Iowans who are sprucing up their properties with spruce trees might more closely consider using native trees. Roger Jacob manages the State Forest Nursery near Ames which produces up to five-million plants a year. Because some species grow until they are three years old or more, it means they have about 12-million seedlings growing at any given time. Jacob says native trees are the ones Iowans should plant in their yards, since they’ve weathered the test of time. Jacob says the native trees have grown in Iowa for centuries, are adapted to our climate and thrive here in our harsh winters and hot summers. He says most tree species -can- be planted right now and he singles out several that are particularly attuned to Iowa’s weather extremes. Native species include: all of the oaks, white oak, red oak, pin oak, swamp white oak, walnuts, ash and many other hardwood species. He says the State Forest Nursery annually grows, processes and distributes about three-million trees and shrubs that are planted for forestry, wildlife, erosion control and beautification. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ web site “www.iowadnr.com/forestry” lists nurseries that sell seedlings grown in Iowa along with plenty of tree planting information, or call 1-800-865-2477.
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