Tree power

4/14/2014

Rebate program promises to pay off in good ways.

Rebate program promises to pay off in good ways.

Trees deliver more than beauty.

Along with improving the look of the landscape, trees also boost property values.

And, they help consumers save money. Air-conditioning costs are lower in a tree-shaded home, and windbreak trees can help reduce heating costs.

Trees also give off oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas linked to global climate change.

Knowing we're in a part of the country with too few trees, it's good to see a local program continue to branch out in encouraging homeowners to plant more woody perennials.

Launched in 2008, Garden City's Tree Rebate Program encourages local consumers to purchase trees for their homes and receive half the price back, up to $50 per tree.

Residents may receive rebates for up to two trees per year. The trees have to be purchased in Finney County to qualify, which is a nice plus for local businesses offering the appropriate trees.

Rebate funds are limited, and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to residents of Garden City.

Details on guidelines are available by calling the Parks Department at 271-1574, or sending an email to ageier@garden-city.org.

Applications must be submitted to the city prior to purchasing trees.

Of course, anyone interested in planting a tree also should know they're not maintenance free, especially in a region with a challenging climate.

A workshop this past weekend in Garden City — "Tree Selection, Planting and Maintenance Guidelines" — touched on tree selection, proper tree planting, environmental stress on trees and tree pruning.

Participants were told that while providing trees with adequate water and nourishment is essential, the first step is in selecting trees known to succeed in the region.

Among options cited were Oklahoma Redbud, Western Soapberry, Kentucky Coffeetree and Pinyon Pine.

The city has more information available to anyone interested in planting trees, including a recommended list of numerous good trees to purchase and plant.

City officials want to make Garden City as green as possible. Credit them for providing a path to as much in a rebate program and educational efforts designed to see more beneficial trees take root in the community.

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