Tree canopy from the ground

Growing Up

Whether or not you garden, it’s a great time to start thinking about growing trees and shrubs.

Cornus sericea

The red bark of Cornus sericea, Red Osier Dogwood, makes it a popular ornamental.

Many counties in the area have tree and shrub sales at the year’s start. These are opportunities to acquire low-cost, native trees and shrubs for shade, wood, fruit, or nuts. You’ll generally need to commit to a bundle of plants—10, 25, or even 50—which is enough to create a hedge, organize a class project, or split plants with friends and neighbors. To use these programs, place an order before the deadline (all programs are first-come, first-served) and pick up your plants later in spring, usually mid-April.

CountyDeadlineNotes
BuffaloJanuary 31Trees
ChippewaMarch 30Trees, shrubs
Eau ClaireJanuary 31Trees, shrubs, plants
PepinApril 5Trees, shrubs
TrempealeauMarch 1Trees, shrubs

Other options for low-cost trees include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources if you’re using trees for conservation purposes or joining The Arbor Day Foundation to receive 10 trees with your membership. Your city may also have a program to plant shade trees in the boulevard, that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the road: In the City of Eau Claire, residents can apply for a rebate for costs incurred in planting approved trees.

Prunus tomentosa

Prunus tomentosa, Nanking Cherry, is a hardy shrub bearing edible fruit.

After deciding on what to plant, you’ll also want to check if your city provides free mulch or compost. City of Eau Claire residents can collect both at the Eau Claire Green Waste Facility starting mid-April. Locations that recycle holiday trees in your area are another place to investigate.

The MORE online catalog has a number of resources to answer questions you have about growing trees and shrubs. We’d also be happy to assist you at Information & Reference in locating or ordering books or DVDs to help you care for your new additions.

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