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Celebrate Florida Arbor Day

Florida’s Arbor Day is celebrated the third Friday in January; this year, it’s Jan. 17. Tree experts agree that planting trees while temperatures are cooler allows young trees to become better established before hot spring weather arrives, making January ideal for tree planting in Florida.

The first Arbor Day celebration in Florida was held in 1886 in DeFuniak Springs. Over 200 communities will celebrate this year, and UF/IFAS takes part in many of them. Here are a selection of those events around the state, and this post will be edited as needed.

Wednesday, Jan. 15

Gulf County:The Florida Forest Service is giving away 280 tree seedlings between its two tree giveaway events on Jan. 15, and UF/IFAS Extension agents and Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to assist. The Port St. Joe tree giveaway is 10 a.m.-noon in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, 125 W Hwy 98. The Wewahitchka tree giveaway is 9 a.m.-11 a.m. in the grass lot in front of IGA, 201 W River Rd.

Thursday, Jan. 16

Bay County: UF/IFAS Extension Bay County is partnering with Florida Forest Service to offer an Arbor Day Tree Giveaway, 9 a.m. – noon, or until all trees are claimed. UF/IFAS Extension Bay County office, 2728 E 14th St. in Panama City. Master Gardener volunteers will also be on hand to answer questions.

Gainesville: In time for Florida Arbor Day, UF President Kent Fuchs, Wageningen University & Research President Louise Fresco and other UF representatives will plant a 9-foot live oak tree in the heart of campus as part of a global initiative to plant 100 “UniversiTREEs” across the world. The planting ceremony will take place on the south side of the Reitz Union Lawn, in front of the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry on the UF campus AT 11:30 a.m.

Sneads: Tree give-away in Sneads on Thursday, January 16 at 9:00 at ball fields on Legion Rd (across from McDaniel’s store).

Friday, January 17th

Dade City: Arbor Day and Memorial Tree Celebration
Speaking at the event will be Dr. Whitney Elmore, UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Director and Foresters Mona Neville and Arthur Clothier from the Florida Forest Service. Memorial trees that have been given throughout the year will be recognized. Trees are dedicated in memory or in honor of a person or special occasion and are living and lasting tributes that add beauty for the city and quality to the environment. The Garden Club is extending a special invitation to the public to join them for this special event to celebrate Arbor Day and to honor the tree recipients. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. For information about the program or information on how to order a memorial tree, call Debbie at 352-567-9003.

Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Dade City Garden Club
13630 5th Street
Dade City, FL

Gainesville: Arbor Day 2020 at Depot Park
Celebrate Gainesville’s 36th year as a Tree City USA with the City Beautification Board, City of Gainesville Urban Forestry, and City of Gainesville – Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA). Enjoy live music, have lunch with your neighbors under the Depot Park Pavilions, and take part in our tree planting ceremony. Free trees will be provided on a first-come, first served basis. Bring your own lunch or register for lunch at https://forms.gle/3BWS37Ayp66Shxiq8. Publix subs will be provided for lunch to the first 100 registered.

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Depot Park
874 SE 4th Street
Gainesville, FL.

Miami-Dade County:
Participants will learn about pine Rockland, the latest techniques for proper pruning and planting trees. In addition, attendees will receive a native tree and CEUs for just $15.
Register through Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/39MuONE 

Okaloosa County: UF/IFAS Okaloosa County, in partnership with the Florida Forest Service, the Niceville Senior Center and the Kiwanis Club of Niceville-Valparaiso, will give away trees beginning at 9 a.m., until all trees are gone. Niceville Senior Center, 201 Campbell Drive. A UF/IFAS Extension agent will conduct a tree planting demonstration and UF/IFAS Master Gardener volunteers will be available to answer questions about planting and growing trees in North Florida.

Palmetto Bay: Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony

Time: 10 a.m.
Palmetto Bay Park
17535 SW 95 Avenue
Palmetto Bay , FL 33157

St. Augustine: Arbor Day Celebration
School presentation and sapling giveaway.

Time: 9 a.m.
Joe Pomar Park
1600 Masters Drive
St. Augustine, FL

Winter Haven: Florida Arbor Day Celebration
The City of Winter Haven Natural Resources Division and Urban Forestry Advisory Board in conjunction with the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Office offer this event in celebration of Florida Arbor Day. In lieu of a giveaway, community plantings will take place at Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center on Jan 17, 2020, and a secondary event on Jan 18, 2020, at South Lake Howard Nature Park. Both planting events will include educational stations & activities celebrating the urban forest resource and the many economic, social, and environmental benefits it provides.

Time:  3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center
801 MLK Boulevard
Winter Haven, FL

Saturday, January 18th

Brooksville: Hernando County Arbor Day Tree Giveaway
The UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County office will conduct its annual Florida Arbor Day Tree Workshop and free tree giveaway at the Master Gardener Nursery with our Hernando County Senior Forester Matt Stevens. Participants will attend a brief workshop on how to properly plant and care for trees, and everyone will go home with a free tree to plant in their landscape! No registration is required, the class and trees are totally free. Just be at the nursery at 9:00 AM. Supplies are limited to 425 trees.

UF/IFAS Extension Hernando CountyMaster Gardener Volunteer Nursery
1490 Oliver Street
Brooksville, FL

DeFuniak Springs: Walton County Master Gardener Volunteer Tree and Plant Sale
A wide variety of plants and trees will be offered: shade trees, ornamentals, citrus, flowering, tropical, fruits, nuts, berries, shrubs, grasses, vines, palms, and ferns.

Time: 9 a.m. to noon
UF/IFAS Extension Walton County
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Escambia County: UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County is partnering with the Escambia County Water Quality and Land Management Department and the Florida Forest Service for the annual Tree Giveaway. Events begin with a tree planting demonstration at 8:45 and conclude by noon (or until the trees are all distributed, two per household). Beulah Middle School, 6001 Nine Mile Road, Pensacola.

Marianna: Tree give-away Saturday, January 18 at 9 am at Florida Forest Service work center at 3973 Kynesville Rd

Martin County Fairgrounds:  Tree Giveaway & Native Plant Sale

Time: 9 a.m. to noon
2616 SE Dixie Hwy, Stuart Fl

New Smyrna Beach: Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Giveaway
Giving away free bald cypress, Southern red cedar, Southern magnolia, and green ash trees to city residents. Milkweed seeds, an important food source for the monarch butterfly, will also be distributed.

Time: 9 a.m.
Utilities Commission Building
200 Canal St.
New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tavares: 3rd Annual Arbor Day
Come for the tree giveaway: green ash, white dogwood, American elm, red maple, and slash pines. Educational programs from UF/IFAS Extension Lake County will have birds of prey on hand to view and Extension Specialist Holly Ober will share the amazing world of bats.

Time: 10 a.m. to  3 p.m.
Wooten Park
301 E Main Street
Tavares, FL

Wakulla County: UF/IFAS Wakulla County Master Gardeners are hosting a tree giveaway.

Winter Haven: Florida Arbor Day Celebration
The City of Winter Haven Natural Resources Division and Urban Forestry Advisory Board in conjunction with the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Office offer this event in celebration of Florida Arbor Day. In lieu of a giveaway, community plantings will take place at Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center on Jan 17, 2020, and a secondary event on Jan 18, 2020, at South Lake Howard Nature Park. Both planting events will include educational stations & activities celebrating the urban forest resource and the many economic, social, and environmental benefits it provides!

Time: 10 a.m. to  2 p.m.
South Lake Howard Nature Park
1570 Lake Howard SW
Winter Haven, FL

Saturday, January 25th

Leon County: UF/IFAS Extension Leon County Master Gardeners will assist with the county’s Arbor Day tree planting at 9 a.m. Martha Wellman Park, 5317 W. Tennessee St., Tallahassee.

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