DES MOINES – A popular program offering landscape quality trees at a deep discount to Alliant Energy customers will be held at eight locations across Iowa this fall.
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 county conservation boards, municipalities and county extension offices.
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.
The DNR is encouraging homeowners to prepare for emerald ash borer and other tree pests by planting a diverse mix of tree species. Residents in communities where EAB has been found are advised to plant a different species of tree within 30 feet of any ash tree on their property to establish a replacement for when the ash tree succumbs to the damage caused by the emerald ash borer.
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. New this year is the option of edible landscape trees, like apple, plum and cherry.
Operation ReLeaf will be distributing 35 species of trees this fall, 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
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.
Workshop lead by experts discussing ways to avoid common mistakes that often result in dead trees will be held at most tree distributions. They will also discuss ways to treat ash trees for EAB and offer recommendations to battle this invasive pest.
“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 price, and help increase diversity in their urban forest.”
Operation ReLeaf participants must be Alliant Energy residential customers.
WORKSHOP DATES AND LOCATIONS
September 14, 9 – 11 a.m.
Location: Grimes Farm, 2349 233rd St., Marshalltown
Partner: Marshall County Conservation
Tree Planting and Care Workshop, 10 a.m.
September 19, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Northwood, Worth County
Location: Conservation Headquarters, 503 1st Ave North, Northwood
Partner: Worth County Conservation Board
September 21, 9 – 11 a.m.
Fayette, Fayette County
Location: Wildwood Nature Center, 18673 Lane Road, Fayette
Partner: Fayette County Conservation
Tree Planting and Care Workshop at 10 a.m.
September 26, 4 – 6 p.m.
Washington, Washington County
Location: Washington County Fairgrounds, 2223 250th Street, Washington
Partner: Washington County Extension
Tree Planting and Care Workshop at 5 p.m.
October 3, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
DeWitt, Clinton County
Location: Westbrook Park, 520 Westbrook Drive, Dewitt
Partner: City of DeWitt
Tree Planting and Care Workshop, 5:30 p.m.
October 5, 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Marion, Linn County
Location: Squaw Creek Park, 4305 Squaw Lane, Marion
Partner: Linn County Conservation Board
Tree Planting and Care Workshop, 8:15 a.m.
October 10, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Perry, Dallas County
Location: Dallas County Roads Maintenance Building, 1215 Iowa 141, Perry
Partner: Dallas County Conservation Foundation
October 12, 8 – 10 a.m.
Location: Armory, 2500 Summer Street, Burlington
Partner: Des Moines County Extension
Tree Planting and Care Workshop, 9 a.m.