Even though 2017 isn't quite over, the Washburn County Land/Water Conservation Department WC/LWCD, a department created to provide competent, professional services in the planning, design and implementation of programs and project that protect, restore and sustain the soil and water resources of Washburn County, is thinking spring and has already mailed out their 2018 trees and shrubs order blank to their frequent buyers with the anticipation of the pick up day this coming May.

May fourth and fifth to be exact because those are the dates that the tree, and shrub orders come in and the Ag. Research Station east of Spooner is buzzing with activity as people pick up their evergreen trees along with a collection of other popular and hearty trees and shrubs including the Mountain Ash, Cranberry Bush, Red Splendor Crab Apple, Redosier Dogwood and Service Berry's, often known as June Berries which cost only twenty dollars for a bundle of ten.

Orders will vary in size to a single bundle of trees, twenty-five to a bundle, to sixteen bundles of twenty-five trees that total four hundred, which is the most you can order.

This is by far the best deal out there with each evergreen, Canann Fir, Norway or Red Pine, White Pine, White Spruce, Norway Spruce and Colorado Blue Spruce going for only one dollar each.

These trees, grown in the state of Wisconsin, are zone hearty and come healthy and strong, measuring anywhere from a foot to two feet tall when you pick them up.

Evergreens usually grow by inches until they reach seven years of age and then they often shoot up a foot a year and you don't have to wait long before you have a beautiful woodlot which increases the value of your property, landscapes your yard and provides a valuable windbreak when planted in rows on the north and west of your home. Or become a timber investment for the future.

Evergreens have been for sale in Washburn County for over twenty years and the shrubs have been available for the past six years. For over twelve years now the WC/LWCD has also offered four native perennial wildflower and grass collections, thirty plant flats for sale at the bargain basement price of forty-four dollars for each flat. These were designed for habitat restoration and wildflower gardening along with attracting bees, butterflies, and birds throughout the summer.

These collections of thirty-two plants in two-inch pots include a Butterfly Garden, Complete Wetland, Complete Prairie and a Woodland collection. Between them, they can be planted on a dry prairie/forest edge, a wet prairie/marsh or lake edge or in a woodland.

If you go online, you will be able to see exactly what all there is to order and what conditions are needed for the best growth. You can copy an order blank to print out, but you still have to send in by snail mail because the county is not set up to do online business yet, or you can take it right to the office which is in the lower level of the courthouse building on Fourth Avenue in Shell Lake.

Both Lisa Burns or Brent Edlin are the conservation specialists and are able to answer any of your questions.

The trees and shrubs are ready for pick up on May fourth and fifth and the plant collections come on June first.

There are no refunds for unclaimed orders and you are encouraged to order early because sales are on a first come, first serve basis. This is a popular event and it doesn't take long before all 9,000 trees and 1,500 shrubs are spoken for.

If you need more information, call the office at 715-468-4654 during business hours, or stop by. If you'd like online information, or to print off an order sheet, it's Washburn County Land Water Conservation Department or email the office at landwtr@co.washburn.wi.us

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