The need for tree restoration programs
To the editor:
After reading the article in the April 23 Three Rivers Commercial I congratulate the St. Joe County Conservation District on their annual tree sale program. Over the years, they have acquired an excellent healthy stock of trees and shrubs to offer county residents. I have purchased over 500 pines and spruce trees, a couple of wildlife packets, and two red oak seedlings that now have become beautiful trees I’m currently enjoying.
As good as this program is the majority of trees offered/planted are different varieties of pines and spruce. My guess: the reason is that hardwoods, such as maple, oak, walnut, hickory, etc. are more expensive and much harder to care for the crucial first few years after they’re planted. Having said that, I challenge the Conservation District and the residents of St. Joe County to work toward a program to plant larger quantities of hardwoods with consideration and restrictions on where they can be planted.
The modern day agricultural industry, the road commission, and the power companies, along with loggers and county residents cutting firewood all contribute to the county losing thousands of hardwood trees. Granted a certain number of these trees have reached maturity or beyond, but is an effort isn’t made to replace them what will the county landscape look like in the next 25 to 50 years? Without thee magnificent trees we will have not only lost their natural beauty, but the environmental advantages and the wildlife habitat they provide.