Mississippi Celebrates Arbor Day in February

ArborWhile the national Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states have implemented state-recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region. Celebrating Arbor Day helps educate the public about the value of trees. With Mississippi observing Arbor Day the second Friday in February, we take a look at how some of its Tree City USA communities are celebrating the tradition.

Biloxi, MS—a recognized Tree City USA community for 30 years— observes Arbor Day with annual 5K,1 mile and-1/4 mile charity runs, jogs, walks and rolls hosted by the City of Biloxi, Disability Connection, and Gulf Coast Running Club. The Arbor Day run is one of the city’s largest events, drawing an estimated 800 participants this year.

biloxi arbor day runThe proceeds from the run help programs that support individuals with disabilities. Following the race, participants receive trees for planting at home in honor of Arbor Day. Combining nature with a philanthropic cause is a unique way to celebrate Arbor Day.

There will also be a number of tree giveaways throughout the state. Residents in Pascagoula can stop by Scranton Nature Center to pick up a tree. Certified arborists will be on site to answer questions. Tree species include chinquapin, catalpa, mayhaw, live oak, and baldcypress, to name a few. If you’re in Gulfport you can visit Lyman Community Center for a tree.

How do you celebrate Arbor Day?  Please tell us in the comments section below.

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati has been designated a Tree City USA community for 34 years and awarded the  Growth Award 14 times.

Cinn OHThe Chili Capital of America is home to nearly 300,000 residents, and boasts 85,000 street trees throughout the city. Situated along the Ohio River, Cincinnati has scenic cityscapes and a plethora of nature centers and miles of hiking trails to explore. When you tire of exploring, you can take shade under the city’s 10-20% tree canopy and enjoy a warm bowl of Chili.

Cincinnati is also establishing community gardens, with a newly created garden along the Ohio River that will provide sources of fresh fruit and vegetables for city dwellers. Planting an urban forest along the river will make it more inviting for people and contribute to a healthier watershed.

The city saves $4.7 million in air conditioning costs as a result of its urban forest which is valued at $3.2 million

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Hartford, CT

Hartford has been designated a Tree City USA community for 20 years and awarded the  Growth Award  four times.

Bushnell Park CTThe “Insurance Capital of the World” and also one of the oldest cities in the United States, Hartford is brimming with rich history, like Bushnell Park: the first park in the world to be voted for and purchased by a city. Hartford is home to 125,000 residents and 568,000 trees with 26% tree canopy coverage.

The city’s urban forest removes 73 tons air pollution annually, saving $305,000. The clean air is motivation to take a stroll through any of the city’s parks or explore historic Hartford.

Additionally, the city’s urban forest removes 2,440 tons of carbon from the air every year, reducing greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The benefits the city’s urban forest provides are so great that it has a replacement value of $590 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne has received Tree City USA designation for 24 years and has been awarded the Growth Award nine times.

Ft Wayne INFort Wayne is home to 250,000 residents and a diverse variety of activities including 15 museums and art galleries, a botanical conservatory, and three minor league sports franchises, not to mention the 86 public parks one can enjoy. The city’s 29% tree canopy coverage provides shade and beauty to those exploring the city.

Fort Wayne’s urban forest is comprised of more than 54,000 street trees that save the city nearly $300,000 in air filtration costs. In addition, the urban forest reduces energy expenses by $2.5 million and saves $1.7 million in stormwater management annually.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Honolulu, HI

Honolulu has received Tree City USA designation for 33 years and has been awarded the Growth Award twice.

honoluluWhen most people think of Honolulu they probably think of tropical climates and relaxing resorts, and while the city is a top tourist destination, there is more to Hawaii’s capital than sandy beaches. Honolulu—home to nearly one million residents–has tree canopy coverage of 20%, cooling the city from its warm temperatures.

When you need a break from water sports you might consider hiking some of the city’s old volcanoes. The Division of Urban Forestry is responsible for more than 235,800 trees, so finding a tree to take shade under shouldn’t be a problem when you need some shade. Additionally, Honolulu’s urban forest saves $47,000 in air pollution costs, so you can enjoy the view at the top without smog blocking the scene.

Furthermore, residents save more than $343,000 in energy costs as a result of the city’s urban forest. The dense tree canopy intercepts 35 million gallons of stormwater annually, saving the city more than $350,000 in stormwater management costs.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Florida and Louisiana Celebrate Arbor Day in January

ArborWhile the National Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states and municipalities have implemented state or locally recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region.  Florida and Louisiana celebrate Arbor Day the third Friday in January.

Florida

naples zooNaples has been designated a Tree City USA community for 17 years and Growth Award recipient seven times. Naples Zoo celebrated Arbor Day with a day of tree-related activities for the whole family including tree climbing demonstrations in Rainforest Grove. Partners from local organizations shared information about the value of trees and the best native tree selections for planting in the region. Davey Tree was also on hand to answer all tree care questions.

Winter Haven—a designated Tree City USA community for 21 years and Growth Award recipient six times— will hold a tree give away at Central Park. The event will include tree planting and maintenance demonstrations.

Louisiana

lsu agcenterCovington has been designated a Tree City USA community for 21 years and Growth Award recipient four times. Partnered with Keep Covington Beautiful, the city will celebrate Arbor Day with their traditional annual tree give-away at the Covington Farmers Market on January 17th. A variety of native bare-root seedlings will be available including buttonbush, mayhaw, chickasaw plum, and baldcypress.

Baton Rouge— a designated Tree City USA community for 20 years and Growth Award recipient five times— has numerous celebrations throughout the city, including family fun at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Burden Horticulture Society are partnering up to host the Arbor Day celebration. Attendees can meet Smokey Bear and participate in a scavenger hunt in the woods, or watch lumber jack demonstrations in the arboretum. Additionally, attendees will be able to take home a tree for planting.

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Montgomery AL

Montgomery has received Tree City USA designation for 20 years.

MontgomeryMontgomery — rich in cultural history and heart of the Civil Rights Movement— is located along the Alabama River and home to 200,000 residents.  This state capital offers tourists plenty of attractions, including the Hank Williams Museum, Alabama Shakespeare Theater, and Alabama War Memorial.

Visitors can explore the city and take shade under the city’s tree canopy that encompasses 34% of the city.  Montgomery’s urban forest removes 3.2 million pounds of pollutants from the air annually, equating to $7.9 million in savings. In addition, the city’s tree canopy saves $454 million in stormwater management costs.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Chicago IL

chicago ilChicago has received Tree City USA designation for 32 years and has been awarded the Growth Award 19 times. 

The Windy City is an alluring hub for the arts, culture, and entertainment. Home to 2.6 million residents and 3,5 million trees, Chicago has a character of its own. This lakefront city is also on the forefront of environmental sustainability, implementing green infrastructure and working toward a denser tree canopy, with current tree canopy coverage at 17.2%.

With so many attractions to explore downtown, one will appreciate the clean air the city’s urban forest sustains, removing 888 tons of air pollution annually and saving the city $6.4 million a year. In addition, Chicago’s trees reduce residential energy costs by $360,000, a sum that many would appreciate.

The benefits that Chicago’s urban forest provides to the city are valued at an astounding $2.3 billion.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

St. Louis MO

STLMOSt. Louis has received Tree City USA designation for 32 years and was awarded the Growth Award 16 times.

Home to more than 300,000 residents, St. Louis is a major Mississippi River port and a hub for manufacturing, trade, and transportation goods. With a proud industrial heritage, St. Louis is also proud of  its urban and community forest — tree canopy covers 18%  of the city.

The city of St. Louis operates more than 100 parks, including Forest Park which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, surpassing Central Park in New York City. The city’s urban forest removes almost 700,000 lbs of air pollution annually, saving the city $1.5 million in air filtration costs. In addition, the tree canopy saves $39.8 million in stormwater management.

The benefits that St. Louis’ urban forest provides to the city are valued at $41.3 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

The Five Most Popular Christmas Trees

Number One: Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)

The number one tree on The Arbor Day Foundation Five Most Popular Christmas Trees series is the Scots Pine, which is the top selling tree in the country. Scots Pines aren’t actually native to the United States; they were introduced through European settlers and have since been cultivated, especially in the eastern US. Their bright green color, excellent survival rate, and great needle retention make them the most popular Christmas tree on our countdown.

Scots PineeScots Pines (also known as Scotch Pine) are a hardy species adaptable to a wide variety of soils. They resist drying, and even when they do dry they refuse to drop their needles. In fact, when kept in water these pines will stay fresh for 3-4 weeks.  Scots Pines grow to more than 60 ft high and 40 ft wide. They are however a slow growing tree, which means it takes 6-8 years to produce a 7 to 8 ft Christmas tree. They naturally grow in an oval shape and are annually sheared to form the Christmas tree figure.

Scots Pines have high economic value in Europe and throughout Asia because they produce pulpwood —timber used specifically for paper production —poles, and sawlogs used in manufacturing plywood. They’re also popular in reclamation sites because of their easy replanting capabilities, with more than 35 seed varieties commercially recognized.

To learn more about the Scots Pine or any other tree visit our What Tree is That? tool.

Tell us about the tree you selected in our comments section below.