In the Open: Help Pollinators by Planting Native Trees, Plants


By Jim Freeman

While everybody was busy gearing up for Snowmageddon ’16, the Gallia and Meigs county Soil and Water Conservation Districts were busy gearing up for spring, getting their tree and plant packets ready.

In the conservation word, the recent buzz has been about pollinators, primarily honeybees and Monarch butterflies, beneficial species that have been struggling a little bit lately.

The Meigs SWCD has several tree and plant packets specially geared towards pollinators

The Native Spring Flowering Packet consists of smaller shrubs and trees that do well in smaller, more compact areas, or on the edges of woodlands. It consists of six trees of two each of Eastern Redbud, Shadblow Serviceberry, and Flowering Dogwood. The Honey Bee Pollinator Tree Packet, requested by local bee keepers, consists of tree species that bloom early, mid and late season, it consists of 20 trees, five each of Black Locust, Northern Catalpa, Sassafras and Sourwood.

For smaller spaces and backyard gardens where trees are not practical, there is a Wildflower and Grass mix, and a Bird and Butterfly Seed Mix.

The Meigs SWCD and other neighboring districts are also partnering with Pheasants Forever to provide pollinator seed mixes for larger areas of one acre or more. The mixes were designed by wildlife professionals to provide high-quality, long-lasting habitat that meets or exceeds Ohio Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service standards for beneficial insect habitat, and meet Farm Service Agency standards for pollinator habitat, when planted as specified for those conservation practices.

This year’s individual hardwood offerings include Black Walnut, White Oak, Northern Red Oak, Sugar Maple and Black Cherry in packets of 25 seedlings. American Chestnut trees are also available again in packets of five. Also available are Norway Spruce, Canadian Hemlock, Bald Cypress, Scotch Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Eastern White Pine, in packets of 25. New this year is a Common Pawpaw Packet of five seedlings.

Other offerings include Dwarf Yellow Delicious Apples in packets of two seedlings each, Shiitake Mushroom kits (consisting of 200 plugs), and English Ivy, and Pachysandra trays. Seed mixes include erosion control, and wildlife food plot mixes.

Also available are bluebird boxes and bat boxes, marking flags, Plantskyydd deer and rabbit repellant available in ready-to-spray quart bottles or in a powder concentrate.

The deadline for ordering trees or seed packets from the Meigs SWCD is Monday, Feb. 29 with trees being available for pickup around the second week in April.

The Gallia SWCD has packets of two each, American Chestnut, White Flowering Dogwood, Pink Flowering Dogwood, Red Delicious Apple, Yellow Delicious Apple, and American Hazelnut; five each, American Persimmon, Eastern Redbud, Sugar Maple, Red Oak, and White Oak; 10 each, Eastern White Pine, Norway Spruce, and Shagbark Hickory.

The Gallia SWCD also has old fashioned Lilac shrubs, and Black-eyed Susan and Purple Coneflowers. The district also offers a rain barrel kit that includes pretty much everything you need, except for the rain, to make your own rain barrel.

The deadline for ordering trees from the Meigs SWCD is Feb. 29, while the Gallia deadline is March 18. Trees will arrive in early April.

For more details or information about ordering trees, contact the Meigs SWCD at 740-992-4282, 113 E. Memorial Drive, Suite D, Pomeroy, or the Gallia SWCD at 740-446-6173 or stop in at 111 Jackson Pike, Suite 1569, Gallipolis.

Jim Freeman is the wildlife specialist for the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at [email protected]