Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cedar trees provide ideal buffer from summer wind, winter snow

January 26, 2006

Bonner Springs resident Don Tallman doesn't credit himself with doing the lion's share of work that earned him a windbreak award from the Leavenworth County Conservation District.

"Not really too much of anything," he said. "But, it was still nice to win."

Credit for the award, he says, belongs to the previous property owner. However, throughout the last 10 years, Tallman and his family have maintained the progress that began a decade ago at 17861 166th St., southwest of Basehor.

Though he will not be in attendance, Tallman and other award winners will be honored by the conservation district during a reception at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, at the Lansing Community Center.

According to Core 4 conservation, a windbreak is defined as a row of trees and shrubs that protect a farmstead or feedlot from wind and provide food and cover for wildlife.

The benefits of a windbreak, according to the conservation group, are:

¢ Reduces wind erosion, conserves energy, reduces heating bills and beautifies property.

¢ Provides a sound barrier and muffles road noise.

¢ Improves livestock by protecting them from winter elements.

Tallman was given the award, based on the number of cedar trees that adorn his property. Overall, there are 50 to 60 trees spread across the 170 feet of property. The trees, divided by 12 feet between them, are approximately 15 feet tall.

"We've never lost one, never had any storms damage them," Tallman said. "They're just really good trees."

Tallman said he maintains the trees through all the normal ways - pruning, trimming, etc. - and he also sprays them each season for bag worms. The trees work together to serve as a barrier against heavy winds.

"They really keep the wind off," Tallman said. "That wind can be blowing 40 miles per hour, and we don't feel a thing."

The trees serve the same purpose during winter. Tallman said his cedars block snow from reaching his house.

"A real good snow fence," he said.

Tallman also built a windbreak at his former property in Bonner Springs, south of 134th Street.

There he used four varieties of trees.

Where, when to plant

¢ According to Core 4 Conservation, the preferred planting time for building a windbreak is after winter thaw and before May 15.

¢ The group also advises to plant on at least the north and west sides of the area to be protected and to extend rows 50 feet beyond that area.

¢ Also, do not plant trees on the south or east sides of a road because at mature heights the trees will cast shadows that delay icy roads from melting.

¢ Trees or shrubs for a windbreak should be kept between 20 to 30 feet away from utility lines.

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