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Alliant Energy to Sponsor Nine Operation Releaf Events
Posted: 02/25/2014

A popular program offering landscape quality trees at a deep discount to Alliant Energy customers will be held at nine locations across Iowa this spring.

Alliant Energy’s Operation ReLeaf is a program to help Alliant Energy customers save energy in their homes using trees to provide shade during the summer and create wind breaks during the winter. For maximum energy efficiency, shade trees should be planted within 30 feet of the east and west and evergreens should be planted as a windbreak on the north and west of the home.

 

Through the program, Alliant Energy residential customers may purchase high quality landscaping trees for $25 each, on a first-come, first-served basis.  These trees typically retail for between $65 and $125. 

 

“Planting a diverse mix of trees on your property and in your neighborhood will reduce the likelihood of losing a large number of trees to forest health threats,” said Paul Tauke, state forester and chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry Bureau.

Tauke said they are encouraging homeowners who do not intend to treat for emerald ash borer to plant a replacement tree within 30 feet of the existing ash tree.

Foresters have been working with local partners to create a state tree inventory that will guide future tree planting efforts to keep a healthy mix of tree species. 

 

Operation ReLeaf has 35 species of trees from which they select 8 to 10 species for each event based on the local tree inventory that will include shade trees, ornamentals and conifers.  Shade trees are 6 to 8 feet tall in 5 to 10 gallon containers and conifers are 2 to 3 feet tall.

Just a few of the advantages of yard trees are:

  • Decrease in household heating and cooling costs
  • Increase in  property values
  • Decrease in storm water runoff, which may reduce flooding events
  • Beauty and personal enjoyment

“All trees are purchased through a bidding process to promote local nurseries,” said Tauke.  “This is a great way for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable price.”

Advanced order is highly recommended and advance purchase is limited to two trees per household.  In the event there are extra trees available on distribution day, those trees will be released for purchase at that time.  Order forms are available online at www.alliantenergy.com/releaf.

Workshops lead by experts discussing tree planting and care will be held at all tree distributions.  Workshops will cover root flare and proper planting depth, correcting encircling roots, proper mulching and watering, corrective pruning to reduce future storm damage, planning around buildings for energy efficiency and emerald ash borer.

 

Operation ReLeaf, is administered by the Iowa DNR’s Forestry Bureau with assistance from local partners, like county conservation boards, municipalities and county extension offices. 

  

Operation ReLeaf participants must be Alliant Energy residential customers. 

 

Operation ReLeaf Locations

April 23, 4 to 6 p.m.

Thompson, Winnebago County

Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 264 Fairgrounds Dr., Thompson

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 5 p.m.

Partner: Winnebago County Conservation

 

April 24, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Newton, Jasper County

Woodland Park, intersection of N 19th Avenue W and W First Street North, Newton

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 5:45 p.m.

Partner: City of Newton

 

April 26, 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Marion, Linn County

Squaw Creek Park, 4305 Squaw Lane, Marion

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 8:15 a.m.

Partner: Linn County Conservation

 

April 26, 9 to 11 a.m.

Hiawatha (Hiawatha residents only), Linn County

10th Avenue parking lot of Guthridge Park, 704 Emmons Street, Hiawatha

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 10 a.m.

Partner: City of Hiawatha

 

May 1, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Ogden, Boone County

Don Williams Park, 610 H Ave., Ogden

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 5:15 p.m.

Partner: Boone County Conservation

 

May 3, 9 to 11 a.m.

Mount Pleasant, Henry County

Wright Pavilion in McMillan Park, South Walnut Street, Mount Pleasant

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 10 a.m.

Partner: Henry County Extension

 

May 8, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Centerville, Appanoose County

Sharon Bluffs State Park, 25100 520th Street, Centerville

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 5:45 p.m.

Partner: Appanoose County Conservation Foundation

 

May 22, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Williamsburg, Iowa County

USDA Office, 435 North Highland Street, Williamsburg

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 4:45 p.m.

Partner: Iowa County Extension

 

May 31, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

Tripoli, Bremer County

Bremer County Extension Office, 720 Seventh Avenue SW, Tripoli

Tree Planting and Care Workshop: 9:15 a.m.

Partner: Bremer County Extension

 



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