Arbor Day Foundation & Florida
|Arbor Day Foundation website presents important educational material.|
In Florida alone there are 165 Tree Cities. We've discussed this organization in these previous posts: Florida's Arbor Day: Third Friday in January and our followup post on our members' favorite trees: Your Favorite Trees. So yes, The Arbor Day Foundation has done a lot to increase awareness of the importance of trees even in urban and suburban environments and presents a lot of good educational material.
With their membership packages, they make it almost irresistable to acquire trees from their Nebraska-based nursery. Where I live in northern Florida, the 10 free trees offered are 3 redbuds, 4 dogwoods and 3 goldenraintrees, plus I could qualify for 2 crape myrtles.
|Arbor Day Foundation offers|
∙ While the redbuds and dogwoods are native to north Florida, will stock from Nebraska-grown populations adjust well to Florida's short winters, soil that does not freeze, or the wet and dry seasons? (Florida has 5 wet months and 7 dry months and in some years it can be really dry.)
∙ The goldenraintree is not native to Florida. they don't specify which species this is, but Koelreuteria elegans.ssp formosana, is on the number II invasive list for central and south Florida. http://www.fleppc.org/list/11list.html. To their credit, they don't offer this as one of the free trees for central or south Florida, but still, it's potentially invasive here, too.
∙ The non-native crape myrtles are so over-planted here, it would be so much more useful to plant a native tree instead, just to add some diversity to our urban/suburban canopy. Plus most other trees are not hat-racked into ugly stubs on an annual basis. See my post: I don't love crape myrtles, but...
|Bald cypress, sabal palms, and lives oaks grow well in their native habitats, and those |
habitats will be different throughout their range.
∙ For central or southern Florida zipcodes, the offer is either 10 bald cypress trees, 10 live oaks, or 5 crape myrtles. But the more southern parts of the state will be that much further removed from the Nebraska climate.
If you wish to join the Arbor Day Foundation to support their good projects...
My advice to Floridians, is to skip any of their tree offers and plant trees grown from local stock. The Florida Association of Native Nurseries has made it easy for you to find specific native plants or a member nursery close to you.
Arbor Day Celebration
The national Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but Florida celebrates it at a more reasonable tree planting date, the third Friday in January. (Some other states have adjusted their dates as well.)
So by all means support Arbor Day: plant more trees on your property, in your neighborhood, or volunteer for an off-site restoration area. Trees provide so many benefits.
Before you plant, know what your tree needs for soil type, space for the canapy and room for the roots. Plan ahead for its mature size so pruning can be minimized and also plant compatible understory trees and shrubs to form a pleasant grove that may mimic what might have grown there before the invasion of the most invasive species--us.
Not sure about the best way to plant trees or how much to water them? See my article: Trees and Shrubs: the Bones of Your Landscape