Annual Arbor Day event offers trees, insight

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Eager community members selected seedlings and asked questions during the annual Arbor Day tree giveaway behind Clanton City Hall.

Many came looking for specific types of trees. Crabapple, crepe myrtle and sawtooth oaks were some poular varieties

For community member Zippi Morris, it was her first time participating.

“I need a fruit tree to pollinate a cherry tree,” Morris said.

She said she has had the cherry tree for a year.

A crabapple tree was being offered at the giveaway and will meet Morris’s need.

Morris said she enjoyed getting to learn about the trees being offered.

Morris also brought her granddaughter Charlie because she wanted her to be able to experience the event.

Jerry Nelson was looking for crabapple trees and some sawtooth oaks “because deer love them.”

Nelson had been to the giveaway in the past and was glad it was not raining during the outdoor event. He plans in planting eight to 10 trees this year.

Recent rain had some hoping the trees would be easier to plant.

“I just hope I have good luck and they grow,” Julia Culpepper said.  “I don’t have a green thumb. Just proud to get them and hope they grow.”

She said she appreciated the Forestry Commission and volunteers working the event.

Culpepper was especially interested in the crepe myrtle trees because of the blooms.

Linda Campbell was also interested in the trees that would have beautiful blooms.

“I love flowering trees,” Campbell said. “I am always in my yard doing something.”

The event is a partnership of the City of Clanton as a Tree City USA, the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Chilton Natural Resources Council.

Since the trees look like little more than a branch at the event, they are labeled so everyone knows which is which.

Brian Smith of the Alabama Forestry Commission said knowing where to plant a tree “is really important.”

“We need to make sure we get smaller trees in a more confined space,” Smith said.

He recommended that those getting trees to plant them in a gallon size or larger size pot first to keep winter conditions from killing them.

“If they let the root system grow in the pots they have a larger root ball, they can work with,” Smith said.

He said he enjoys “serving the public” and making trees available to the public.

The trees given out this year were donated by the Alabama Forestry Commission and ArborGen Inc.