Oak Ridge Hosts State Arbor Day Celebration
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed March 3 as Arbor Day in Tennessee to recognize the importance of planting and maintaining trees in our state. This year’s celebration was held at Willow Brook Elementary School in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
“Tennessee Arbor Day is a unique celebration, focusing not on the past but on the future,” State Forester David Arnold echoed from the Governor’s proclamation. “Trees are a source of joy and personal renewal and play an instrumental role in the health, education, and social well-being of residents and visitors. We’re proud to highlight Oak Ridge for Arbor Day in Tennessee and the work they’re doing to maintain tree canopy coverage. Their continued dedication as a Tree City USA through planting and proper maintenance of landscape trees enhances the economic vitality of business areas, increases property values, cuts heating and cooling costs, moderates the temperature, cleans our air, beautifies our communities, and improves our quality of life.”
Tree City USA is a nationwide movement founded by the Arbor Day Foundation and supported by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. The program provides the framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Oak Ridge has been a Tree City USA for 35 years. The City of Oak Ridge Electric Department has also maintained Tree Line USA status for nine years. That program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens. Tennessee is a national leader in Tree Line USA with 17 recognized utilities. Dedication to both programs indicates Oak Ridge’s high level of commitment to the stewardship of the community’s urban tree canopy.
One way to support Arbor Day is to plant Tennessee-grown trees. A list of nurseries and garden centers with locally-grown trees is available at www.picktnproducts.org/find-products/plants.html. The Division of Forestry’s East Tennessee Nursery also grows tree seedlings to meet forest conservation needs. Selecting native trees adds value to your home with a quality product that is acclimated to Tennessee’s growing conditions. Orders for the Division’s nursery will be taken by mailing or faxing the seedling order form until April 1. Orders are for bulk orders of a minimum of 25 seedlings of any selected species.
For information about how to properly maintain landscape trees, contact your local Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry office or visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/urban.html.
The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.