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.
Hurricane Sally caused significant tree loss across Baldwin County. Stop by your city's Arbor Day giveaway and replace trees that were lost in your yard.
If you aren't 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.
Find a location
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.
Dig a hole
"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 the 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.
There is no need to pick up a bag of fertilizer.
"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.
Water heavily and less often
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.
Arbor Day events:
The Bay Minette Beautification Committee will hold its annual tree giveaway. Trees being given away include Hackberry, Kousa Dogwood, Loblolly Pine, Sweetbay Magnolia, Overcup Oak, Red Maple, River Birch, Sawtooth Oak, Sourwood, Thornless Honey locust.
When: Saturday, Feb. 26 at 8 a.m.
Where: Bay Minette City Hall, 301 D'Olive St.
Daphne will give away over 500 potted trees during the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway. The tree distribution will be a drive-thru and master gardeners will be on-site for any planting questions you may have. Each vehicle will be able to receive two ornamental trees or one fruit tree. Photo ID will be required for proof of Daphne residency.
When: March 12 from 8-10 a.m.
Where: Daphne Public Library, 2607 U.S. Highway 98
Foley's Revitalization and Beautification Advisory Board invites the community to the 41st Annual Celebration of Arbor Day. Come out for a brief ceremony, pick up your free tree and do your part to replace our lost trees.
The city of Gulf Shores will celebrate 35 years of being a Tree City with the 35th 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. 26 from 8:30 -10 a.m.
Loxley will give away 14 different varieties or trees during their annual Arbor Day tree giveaway. Supplies are limited.
When: Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 a.m.
Where: Loxley Municipal Park
Magnolia Springs will celebrate Arbor Day with a bare root tree giveaway, tree planting workshop and children's workshop.
When: Saturday, Feb. 26 from 9 -11 a.m.
Where: Magnolia Springs Fire Station, 14809 Gates Ave.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: Saturday, Feb. 26 from 8 - 11 a.m.
Where: Orange Beach Community Development building located at 4101 Orange Beach Blvd.
The city of Robertsdale will celebrate Arbor Day by giving away 900 seedlings and two potted door prizes.
When: Feb. 26 beginning at 9a.m.
Where: Honey Bee Park, 22780 Highway 59, Robertsdale