TODAYS FIRE DANGER LEVEL
High fire danger means all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.
HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While spring is several weeks away, now is the time for landowners to begin making plans to help wildlife by planting tree and shrub seedlings offered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Howard Nursery, which is accepting orders until April 22.
Order forms and information are available on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by putting your cursor on "General Store" in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, then clicking on "Howard Nursery" in the drop-down menu listing and scrolling down and choosing "2012 Seedling Order Form."
The order form can be completed and submitted on line, or printed out and faxed or mailed. Payments are not due until the order is confirmed by Howard Nursery. For those without internet access, order forms can be obtained at Game Commission offices or various displays or booths at shows in which the agency participates through the spring or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Howard Nursery, 197 Nursery Road, Howard, PA 16841.
"Landowners may purchase seedlings for wildlife food and cover, watershed protection, soil erosion control, and for reclamation of disturbed areas, such as surface mine site and utility right-of-ways," said Annetta Ayers, Howard Nursery superintendent.
"The goal of the Howard Nursery is to provide the finest available tree seedlings that best provide for the various needs of wildlife, including food and shelter. All of our stock is inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture and is believed to be disease-free."
Ayers noted that the nursery sells seedlings in units/bundles of 25. Orders of 12 or more total units receive discounted pricing. Prices are as low as $3.75 per unit of 25 seedlings (15 cents each).
Some species have already sold out. The following species remain available: Eastern white pine; red pine; white spruce; Norway spruce; Douglas fir; Eastern hemlock; Arborvitae/Northern white cedar; blue spruce; silky dogwood; graystem dogwood; flowering dogwood; arrowwood viburnum; American highbush cranberry; winterberry; pin oak; red and black oak mix; chestnut oak; black oak; black walnut; American mountain ash; Washington hawthorne; assorted crabapple; American sweet crabapple; and assorted standard apple.
Those interested in red elderberry, gobbler sawthooth oak, Eastern redbud and dwarf chinquapin should call Howard Nursery (814) 355-4434, as these species are in limited supply. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For evergreens, 1,000 seedlings planted at the recommended tree spacing of eight feet by eight feet will occupy 1.5 acres. Planting space for hardwood trees should be a minimum of eight feet by eight feet and up to 15 feet by 15 feet, depending on species. For hardwoods, 100 trees will occupy one-quarter acre, and 1,000 seedlings will occupy 2.5 acres. The various shrub species can be planted on a six foot by six foot or eight foot by eight foot pattern.
A description of each species available, along with size information, is available on the website. Some of the new native shrubs are available in limited quantities and are expected to sell out quickly. The selection of native trees and shrubs is being expanded annually. With the exception of black locust, all of our hardwoods are grown from seed collected and processed by Game Commission personnel from Pennsylvania sources.
The preferred method of delivery is by United Parcel Service (UPS). Shipping and handling charges do apply. This is very efficient and most orders are received next day. Orders are shipped only Monday through Wednesday to assure delivery for weekend planting. However, orders also may be picked up in person at the nursery once notified the order is ready.
"Due to conditions beyond our control, such as ice and snow, wet weather, frozen ground, we may not be able to ship trees as early as we would like," Ayers said. "We will do everything we can at the nursery to ensure timely shipping and arrival of trees. Generally, seedlings ship in the month of April."
For more information, contact Annetta Ayers at the Howard Nursery, 197 Nursery Road, Howard, PA 16841, telephone (814) 355-4434. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Game Commission's Howard Nursery produces bare-root seedlings for wildlife food and cover on State Game Lands. The nursery has been producing and distributing 2.7 to 6 million seedlings annually for wildlife food and cover since 1954. Landowners who have land open to public hunting and are enrolled in one of the Commission's public access programs are eligible to receive up to 500 free seedlings annually, as available. Those enrolled cooperators with more than 500 acres are eligible for one free seedling per acre enrolled up to a maximum of 10,000 seedlings annually, as available. Cooperators are provided an order form each fall for following spring delivery. Free seedling orders are taken only in the fall through local Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) and Land Management Group Supervisors (LMGS).
GAME COMMISSION OFFERS 'LANDSCAPING FOR WILDLIFE' BOOK
Landowners interested in developing "backyard habitats" beneficial to wildlife are encouraged to check out the "Landscaping for Wildlife in Pennsylvania," available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Written by Marcus Schneck, a noted outdoor and nature writer from Hamburg, Berks County, the 160-page book comes complete with descriptions, drawings and photos of ideal habitat for a variety of species, from hummingbirds to bats, as well as construction plans for a number of wildlife nesting boxes. The book also contains a chapter on nuisance wildlife and steps to address certain situations, as well as the importance of planting native species and a listing of recommended plants.
"While spring garden plantings may be several weeks away, now is the time to begin drawing up plans," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "If you are interested in seeing and helping wildlife on your property, then this book is a must. It can help guide any first-time backyard habitat planner, as well as an experienced hand, in helping to create an oasis for wildlife."
To order the book, which costs $9.43 (plus state sales tax and shipping and handling), visit the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), put your cursor over "General Store" in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, click on "Visit the Outdoor Shop" in the drop down menu listing, then choose "Pennsylvania Game Commission Outdoor Shop" in the lower left-hand corner, choose "Merchandise" from the banner listing" and then click on "Books" in the categories in the left-hand column. Orders also are being accepted at 1-888-888-3459.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission