Ask Evan: Who is responsible for planting plastic tubes along a creek, and when are they expected to be uncovered?

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It's time for this week's ask Evan segment where you ask the questions and I get you answers.

This week's question deals with trees in Lancaster County. Traci M asks, “On Milton Grove Road in Mount Joy there are hundreds of plastic tubes standing up straight along a creek bank. The tubes have been there for almost a year. Friends are saying they are trees. Who is responsible for planting them and more importantly when are they expected to be uncovered?”

Traci, according to the Rapho Township manager, the trees were planted there by the property owner as part of the conservation reserve enhancement program which is coordinated by the Lancaster County Conservation District. The trees planted along streams create riparian buffers, which improves the health of the stream in a variety of ways.

Ashley Spotts with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation also tells me the trees and shrubs are in tubes, or tree shelters, during the establishment period which is 4 years. It depends on the tree species as to how long the tubes will remain in place. The tubes protect the tree from deer and are requirements of the program, They act like little green houses for the trees. The CREP program requires at least 4 tree species and 2 shrubs species to be planted.

This particular planting has a huge variety of trees and shrubs and they based a lot of their selection on wildlife. They included plants that offer food source, protection in winter, etc. The CREP project is a program of the USDA and is implemented through a biologist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Traci, thanks for the question.

If you have questions you'd like to ask, send me an email at  Put ‘Ask Evan’ in the subject line.  Whatever the topic I’ll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.

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