Celebrate Arbor Day Early with Alabama Cooperative Extension

Published 3:27 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

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By Tana Shealey 

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Each spring, through a celebration named Arbor Day, Americans pause to think about one of natures’ gifts, trees. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Lowndes County office and the Alabama Forestry Commission will give some Lowndes County residents an early start to this celebration. 

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County Extension Coordinator Tana Shealey said the hope is that families will nurture their saplings until planting them on the official Arbor Day which is in April this year.

“We will be on the town square in Hayneville, in front of the county courthouse, on February 28, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. handing out saplings provided by the Alabama Forestry Commission,” Shealey said.

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

Alabama Forestry Commission Field Specialist Adam Worthington acquired hundreds of saplings to give away at the event. 

“The varieties that will be given away will include Crab Apple, Redbud, White Dogwood, American Hornbeam, Red Maple, Persimmon, Bald Cypress, Tulip-poplar, and Scarlet Oak,” Worthington stated. 

According to an Alabama Cooperative Extension System article titled “Proper Tree Planting,” if you get your plant during an Arbor Day event, and want to plant it later, the plant’s roots should be buried in compost or soil to prevent it from drying out. 

“This is a temporary procedure to keep the tree roots from freezing or drying out for up to a couple of weeks – until time or conditions are favorable for proper planting,” the article noted.

Alabama Forestry Commission Officer Charles Stuart said planting trees is a smart move for homeowners.

“There are many reasons why it is beneficial to plant trees around your house. Trees can benefit the climate and wildlife. Planting trees around a homesite can reduce the monthly cost of a homeowners’ energy bill in the summer due to the shade the trees cast on the house,” Stuart said.

Shealey said trees will be given on a first come-first served basis. Heavy rainfall will cancel this event.

“Last year we had a very light sprinkle of rain during that tree giveaway, but we kept handing out trees because we had a large turnout of people. We will do the same this year, but a heavy downpour means we will reschedule and tell everyone,” Shealey said.