Every year, our club celebrates Arbor Day with a tree give away. Each year a different selection is chosen and handed out locally, free of charge. Since our climate is warmer than most of the U.S., the distribution is done on the weekend of Florida Arbor Day (the third Friday in January). Recent selections have included Yupon Holly, Red Bud and Wax Myrtle. Our club encourages the planting of trees for the beauty and many benefits that they provide to us. The club has also raised money for Pennies For Pines, in Florida. If you would like to volunteer locally, the Crystal River Preserve State Park can use extra hands to replant pine seedlings, contact them to help.
History of Arbor Day:
Arbor Day was first established to “plant trees, both forest and fruit,” in Nebraska on Apr. 10, 1872. The founder of Arbor Day had ordered 800 trees to plant, which didn’t arrive in time for him to take part in the plantings that day. None-the-less, over a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day! Nebraska later declared “Arbor Day” to be a legal holiday in 1885 and choose Morton’s birthday, April 22nd, for its observance. For many years, Arbor Day continued to be celebrated on April 22, but was later moved in Nebraska and South Dakota to the last Friday in April. Southern states celebrate earlier and northern states well into May. All 50 states participate, as well as Puerto Rico and some US Territories. There are also tree holidays in Australia, Iceland, India, Israel, Korea and Yugoslavia.
Visit the Arbor Day Foundation for much more information.
How to plant a seedling:
“Obviously you’ll choose a plant that’s right for the site and you’ll leave enough room for its mature size. You won’t plant a full-sized tree under overhead wires, too close to buildings, or on top of underground pipes or other infrastructure. In choosing trees, pick a relatively young sapling that has not been topped. The old gardeners’ tale of buying the biggest specimens that you can afford is wrong. A younger tree will adapt much more quickly with less ongoing care than a bigger one.
The day before planting a potted tree, soak the pot thoroughly so that it’s well hydrated. On planting day, rinse away ALL the soil from the roots and place it in a wide, but fairly shallow hole so that the root flare is at least a couple of inches above the soil level. Spread the roots out as far as they can reach and gently press the soil from the hole on the roots. Flood the hole with water and pack in some more soil around the tree so that it stands on its own. Build a berm around the root area so that when you irrigate that the water soaks into the root area and doesn’t run away. Depending upon the size, you’ll need to irrigate it every day for a couple of weeks or more and then a couple of times per week for a month or two until established. Even then you’ll want to irrigate during droughts for the next couple of years. You should notice that NOTHING was added to the hole except the native soil. This is to encourage the roots to grow out and not stay in the planting hole. Several weeks after the tree is established (after the intense irrigation) lay a top dressing of compost in a wide band in a full circle around the edge of the planting hole to increase the fertility and to promote a healthy soil ecosystem. After the initial compost treatment lay in two or three inches of mulch, but do not pile any against the tree trunk–I use arborist wood chips as a mulch. Repeat the compost treatment each spring after the last chance of frost to stimulate new growth.”
by Ginny Stibolt, read full article here
Bare root primer and root wash method: slideshow
How to plant a large tree: instructions
“Other holidays repose on the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future.” -J. Sterling Morton, Father of Arbor Day
“The cultivation of flowers and trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish this culture to become universal.” -J. Sterling Morton, Father of Arbor Day
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb