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Dexter Township Resident Named 'Tree Conservationist of the Year'

Gary Moore plants roughly 30 trees each year on his property in Dexter Township.

Editor's note: This press release was published by the Washtenaw County Conservation District in its monthly member newsletter.

To recognize excellent tree planting efforts, the Washtenaw County Conservation District recently presented its 2012 Tree Conservationist Award to Gary Moore of Dexter Township.

Moore purchased 20 acres of land on McKinley Road in the late 1960s. The land included some cropland, several stands of small hardwood trees, and wetland.

Starting in 1969, Moore planted several hundred red pine trees and autumn olive shrubs. Since then, he has planted 30-50 trees each year for the past 42 years.

“I have always planted trees for wildlife habitat," he said. “Some for windbreaks, but mostly for wildlife."

More than 2,000 trees and shrubs planted over the years have been added to the property.

While Moore has planted primarily red and white pines, blue, Norway and white spruces, he has also planted ash, firs, locust, maples, tulip tree, white birch, mountain ash, autumn olive, highbush cranberry, fruit trees, and others.

"My farmer neighbors didn’t like the autumn olive I first planted, but they sure make good wildlife habitat," he said.

In addition to trees and shrubs, Moore plants food plots to attract wildlife, including corn, brassica mix, and seed mix obtained from Phesants Forever. Being an avid hunter, planting trees and food plots has created the perfect environment for hunting on his property. And his planting efforts have paid off, as deer, wild turkey, wood ducks, squirrels, rabbits and other wildlife have been seen on the property.

He is a member of the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, Michigan Trappers and Predator Caller Association, National Rifle Association, Pheasants Forever, and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. As a MUCC member, Moore spends lots of time at the MUCC Cedar Lake Outdoor Center near Chelsea, helping complete numerous maintenance projects such as plumbing work, installing new water lines, installing docks, grading beachfronts, winterizing the center, and more.

In 2012, he received the Volunteer of the Year award from the center for all his efforts making the camp a special place for visits by school and youth groups, where they learn about hunting, trapping, fishing and conservation.

Moore has learned that you need to be careful about what you plant under power lines and along property lines.

“You don’t want to plant your trees too close to the property line or your driveway," he said. "You need to think in terms of the mature size of trees and shrubs when planting so crowding between trees, along driveways and property boundaries doesn't cause problems as the trees grow and mature."

Because of his consistent, long-term tree planting efforts, and overall stewardship ethic, the Conservation District awarded Moore with the 2012 Tree Conservationist Award.

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