Shelterbelt Renovation Workshops will be held throughout northwestern South Dakota including Corson, Dewey, Harding, Perkins, Tri-County and Ziebach County Conservation Districts. Following is a list of dates, times and locations.
· Feb. 12, 1 p.m. MT, Harding Co. Rec. Center, Buffalo
· Feb. 12, 6 p.m. MT, Grand Electric Social Room, Bison
· Feb. 13, 1 p.m. MT, Harry's Community Hall, Dupree
· Feb. 13, 6 p.m. MT, Community Legion Hall, Faith
· Feb. 14, 1 p.m. MT, Courthouse Community Meeting Room, McIntosh
· Feb. 14, 6 p.m. MT, Community Center, Timber Lake
Farmers and ranchers strive to manage their land in ways that are both productive and profitable while conserving the natural resources on which agriculture depends. Shelterbelts have been a part of this landscape for close to a century.
Many shelterbelts in our area are in bad shape. Years ago mostly short-lived trees usually Chinese Elm were planted and these trees are reaching the end of their life expectancy. It would have been better if those shelterbelts had included some long-lived trees like Rocky Mountain Juniper that have life expectancies of hundreds of years. The mix of short-lived and long-lived trees would have provided quick protection early and long lasting protection into the future.
Shelterbelt trees and shrubs have hard lives in western South Dakota. Weather events that damage and kill trees include drastic drops in temperature, snow load and high winds. Broken limbs and trunks are wounds that sometimes never heal and serve as entry points for insects and diseases. Many of the soils of the area have naturally occurring salts which do not allow good tree growth. The climate is sub-arid with woody vegetation naturally growing only along rivers, creeks and other drainages. Shelterbelt trees are kind of like ducks out of water and are under stress from just being planted on upland sites. Also, lack of maintenance and livestock damage can ruin shelterbelts.
The Shelterbelt Renovation Workshops will provide information about how to evaluate shelterbelts and make plans for improvement. The workshop will provide examples of shelterbelt renovation involving replacement, release and/or removal of selected trees and shrubs or rows, adding rows, removing branches and etc.
Farmers and ranchers that would like more information about attending one of the Shelterbelt Renovation Workshops should call their local conservation district: Corson @605-273-4506, Dewey @605-865-3552, Harding @605-375-3216, Perkins @605-244-7160, Tri-County @605-967-2561, Ziebach @605-365-5185 or Bob Drown @605-244-5222 Extension 4 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.