Healthy Forests

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From Missouri Conservationist: Apr 2009

Our Glorious Forests

Weldon Spring CA

Location: In St. Charles County, accessible from several parking areas along Highway 94, south of Highway 40/61

Habitat types: Mostly forest with old fields, cropland and some wetlands and glades

Features: Boat ramp (on the Missouri River), hiking trails, fishable lakes and ponds

Find more info: see our online atlas, keyword "Weldon".

If you’re a birder, head to Weldon Spring Conservation Area in St. Charles County this spring. With more than 8,000 acres, a variety of habitat types, several access points and nearly 30 miles of trails, the area is a great place to add a few species to your life list. Habitat features include rugged limestone cliffs and bluff escarpments, as well as the Weldon Spring Hollow Natural Area’s 385 acres of upland and bottomland forest. The floods of 1993 and 1995 deposited sand over almost 1,000 acres of the area’s river bottom, adding valuable breeding, foraging and nesting habitat for a variety of birds. Among the 188 bird species the Audubon Society of Missouri lists at the area are the worm-eating warbler, painted bunting and blue grosbeak. You can access Weldon Spring CA by car, bike, foot or boat. Visit online for a list of birds recorded at the area.

Arbor Day

Planting a tree is a great way to celebrate.

A good way to celebrate Missouri’s Arbor Day, April 3, and National Arbor Day, April 24, is to plant a tree. But before you buy, visit online. There you will find help selecting the right trees for your growing situation, as well as guidance about putting them in the right place and planting them correctly. Starting with species that will thrive in your growing conditions and placing them appropriately will ensure healthy trees and years of benefits to your property.

Don’t Miss Flowering Trees

New Web page tells when and where to see peak bloom.

Although we’re accustomed to celebrating the annual show of fall color, Missouri’s flowering trees of spring deserve as much fanfare. The sight of lacy, glowing serviceberry and redbud blossoms can banish the last of your winter blues. All trees produce flowers, but only a few of our native trees are showy enough to attract attention. Some of these are serviceberry, Eastern redbud, wild plum, red buckeye flowering dogwood and hawthorn. Our new Web page at  helps you track these species’ peak of bloom as it follows the rise of average daily temperature from south to north, and from lower to higher elevation. A good time to take a driving tour of these trees is during the last two weeks of April.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler