Florida Forest Service giving away 400 trees in DeFuniak Springs Jan. 23

January 17, 2015

redmapleThe best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is on Arbor Day with the Florida Forest Service.

It has been over 140 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day after moving to Nebraska from Michigan. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever.

Arbor Day is recognized nationally on the last Friday in April, but many states observe it on different dates according to their best tree-planting times. In 1886, the first Arbor Day celebration in Florida was held in DeFuniak Springs. The ideal tree planting time in Florida is January, so Florida’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday of the month.

To commemorate this day, the Florida Forest Service, in conjunction with the annual Chautauqua Assembly at Camp Conservation, will be giving away trees in one-gallon containers to the public on Friday, January 23rd from 7:00 am – 4:00 pm in DeFuniak Springs, the birthplace of Florida’s Arbor Day.

Several species will be offered, including sawtooth oak, red maple, white oak, chickasaw plum and pignut hickory. Along with the tree giveaway, several foresters will be on hand to offer advice such as planting and care for your trees through the weekend as part of Camp Conservation.

“Trees planted on Arbor Day show a concern for future generations,” said Rick Bray, Walton County Senior Forester. “The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will someday provide wildlife habitat, shelter from wind and sun, beauty and inspiration for generations to come.”

For more information on Arbor Day Events in Walton County, contact Rick Bray at (850) 892-8010 or by email at Rick.Bray@FreshFromFlorida.com

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land, while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about the Florida Forest Service, visit www.FloridaForestService.com or call Hannah Anderson at (850) 625-6621.

Information courtesy WZEP.