dewitt – A popular
program offering landscape quality trees at a deep discount to Alliant Energy
customers will be held at Westbrook Park, 520 Westbrook Drive, in DeWitt, from
4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Oct. 3.
Operation ReLeaf, a residential tree
planting program that promotes long-term energy and natural resource
conservation, is funded by Alliant Energy and administered by the Iowa DNR
Forestry Bureau with assistance from local partners, like the City of DeWitt.
Through the program, Alliant Energy
residential customers may purchase high quality landscaping trees for $25
each. These trees typically retail for between $65 and $125.
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.
The DNR is encouraging homeowners to
prepare for emerald ash borer (EAB) and other tree pests by planting a diverse
mix of tree species. Foresters have been working with local partners to create
community tree inventories that will guide future tree planting efforts to keep
a healthy mix of tree species.
The most recent tree survey for
communities in Clinton County finds 26 percent of the trees are maple followed
by ash at 20 percent. The DNR has a target for communities that no more than 10
percent of the trees are from any one species, and no more than 20 percent is
from one genus.
Trees available at each distribution
event are determined by the local tree species inventory. For DeWitt, species
available include American elm “Jefferson,” thornless honeylocust, northern red
oak, river birch, tuliptree, sugar maple and bur oak, eastern redbud, Japanese
lilac, edible apple liberty, eastern white pine and Norway spruce.
Shade trees are 6 to 9 feet tall in 7
to 10 gallon containers and conifers are 2 to 4 feet tall.
“All trees are purchased through a
bidding process to promote local nurseries,” said Paul Tauke, state forester
and chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau.
“This is a great way for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable
A workshop lead by district forester
Steve Swinconos, will discuss ways to treat ash trees for EAB and offer
recommendations to battle this invasive pest at 5:30 p.m. during this tree
The workshop will also provide
information to avoid common mistakes that often result in dead trees.
“Research has shown that more than 50
percent of trees planted in urban settings are planted incorrectly, even when
planted by professionals,” said Swinconos.
The 45 minute workshop will cover the
most common mistakes that can shorten the tree lifespan by decades, including
finding the root flare, proper planting depth, correcting and preventing
encircling roots, proper mulching and watering, corrective pruning to reduce
future storm damage, and planting around buildings for energy efficiency and
more. Just a few of the advantages of yard
- Decrease in household heating and cooling costs
- Increase in property values
- Decrease in storm water runoff, which may reduce
- Beauty and personal enjoyment
Studies have found that by having tree
lined streets more people spend time outside which can improve activity and
lower their body mass index, especially in kids. Studies also link trees
to reduced asthma rates.
Operation ReLeaf participants must be
Alliant Energy residential customers.