It can be confusing to hear about Florida Arbor Day in January or even National Arbor Day in April. These dates do not always mean it is the best time to plant a tree in South Florida. They do mark the importance of planting trees which are vital components of green infrastructure.
This year, the Arbor Day Foundation is set to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary on April 29, 2022. Wikipedia notes this: “Arbor Day (or Arbour in some countries) is a secular day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.”
Of course, you can plant a tree almost any time in South Florida. However, planting trees during our rainy season will provide them with the best chance for survival and the opportunity to grow to their full potential.
If you already planted a tree for Florida Arbor Day and have followed all directions on where and how to plant your tree, you will need to ensure that you are keeping the soil moist. Monitor daily for soil moisture but do not water unless needed. You will want to have eyes on your new tree thru the dry season, especially when we reach the months that experience longer days with little rainfall – March, April, and May. Our dry seasons are becoming increasing difficult for new plants to establish in our landscapes with increasing temperatures. Be aware that it may take longer for your tree to establish in dry season and during the shorter daylight months when growth is slow.
Miami Dade County Adopt-a-Tree program has an engaging series of videos on what you need to know and do. Miami-Dade Trees . You can also sign up to receive emails on Adopt-a-Tree events which usually take place from late May through September. This site also notes plants that are invasive, protected areas in Miami-Dade County and much more from our partners in maintaining and growing our tree canopy. Follow the tweets from Million Trees Miami for even more opportunities to obtain free trees in Miami Dade County. Be cool, plant trees and remember Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principal # 1, Right Plant, Right Place means right tree, right place and perhaps a bit of right time as well.
Plan now for what trees you would like to plant in our rainy season and include trees that provide food and cover for the birds and for butterflies ( many of our native trees as larval hosts) and of course for the cooling shade they provide.