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Plant Some Shade: Residential Tree Planting Program

Post Date:09/07/2018 12:22 PM

MidAmerican Energy Company, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Woodbury County Conversation Foundation are teaming up for the company’s 2018 residential tree planting program.

MidAmerican Energy’s Plant Some Shade® residential tree planting program enables residential customers to purchase up to two, 6-to-8-foot deciduous and low-growing trees for $30 each. The program is offered exclusively to residential customers who live in Iowa and offers a limited number of trees for sale.

This year’s tree choices are the Northern red oak, Bur oak, Northern pecan, Exclamation plane tree, Silver linden sterling, Kentucky coffee expresso, Serviceberry autumn brilliance, Edible cherry north star and Norway spruce.

Based on the positive feedback from residents participating in the program last year, the distribution site will again be Riverside Park in Sioux City. Trees must be pre-ordered and will only be available for pick up from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, October 18, at Riverside Park, 1301 Riverside Blvd. (enter at swimming pool area and follow markers). Any trees not picked up by 6 p.m. will be donated to the Woodbury County Conservation organization.

To place an order, go to, fill out the order form and send the money and order form to Woodbury County Conservation Foundation, 4500 Sioux River Road, Sioux City, IA, 51109. For more information on trees, contact Evan Miller with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 512-725-8455. For more information about ordering or pickup details, send an email to

While planting trees can add beauty to your home, trees also can reduce your heating and cooling costs when incorporated into an energy-efficient landscape design that provides ample shade for summer and windbreaks for winter. Planting trees also improves air quality and helps protect and replenish the soil.

 “Encouraging residents to plant trees around their homes is an effective way to promote energy efficiency and environmental beautification,” said MidAmerican Energy’s Tina Yoder, director, energy efficiency. “Plant Some Shade trees provide year-round protection of homes from the elements, which helps our customers save energy and money.”

Before planting any trees, call Iowa One Call, Iowa’s underground utility notification service at 800-292-8989 or 811.

Plant Some Shade is a partnership initiative to aid long-term energy and natural resources conservation. The program is being funded by MidAmerican Energy and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry.

The Plant Some Shade program is supported by the Woodbury County Conservation Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to sustain and strengthen its role as an agency providing education programs and outdoor recreation opportunities that enhance the quality of life in Siouxland.

 “This is a great opportunity for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable price. We are excited about the variety of trees that are available this year,” said Miller, forestry volunteer coordinator with the DNR. “Fall is an ideal time to plant and establish new trees, too. The season’s warm days and cool nights are excellent for root growth.”

Available species ($30 per tree, limit 2 trees per household, Iowa customers/homeowners only)

  • The Northern red oak is a large deciduous tree growing straight and tall up to 90 feet. It grows rapidly and is tolerant of many soils and varied situations.
  • Bur oak grow well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. While it prefers moderate moisture, the tree has some drought tolerance and can grow to 90 feet or more.
  • Northern pecan trees are large deciduous trees, growing to 65-130 feet with a trunk up to six feet in diameter. A 10-year-old sapling grown in optimal conditions will stand about 16 feet tall. The seeds of the pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavor.
  • The Exclamation plane tree grows best in moist, deep, rich well-drained soil in full sun and is drought tolerant. Its bark features a peeling effect, revealing a mottled pattern of green, tan and brown.
  • The Sterling linden sterling has a sculptured broadly pyramidal crown. The dark green leaves show a silvery underside. Its grayish bark and winter silhouette make this a terrific tree for larger open areas.
  • The Kentucky coffee tree expresso is a moderately fast-growing tree, often grown in parks and along city streets for ornamental purposes. The coffee tree sheds its leaves in the fall and appears bare for up to six months.
  • Bursting with white flowers in the spring, the Serviceberry autumn brilliance is a small tree that will fit into any sized landscape, suitable for accent planting or privacy screening.
  • The Edible cherry north star is a compact-growing fruit tree featuring showy white flowers in spring followed by large dark red sour cherries in mid-summer. The tree’s smaller size makes it ideal for backyard orchards.
  • The Norway spruce is a large, fast-growing evergreen tree growing 115–180 feet tall. It can grow fast when young, up to three feet per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once after reaching 65 feet tall.

Tree Planting Safety Tips

Examine the area where your tree will be planted, and be aware of the space that roots need when planting around foundations, sidewalks, tiles and underground utilities. Then look up to make sure you’re planting the tree where it can grow without interfering with overhead utility lines. Fallen branches or debris from trees may cause power outages and create dangerous situations by knocking down power lines, and trees near electric lines pose a danger to children who might climb them.

* Plant tall trees at least 20 feet away from power lines.

* Plant low-growing trees (mature height less than 18 feet) at least 10 feet from power lines.

* Plant low-growing shrubs, bushes and flowers nearest to utility poles.

Digging without knowing what’s below is incredibly dangerous. Call Iowa One Call, Iowa’s underground utility notification service, at 800-292-8989, or call 811. It’s free and it’s the law!

Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 at least 48 hours before digging. Calling 811 before every digging job gets your underground utility lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.

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