Florida Arbor Day lands on Jan. 21 this year and UF/IFAS has opportunities to celebrate across the Sunshine State. Events include tree giveaways, education on tree selection based on region and more.
The date, shifted up from national Arbor Day in April, is situated at an ideal planting time for trees in Florida. The state’s warmer climate sends trees into a state of dormancy this time of year, which means transplanting is less stressful for the trees and increases the chance of survival in a new landscape.
Interested in planting a tree in celebration this year? Here are some tips from UF/IFAS Extension experts to keep in mind.
- Select a Florida-Friendly tree best suited for your region.
- Once ready to plant, dig the hole 1.5 times the width of the root ball or container-size being planted.
- Find the topmost root. This must be planted at, or an inch or two above, ground level.
- Fill the soil around the root ball, but do not cover it.
- Place a layer of mulch 3 inches thick around the tree, leaving a donut shaped ring around the trunk and root ball.
- Water within the donut of mulch. Remember to never pile mulch around the trunk of a tree.
To get involved in a celebration near you, consider these events or reach out to your local UF/IFAS Extension office directly:
- Lake County
Tavares Arbor Day Celebration includng a tree giveaway and educational presentations, Saturday Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wooten Park
- Seminole County
Plant This Not That: Avoiding Invasive Plant Species in Florida webinar, Jan. 26 at 10:00 a.m. Register here for free. Participants receive a free copy of a native plant and tree species planting guide.
- St. Johns County
Tree giveaway, Friday Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at Bartram Library, Hastings Library, Publix at Murabella, and Publix at Nocatee. And 10 a.m. to noon at Anastasia Library
The Escambia County Arbor Day Celebration and tree giveaway is Jan. 15 from 10 a.m.-noon. Escambia County, partnering with UF/IFAS Extension and the West Florida Public Library, will be giving away 100 one-gallon trees at each of three library locations: Main, Tryon and Southwest branches. There will be family-friendly activities and educational opportunities at each location. Tree species will include pond cypress, dahoon holly, mayhaw and red maple. Each family can take home two trees on a first-come, first-served basis.
Another event the following Saturday, Jan. 22, will feature a tree demonstration from Beth Bolles, UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County horticulture agent. This activity, beginning at 8 a.m. in Lion’s Park, 1201 E La Rua St., supports a tree planting project sponsored by the East Pensacola Heights Neighborhood Association and the city of Pensacola.
The City of Apalachicola Tree Committee is holding an Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, Jan., 22 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Scipio Creek Farmer’s market in Apalachicola. Erik Lovestrand, Franklin County Extension director, and local Master Gardener Volunteers and will be on hand to answer questions from the public. The event will involve a tree giveaway and information to hand out on tree care and proper plant selection for the home landscape.
UF/IFAS Extension Leon County faculty, staff and Master Gardener Volunteers will assist with the annual community Arbor Day planting event, 8 a.m. on Jan. 22 at Broadmoor Pond Park, 4723 Jackson Bluff Rd. Mark Tancig, horticulture agent, will demonstrate how to properly plant a tree.
For more information on events in your area, tree care or the importance of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension agent.