Plant a Tree on Arbor Day

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Arbor Day in North Carolina will be March 17th this year. Take time to celebrate by planting a tree. Trees are a wonderful addition to any landscape not only by providing an aesthetic complement but by increasing the quality of life and improving overall health. Since trees are such a large visible addition to the landscape, care must be taken to ensure proper growth and development.

hands holding a seedling plant

Trees come in many different packaging styles including burlap wrapped, container, and bare root, thus details in planting methods vary based on the packaging in which you receive your tree. Regardless of the packaging, the most successful trees begin with proper transportation and planting. Plant parts including roots, stems, and foliage should be protected from damage during transport.

When selecting your site, take into consideration the size of the tree at maturity and select a space that will give plenty of room for growth. Avoid planting your tree near permanent structures such as power lines or homes because in time costly repairs or damage could result. After you have made your site selection, digging the hole for your new tree is most often the problem individuals have when planting their new landscape addition. Holes are either too deep, or too narrow to allow the tree to grow and flourish. The depth of the hole in general should be no deeper than originally grown and the width of the hole should be at least 3 times the diameter of the root ball or container or the spread of the roots in the case of bare root trees. This is to allow adequate room for new roots to flourish and take hold.

On Saturday, March 18th, 2023 the Franklin County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension will be sponsoring the Annual Tree Give Away in celebration of Arbor Day. This event will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the Farmers Market located at the Shannon Village Shopping Center in Louisburg. Trees will be given away for free on a first come first serve basis. Bare root trees including Black Walnut, Chestnut Oak, River Birch, Crape Myrtle, White Oak, and Loblolly Pine will be available. When you receive your new tree, since no soil is surrounding the root ball, you will need to make sure the roots do not dry out. Soak the roots in water for a couple of hours to ensure your roots are well hydrated and plant the tree as soon as possible. To plant bare root trees, planting specifications are a bit different; first build a mound of earth in the center of the hole around which to spread out the roots. Make sure that when properly seated on this mound the tree is planted so that the trunk is clearly visible and the crown, where the roots and trunk meet, is about one inch above the soil level.

Come out on Saturday, March 18th to select your new addition to your landscape! Cooperative Extension staff will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

For more information, please contact the Franklin County Center at 919-496-3344. 

Tree Giveaway Brochure