The mayor of Leduc County is calling on the federal government to keep a program that has provided prairie landowners with free tree seedlings for more than one hundred years.

The Prairie Shelterbelt program provides seedlings to farmers and landowners so they can shield their properties from the elements by growing trees and shrubs. The program will end in December 2013.

Leduc County Mayor John Whaley wants Ottawa to keep the program.

"A lot of shelter belts are coming to the end of their natural life and need to be replaced again," he said. "The cost of doing that if you have to start buying trees to enhance the natural landscape, it can be quite horrendous."

The federal government says it's possible that the private sector could take over the shelterbelt program.

The program, which is based in Indian Head, Sask., was cut by the federal government last spring.