Container-grown evergreens await pickup in April 2022 at the Austin Runnings store as part of the Mower SWCD annual tree program.

Mower SWCD annual tree program taking orders

Bareroot bundles, container evergreens for sale; pickup in April

Jan. 5, 2024 — With more than 13,000 trees sold a year ago, Mower Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual program experienced its biggest sales since 2015.

Now with the continuing spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB) killing hundreds of ash trees throughout Mower County, the Mower SWCD tree program could see another strong year of orders from the public for bareroot trees, potted trees and shrubs.

“EAB definitely already has changed the landscape around here and is a big reason that we all need to look at replacing what has been lost and will be lost in the coming years,” said Micah Peterson, a Mower SWCD technician who oversees the tree program.

Micah Peterson, Mower SWCD

Mower SWCD now is taking orders for its annual tree program focused on conservation and helping landowners establish windbreaks, also known as shelterbelts. Orders can be done online at, via postal mail and at the Mower SWCD office in Austin at 1408 21st Ave. N.W.

Mower SWCD has a limited supply of each type of tree and shrub, and staff take orders on a first-come, first-serve basis, Peterson said. Given that, people are encouraged to get their orders in as soon as possible.

Bundles of bareroot trees and shrubs all are sold in bundles of 25, except for the common purple lilac that is sold in bundles of 10. Five types of container-grown evergreen trees are being sold individually only in 2-gallon pots.

Only limited quantities will be available after Feb. 28; order cancellations will not be accepted after that date. All orders must be placed and fully paid by April 1 with Mower SWCD.

Planting trees, especially in rural areas, provides many environmental benefits in Mower County and surrounding counties, Peterson said.

Area forester, Jared Holm, also can assist the public with tree questions through his role at the Mower County Ag Service Center that houses Mower SWCD as well as USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Holm is a forester for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in partnership with USDA-NRCS.

According to the USDA’s National Agroforestry Center, windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. Their main purpose is to slow the wind that creates a more beneficial condition for soils, crops, livestock, wildlife and people.

Windbreaks also provide shade for livestock, visual screening, aesthetics, recreational opportunities and wood and nontimber forest products. They also enhance biodiversity, wildlife habitat, carbon storage.

Mower SWCD will distribute trees April 25 and April 26 on the west side of the Austin Runnings store. Letters will be sent in early April with the pickup dates and times to all who place an order.

Landowners who have questions or need help with planning a windbreak are encouraged to contact Peterson at Mower SWCD at or 507–434–2603, ext. 5.

Mower SWCD also sells tree mats with staples and tree shelters with stakes.



Cedar River Watershed District

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.