Alabama has been celebrating Arbor Day since 1887 when Gov. Thomas Seay signed the state's first Arbor Day Proclamation. In 1975 the state legislature passed an act designating the last full week in …
Alabama has been celebrating Arbor Day since 1887 when Gov. Thomas Seay signed the state's first Arbor Day Proclamation. In 1975 the state legislature passed an act designating the last full week in February as Arbor Week. This year cities across Baldwin County will hold celebrations and tree giveaways throughout the month.
If you are not sure how or where to plant the trees, there will be master gardeners at most events to answer questions. Fairhope Horticulturist Jamie Rollins has some tips to help your tree thrive.
Some municipalities will be giving away container trees while others, like Fairhope, will give away bare root trees. Make sure the moisture barrier protecting the roots is kept moist, he said.
Rollins said it is important to find a location in your yard that will give the tree the best chance of survival. Avoid planting under power lines or other trees that will hinder the tree's growth.
"One of the most common mistakes when people plant a tree is they plant too deep. Even trees purchased from a nursery can be planted in a container too deep. Always pull some dirt away from the trunk to ensure the trunk flare is exposed. Try to plant shallow rather than deep," Rollins said.
The hole should be three times the side of the root ball for container trees and larger for the bare root trees. Make sure the soil is loose. The hole can't be too big, but it can be too small. It is also important to ensure you do not over compact the soil around the new tree.
"The tree needs to experience a full growing season before you begin implementing fertilizer. The tree will be in shock and will not be worried about taking up nutrients and fertilizers. They are just going to try to get acclimated to the soil and get some roots out," Rollins said.
Mulch the whole area around the tree to help it retain moisture but make sure you do not get mulch up against the bark of the tree. This can cause rot.
Water heavy and less often. You do not want to water for five minutes every day. Instead, water for 20 to 30 minutes every three or four days. If all the water is shallow the roots will stay shallow. You want the whole area to stay moist.
Avoid damaging the bark during planting, keep your dogs from urinating on your tree and keep your lawn equipment away as well.
The Bay Minette Beautification Committee will hold its annual tree giveaway. Limit of six trees per household and two per species. Trees being given away include sawtooth Oak, red maple, river birch, catalpa, red bud, sweetbay magnolia, yoshino cherry, cornus kousa, blake gum and shumard oak.
When: Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 a.m.
Where: Bay Minette City Hall, 301 D'Olive St.
The Arbor Day awards ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Arbor Day Poster Contest winners from J. Larry Newton, Fairhope West, Fairhope East and the 2023 Beautification Award winners will be recognized during the ceremony. The Wisteria Garden Club, Boy Scout Troop 47 and local master gardeners will be assisting with the tree seedling giveaway set to begin after the ceremony and will continue until noon. Trees available this year include sugar berry, green ash, bald cypress, fringe tree, Southern red cedar, cherry laurel, sawtooth oak, live oak, pond cypress and ashe magnolia. A fruit tree raffle will also take place.
Foley's Revitalization and Beautification Advisory Board invites the community to the 42nd Annual Celebration of Arbor Day. Come out for a brief ceremony and pick up your free tree. The Alabama Forestry Commission, Baldwin County Master Gardeners and certified arborists will be on hand to answer questions about trees. Boy Scout Troop 77 will assist in the distribution of trees. The winning posters will be on display from the Arbor Day Poster Contest. The Foley High School Air Force Junior ROTC will do the presentation of colors. There will be an assortment of trees in three-gallon containers available, one per family.
When: Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m.
The city of Gulf Shores will celebrate 36 years of being a Tree City with the 36th Arbor Day Celebration. Residents of each household that reside within the Gulf Shores corporate limits may select four different trees from six different varieties. Residents must show proof of residency. This event will operate as a drive-thru.
When: Saturday, Feb. 25 from 8:30 - 10 a.m.
Where: Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, 1930 W. 2nd St., Gulf Shores
Loxley will give away 10 different varieties of trees during their annual Arbor Day tree giveaway. Supplies are limited.
When: Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 a.m.
Where: Loxley Municipal Park, 5200 N. Hickory St., Loxley
The City of Orange Beach will observe Arbor Day with a potted tree giveaway. The potted trees that will be given away will consist of a variety of hardwoods for citizens to plant in their yards. Trees are available to those living within the city limits of Orange Beach. Volunteers are needed. For more information, contact Woody Speed at 251-981-1062 or email@example.com.
Silverhill will celebrate its 33rd year as a Tree City with a tree giveaway. Tree quantities are limited.
When: Friday, March 3 beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Silverhill Community Center, 1611 South Ave., Silverhill
The city of Robertsdale will celebrate Arbor Day by giving away 900 seedlings and two potted door prizes.
When: Feb. 25 beginning at 9 a.m.
Where: Honey Bee Park, 22780 Highway 59, Robertsdale