Saturday, January 10, 2009

Arbor Day 2009 in The Woodlands is the time to plant a tree

Arbor day is right around the corner, January 31st, from 10AM to 2PM. Here in The Woodlands, we will have the opportunity to acquire free seedlings and add to our forest, whether it be in our yard or in a green area. Yes, some people and some groups will plant along the paths or in parks where the seedlings are not likely to be mowed down. If you do that, I advise to put a bright ribbon on the seedling to show it is not a weed. This year we lost many trees to Hurricane Ike. If we plant many trees on Arbor Day, we can at least do our part to compensate somewhat for that damage. Seedlings will be available at Rob Flemming Park in the Village of Creekside Park near the Gosling entrance to the village. There is always an excellent variety of trees offered. Tree seedlings includes Bald Cypress, Drummond Maple, Eastern Redbud, Elm Cedar, Flowering Dogwood, Live Oak, Loblolly Pine, Nuttall Oak, River Birch, Sweetbay Magnolia, Southern Crabapple, and Southern Wax Myrtle. In addition to receiving free tree seedlings, guests may register at the event to win one of 35, seven-gallon native trees. Bald Cypress does well almost anywhere and loves the water. River Birch is one of my favorites! It has beautiful peeling bark, great color in the fall and is a lovely medium sized tree. The Dogwood is the princess of the forest with its white blossoms in the spring. Loblolly Pine is not the native pine tree of our forests. It is a faster growing impostor that the logging companies have used. Nevertheless, it makes into a pretty tree. If you are going to plant them, I suggest doing so densely in a sunny area. One day, I hope the native Long Leaf Pine will be distributed at these events. Everyone loves the brilliant red blooms of the Redbud. The Magnolia is a great tree for the south with it's white blossoms in the summer and it will spread out well for lots of shade many years into the future. The fast growing Wax Myrtle is used to provide year-long privacy between neighbors and is a good blocker of lights in the winter. It is a rather small tree that spreads out well. Given plenty of sun, the evergreen Live Oak can grow to be a huge tree that spreads out well. I know someone here who planted three of them in his front yard as seedlings, and today, his entire yard is shade. The Nuttall Oak is a good oak to have, producing acorns, having nice yellow leaves in the fall and will grow very large. Cedar Elm is a hardy good tree to plant. It produces many seeds which can be a pain on the driveway. It also sheds its leaves early in the fall.

All of these trees need water for the first two years. I would plant them in a mixture of soil and a water holding material down below the roots and with regular mulched dirt on the surface.

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