MEDICINE PARK, OK (KSWO) -The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is giving property owners an economical way to enhance the land they live on.
The department's forestry division made stops in Medicine Park and Walters Tuesday as part of their annual seedling sale. The foresters brought a refrigerated semi-trailer filled with thousands of trees in more than a dozen varieties. Each year, the truck is driven across the state during February and March.
Foresters say the trees are used as windbreaks to enhance wildlife habitats and to control ground erosion, in addition to beautification. About 20 purchases were made at the Medicine Park stop. Many of the purchasers said they were hopeful the seedlings would serve their purpose.
Debbie Peck purchased more than 50 seedlings. She says she was able to get help from the foresters to find the perfect types of trees for her property.
"Our home is north of Carnegie on Highway 58 and the state ODOT is going to come in and redo the highway and redo that Washita River. And so, we're planting trees in front of our property just for noise and wind and things like that," Peck said.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture forester Tom Murray says with a little care, purchasers can expect about 50 to 60 percent of the trees they bought to grow to maturity.
"Make sure the hole is deep enough. You know, bunching all the roots up. Make sure you pack it in tight. Give them a drink of water if you have access to do that," Murray said.
The trees are packaged in paper bags with peat moss to help maintain their moisture and the refrigerated truck increases their survivability.
Murray says when you plant a tree, if you nurture it and care for it, it will bring memories that last a lifetime.
"I like going back and looking at the old plantings, because I have some now that are 20 years old and it's nice to go back and see that they are still there and what they are looking like," Murray said.
Murray says another tip he tells people is to keep the weeds at least three feet away from the seedlings.
The seedlings are grown at a 100-acre forestry generation center in Goldsby, Oklahoma. The seedlings are sold in bundles of 50 for less than $1.00 for each tree or shrub seedling.
The next stops for the forestry division will be in northeastern Oklahoma.
If you missed out on Tuesday's sales and would like to buy a bundle of seedlings, you can contact the forestry office at 580-223-3973.