant university. She holds a BS with distinction in agricultural communication from Purdue University and her master's program in mass communication at Purdue focused on science and risk communication. Jane has a passion for educating youth about the science of conservation and agriculture and is an active volunteer in local 4-H and Scout programs. She is excited to bring that passion back to Holmes County where she manages educational outreach programs, social media, and fiscal administration for the district. Jane raises horses and sheep on the family farm where she was raised south of Nashville along with her husband Craig and her three children: Aubree, Garrett & Tristan. You can reach Jane at 330-674-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org