COLUMBUS, OH - State foresters coordinated the planting of more than 75 miles of trees this spring as part of the annual Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Since 1977 we have planted nearly 800 row miles of windbreaks in northwestern Ohio, said John Dorka, chief of ODNR's Division of Forestry, which coordinates the program. Planting windbreaks reduces soil erosion, protects crops from wind damage and enhances wildlife habitat.
A total of 51 field windbreaks (rows of trees and other vegetation that slow wind velocities on farm fields in order to reduce soil erosion) were planted in nine northwestern Ohio counties.
More than 51,000 seedlings, including hardwood trees, conifers and shrubs, were planted in Crawford, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties.
The Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program is open to landowners in a total of 17 Ohio counties where soil erosion from wind is a special problem. Landowners participate in the program voluntarily.
Agencies cooperating in the program include the local soil & water conservation districts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever, and ODNR's divisions of forestry, soil & water conservation and wildlife.
Among the species planted in the Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program this spring were arborvitae, white pine, Norway spruce, Austrian pine, baldcypress, eastern red cedar, pin oak, English oak, silky dogwood, black chokeberry, American plum and Sargent crabapple.
Dorka said that most of this spring's planting was due to participation in the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), along tributary streams in northwest Ohio.
Announced in April 2000 by Governor Bob Taft, the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is successfully underway in 27 counties in Ohios western Lake Erie watershed. To date, the program has seen nearly 13,000 acres of conservation practices enrolled, with more than 2,400 farmers participating in the program.
The federal/state program pays farmers and other landowners to plant trees and establish conservation buffers along tributary streams in 27 northwest Ohio counties.
For more information on the Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program, contact Gregg Maxfield, ODNR Division of Forestry at 419-424-5004; or check the ODNR web site at Ohiodnr.com