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Deadlines draw near to secure plantings from county programs

With the start of spring just three weeks away, owners of tillable land or just good growing pots now have thoughts of planting projects and new ground to be covered this coming season.

Area Soil and Water Conservation Districts set ordering deadlines for stock in March for pick-up into April. Each year, S&WCDs supply good bare-root trees and shrubs, seed selections, offer planting and growing tips, and introduce new seed, shrub and tree selections that may improve the looks of plantings to humans and provide shelter and food for wildlife. Some agencies also list useful tools and planting accessories that will make planting easier and more efficient.

The Erie County S&WCD has a new prospect in every category. In broadleaf tree seedlings, the pin oak, typically grown massively down south, can reach 70 feet in moist, rich soil and tolerates Western New York’s clay. Eastern ninebark shrubs grow to 10 feet in various soils. The American Larch can reach 90 feet and fills out well uphill away from bogs and watery soils. Among conifers, the red pine is a good mate to white pine plantings for windbreaks and soil retention. Erie County S&WCDs take orders to March 18 for pickup on April 23. For details, call 652-8480 (ext. 5) or visit ecswcd.org.

Chautauqua County S&WCD provides the most comprehensive printed tree and shrub program information, including selection and planting tips. A 40-page booklet provides detailed information about planting individual and packages of fruit, berry, tree and shrub stock.

A new package program combines apple, pear, peach, wildlife and a fruit-cocktail mix of bare-root tree packages. All stock is indicated as being native to New York State, native to Chautauqua County, both or neither. Orders for fruit trees and berries are taken to March 15; all other catalog items can be ordered until April 2. For more information on Chautauqua S&WCD seed and plant ordering, call 664-2351 (ext. 5) or email chaut-co@soilwater.org.

Niagara County S&WCD provides evergreen and deciduous stock at ages 1 to 5 years of growth. Special Offer Packages can be ordered for American Chestnuts, apple starter packages, and apple wildlife packages plus conservation “Pacs” that include edible fruit, perennials or wildflowers.

Orders for tree and shrub stock will be taken until March 11. Spring 2016 pond and grass carp stocking orders have a May 6 deadline. For Niagara County S&WCD information, call 434-4949 (Ext. 4) or visit niagaraswcd.com.

Genesee County S&WCD has put together a new assortment of Wildlife Tree Packages, including an Apple Tree Variety Pack, as well as Pear, Cherry and a Mixed Species Tree Variety Pack. The county also provides Wildlife Tree & Shrub Packages and Apple Tree Packages for starter, homesteader and heirloom plantings.

Many of the Genesee County tree and shrub varieties are deer resistant; those grown for wildlife feeding are of hearty stock. The district offers a good variety of planting, gardening and habitat supplies to make work easier and plantings more successful. Genesee County S&WCD has an ordering deadline of March 11. To view the variety of plantings and accessories and for an order form, visit co.genesee.ny.us/departments/soilandwater/treeorders.

Ladies indoor shoot

The Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot March program returns to Wolcott Guns in Depew March 12 for indoor-range instruction from NRA-certified safety instructors. Ladies and young ladies ages 12 and older can learn safe firearms handling and shoot a supplied air pistol and .22-caliber rifle on the Wolcott range.

Owners of a pistol permit and a pistol can bring both to this event; ladies can use pistols up to .45-caliber on this range but no magnum rounds can be fired. The gathering begins with a safety talk at 2:30 p.m. and then shooting until 5 p.m. Ammo will be supplied for the air rifles and .22s; bring your preferred eye and ear protection. If not, some will be provided. Call 628-9023 or email cghummingbird7@gmail.com.