By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter
Out west of Conrad, on the rolling hills of Greg and Della Kellogg’s family farm, are several lines and clusters of trees that breakup the countryside beautifully. The trees, which were planted in two separate efforts, at two different times, were prompted by conservation programs, but the idea wasn’t a hard one for Greg to get on board with. The love of trees, he said, was something he got from his mother.
The first planting began in 1988 when the Kellogg’s planted approximately 2,700 various trees (green ash, ponderosa pine, and caraganda, all from state nurseries) as an enhancement for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The trees did very well, and served their purpose of enhancing the land. Then, in 2003, Greg made the decision to plant more trees as a bird habitat, again as an enhancement for CRP.
It was an idea that proved to be much more involved than originally planned. Though the Conservation Corp was scheduled to lay the fabric over the already planted trees, bad weather kept them from arriving at their scheduled time. That left the Kelloggs to lay the protective fabric, and pull nearly 6,100 trees and bushes through slits after the initial planting. The result, however, made for another nice addition.
Out of the combination of caraganda, chokecherry, buffalo berry, and Nanking cherry planted in 2003, the only weak growth they saw was in the buffalo berry and Nanking cherry. Approximately half the Nanking cherry planted survived, and only about 10 percent of the buffalo berry.
As for whether or not any more trees will be planted on the Kellogg’s land anytime soon—Not, Della said, until they finish some landscaping and projects around their home first.