Arbor Day brings free trees

Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON —The city of Clanton celebrated Arbor Day by helping residents make their yards a little more colorful.

Representatives from the Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Power gave away saplings to those who stopped by the city’s parking lot. Each had eight varieties available.

Some residents wanted specific species. Some asked for advice on the best trees for shade.

Brigetta Giles of the Alabama Forestry Commission said she expected crepe myrtle, redbud and river birch to be popular choices.

Ethan James of Alabama Power also had several oak trees available, including shumard oak and swamp chestnut oak.

He also had pignut hickory and dogwoods.

“We try to judge from year to year what people are liking and we try to get those,” James said.

He said dogwood and redbud are always popular at the tree giveaways. The utility also provides information for prospective tree planters on avoiding planting future tall trees near powerlines.

Wayne Coppedge wanted more information on the bald cypress before taking one home.

“It likes wet, but it will grow in a yard,” Giles explained.

Giles said the trees often grow in swampy areas. Wherever they grow, she said they become large trees.

Coppedge said he likes the shade the tree could give, and “the overall look” of the bald cypress.

“It’s a little unusual,” Coppedge said.

Kay King was looking for trees that would provide shade in her front yard. She decided on big leaf oak and crepe myrtle.

Others, like Denny Carroll, were looking for trees that would attract deer and other wildlife. He chose chestnut oak.

Giles said to attract deer it is a good idea to plant both the red and white oaks.

“Some years one does better than the other,” Giles said.

Jerry Nelson chose a few different kinds of oaks to attract deer, and some redbuds for his yard because his wife likes them.

Clanton is recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.