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Sixth tree planted during Levy County Arbor day celebration

Levy County Celebrates Arbor Day

by Barbara Dossey
Arbor Day celebrates the planting, caring for and education regarding the importance of trees. Florida Forestry Service, cooperating with UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Service (IFAS) Extension Levy County, provided education and trees to Williston Crossings RV Resort.

Joseph MacKenzie, Gilchrist & Levy County Forester, addressed resort residents reminding them of U.S. holidays that recognize and honor past events. “Arbor Day looks toward the future. Planting the right trees, in the right place, benefits future generations.”

planting depth determined by site characteristics in Levy and Gilchrist counties

Edmonds (left) illustrates   planting depth  in well drained versus compact/poorly drained soils.

Residents installed four Shumard oak and two Southern red oak. Both species are known for showy fall display, urban adaptability, drought tolerance and benefits to wildlife.

Arbor Day Origins

A modern day celebration occurred in a small Spanish village, Villanueva de la Sierra. Padre don Juan Abern Samtres, believed trees were important for health and the environment. A poplar was the first tree planted during that three day celebration.

While National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, planting dates are state specific.   

Founded by J. Sterling Morton, American Arbor Day was held in Nebraska City, Nebraska on April 10, 1872.  Morton Inspired individuals, civic organizations and groups to participate. Consequently, one million trees were planted that first Arbor Day. Morton’s message of the importance of trees was carried on by Birdsey G. Northrup of Connecticut. Northrup is credited with globalizing Arbor Day throughout Australia, Canada Japan and Europe.

Call before you dig.

Safety first. Call 811 or Sunshine811.com before digging. Identifying underground lines, pipes and cables may prevent costly utility disruption. Sunshine 811 is a neutral party, providing a FREE service to Florida residents. Allow ten business days. Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility.

In conclusion, look up to reduce overhead utility conflict. Do not plant large maturing trees under power lines. Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS professor of environmental horticulture, designed a study to evaluate whether 70 types of trees are suited for planting under power lines. Read details for species of interest. Results published here.

submitted by Barbara Dossey, Nature Coast Master Gardener

Photo; (back row L – R) Cecil Freels and Williston Crossings Garden Club member, Graham Davis (front row) Barbara Dossey, Kim Creamer, Betty Wolsonovich and Joe MacKenzie.

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