COLUMBUS, OH - More than 31,000 trees, covering a total of 76 acres, were planted this spring in eight Ohio counties through the Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
"Since 1977, state foresters have coordinated the planting of nearly 1,000 row miles of windbreaks in northwestern Ohio," said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry, which coordinates the program. "Planting windbreaks reduces soil erosion, protects crops from wind damage and enhances wildlife habitat."
A total of 30 new field windbreaks were planted in Crawford, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca and Wood counties. Windbreaks are rows of trees and other vegetation that slow wind, reducing soil erosion on farm fields.
The seedlings planted included arborvitae, white pine, Norway spruce, Austrian pine, baldcypress, eastern red cedar, pin oak, silky dogwood, black chokeberry, American plum, American cranberrybush, European Black alder and Sargent crabapple.
The Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program is a voluntary program open to landowners in 17 Ohio counties where soil erosion from wind is a problem.
Agencies cooperating in the program include local soil and 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.
Dorka said that most of this spring's planting was due to participation in the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, an initiative designed to improve water quality along Lake Erie's tributary streams in northwest Ohio.
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
The ODNR Division of Forestry manages 20 state forests on more than 185,000 acres, spanning parts of 21 counties. Using Best Management Practices, state foresters demonstrate proper timber management within these forests and assist private landowners with sustainable forest management on their woodlands. Benefits of these properly managed forests include timber, improved forest health, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, aesthetics and recreational opportunities.