Look for tagged trees to plant in Hays

Janis Lee, Hays Beautification Committee

Janis Lee, Hays Beautification Committee

During drought periods such as we are currently experiencing in western Kansas one questions whether it is advisable to plant trees or shrubs.

Taking the drought into consideration, if you decide to do some landscaping, please be aware of the City of Hays Tree Rebate Program.

The Hays Beautification Committee’s most recent projects was for members to tag trees that qualify for the City of Hays rebate program at the various nurseries and stores that offer trees in Hays.

The trees that are tagged are most appropriate for planting in Hays because they are drought tolerant.

Hays residents who plant these tagged trees are eligible for the reimbursement of up to ½ the cost of a newly planted tree (including tax) with the maximum reimbursement of $50.00. The Hays rebate program will also reimburse Hays residents for ½ the cost of a tree removal (including tax) with the maximum reimbursement of $50.00. There is a limit of two rebates for newly planted trees and for two tree removals per property per calendar year.

To be eligible for the rebate the trees must be purchased from an established dealer in Ellis County or removed by a business that is licensed to perform tree removal in Hays. Qualifying trees planted in either the front or back yard are eligible for the rebate.

One important exception is that property owners will be reimbursed up to $100.00 for the removal and proper disposal of pine trees that have been confirmed to be infected with “Pine Wilt Disease”.

A City of Hays Tree Rebate Program brochure is available at the Parks Dept. office which provides much more information on the program and lists the trees that are eligible for the rebate.

Property owners doing landscaping in the Hays area need to be aware that not all trees, bushes, and plants offered for sale in our area are drought tolerant, and thus some of them may not do well in the local climate and our more arid conditions.

Kansas State University’s Extension office in Hays has information regarding drought tolerant plants and xeriscaping landscaping. You can also access all of the publications via their website: www.ellis.ksu.edu under the ‘Lawn and Garden’ tab under “Plants for Ellis County.”  Here is a direct link to that page: http://www.ellis.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=79 .

The Hays Beautification Committee meets on the third Thursday of the month at noon at the Parks Dept. headquarters, 1546 E US Hwy 40 Bypass. We welcome anyone who is interested to come join the committee at one of the meetings.

For questions or comments regarding anything discussed in this article please contact the Parks Dept. at 785-628-7375.

Janis Lee is vice chairwoman of Hays Beautification Committee.