Florida's Arbor Day: The Best Time to Plant Native Trees
Arbor Day is not the same throughout the United States.
Though most of the nation extols the virtues of trees in April, each state observes Arbor Day at the time considered best for tree-planting in its particular region.
In Florida, Arbor Day is the third Friday in January. This year, it's the 18th.
On the following day, Saturday, Jan. 19, a free workshop about planting and maintaining native Florida trees is scheduled at 10 a.m. at Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community Library, 13619 N. 22nd St. The first 50 arrivals at the workshop receive a free red maple sapling.
"Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the value of trees to our environment," says Virginia Overstreet, a certified arborist and Master Gardener in Hillsborough County. "Trees absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and keep cities cooler by providing shade for streets and homes. They reduce storm water runoff and help to keep natural bodies of water clean. They provide food and habitat for wildlife, and increase home values."
Arbor Day was founded in Nebraska in the 1870s, and spread throughout the nation before the end of the 19th century. Recognition ranges from searching for the biggest or oldest tree in a community, to Arbor Day block parties, to tree plantings.
The Jan. 19 workshop at the North Tampa library is for all ages, and no registration is required. It is presented in partnership with the Hillsborough County Extension Service and the University Area Community Development Corporation.