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Plant a Tree to Celebrate Arbor Day!

East Bay Holly

East Bay Holly. Photo by Mary Derrick, UF IFAS


[important]The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.  ~Chinese Proverb[/important]

In Florida, Arbor Day is always celebrated on the third Friday of January. In 2014, Arbor Day falls on Friday, January 17.

Consider planting a tree to enhance your property. Trees provide many benefits such as:

  • Shade for leisure activities
  • Lower energy costs for cooling
  • Cover and food for wildlife
  • Screen from unsightly views
  • Privacy from neighbors
  • Addition of value to your property; click here to determine the monetary value of a tree


If you have plenty of trees already, consider getting involved in a local community group that is sponsoring Arbor Day tree plantings. Or maybe your local church, park, non-profit or school would appreciate the donation and planting of a new tree.

So what trees are best to choose for the Florida panhandle?  Some things to consider are soil type and pH, light, and any overhead obstructions. Click here for a publication that discusses what to consider when choosing a tree. Florida Trees for the Urban and Suburban Landscape will help you choose a particular tree species for your site. Considerations in tree selection may include bloom color and season, mature size, hurricane resistance, and whether it is evergreen or deciduous.

Once you have chosen a great tree for your specific site, proper installation and care is crucial to the success of your new tree. Click here to learn all about planting and caring for your tree.

For more information please see:

Arbor Day Foundation: Florida

Native Trees for North Florida

Palms for North Florida

Planting Trees in Landscapes

National Tree Benefit Calculator

4 Comments on “Plant a Tree to Celebrate Arbor Day!

  1. Am wondering why this was emailed on Christmas Eve since Arbor Day is weeks away. The timing seems strange. But perhaps this was a Test to see if anyone was reading this.

  2. Dear Mary,
    I am looking for a Weeping Hawthorn [Pensacola Hawthorn] for the Destin Library as a memorial tree . I would like to plant on Arbor Day.
    I am a Okaloosa County Master Gardener and Larry Williams has suggested this tree, however, I have not been able to locate this tree.
    I would appreciate any help you may be able to provide.
    Thank you,
    Daisy Pfoertner

  3. Daisy, I have not seen this tree in nurseries I have visited. Your best bet would be to contact independent nurseries in your area. Many times they will find and order specific trees that you would like.

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