January - Watering Newly Planted Trees
Did you know more than 50 percent of most living trees' weight is water? That H2O helps trees thrive. Just like you, water keeps trees hydrated and functioning. Trees need water to grow new leaves and roots, photosynthesize, transport nutrients, and even fight off pests and diseases. All these awesome perks may have you ready to run outside and fire up the hose. But, keep reading!
You want to water newly planted trees deeply, which you can do easily with one of these tree watering methods:
- The Bucket Method: You can use a 5 gallon bucket to water your tree. Make a half-inch hole near the bottom outer edge. Let the water drain out slowly near the trunk, but not on it. Fill it two times once a week every week, even when it’s raining.
- The Watering Bag Method: This is the same as the Bucket Method only using a gardening product. A bag can be purchased for approximately $30 or one can be made using a 20-30 gallon garbage bag. The bag would need to be filled one time per week. Be sure to install the watering bag zipped around a support post rather than the tree itself.
- The Garden Hose Method: You can run your hose on a slow trickle for 1.5 to 2 hours once a week into the tree basin, even when it’s raining.
For more information please contact our Urban Forester at 229.259.3530.
February - Georgia Arbor Day
National Arbor Day has been celebrated since 1872 with the purpose of reflecting on the importance of trees across our country. Although the National holiday is celebrated in April, Georgia Arbor Day is held on the 3rd Friday of February because it is too warm to plant trees in our corner of the country after March. Every tree planted helps clean the air and water, beautify neighborhoods, provide home for wildlife, conserve energy and prevent soil erosion, among many other benefits. Help make a difference in our community and plant a tree this year for Arbor Day!
FREE tree seedlings will be available February 13th – 14th at the Engineering Department, while supplies last! For more details on seedlings and events please see the above attachment.
FOREST ARE THE LUNGS OF OUR LAND, PURIFYING THE AIR AND GIVING FRESH STRENGTH TO OUR PEOPLE
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
March - The Value of Trees to Our Community
The role of trees in providing beauty and shade in our community and neighborhoods is widely appreciated. But, what is less generally understood are the many vital and often unseen things trees do to make our city more pleasant and healthful place in which to live.
The following are some statistics and facts on just how important trees are in our community setting:
- The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
- If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%.
- Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.
- One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.
- The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less stormwater runoff and erosion.
2018 Monthly Tips
As we prepare for the upcoming year, the Arbor Division would like to share with you some highlights of 2017, which include:
- Recognized as a Tree City USA for 31 consecutive years
- Celebrated our first Arbor Week
- Gave away approximately 600 tree seedlings
- Planted 8 trees
- Developed a Memorial Tree Program website
- Hosted 3 tree classes
- Right Tree Right Place
- Trees & Infrastructure
- Invasive Species
- Pruned 1,008 trees
- Reviewed 25 project landscape plans
- Shared arbor information at the Azalea Festival
- Provided monthly Arbor Tips
- Responded during and after Hurricane Irma
- Received the Georgia Urban Forest Council Outstanding Community Grand Award
Georgia Arbor Day is Friday, February 16th and we have a week full activities leading up to this special day. Thanks to wonderful partners, we will have lots of FREE opportunities including: 20 copies of the Lorax book, 50+ arbor coloring books, 2 educational classes, and 900 tree seedlings. As a Tree City USA Community for 32 consecutive years, we encourage you participate and learn more about the importance of trees in our great state and nation.
Be sure to check to check out our 2018 Arbor Day Celebration webpage to learn more about each of the activities that will be going on between February 12-16th.
In 1993, the United Nations declared March 22 World Water Day. The purpose of this special day is to bring awareness to water related topics including: water supply, shortages, and sanitation problems. Each year there is a theme and for 2018 it is “Nature for Water.” Nature is just one way to help overcome the many water challenges that can effect communities from floods, drought, and pollution, which can all be made worse through the degradation of vegetation and soil. One way to help is to plant trees to tame stormwater. By planting trees and other vegetation, this can help increase the absorption rate of rainfall, reduce soil erosion and so much more. For additional information, please visit Trees Tame Stormwater and World Water Day.
“Each generation takes the earth as trustees.” J. Sterling Morton
The last Friday in April is National Arbor Day and was officially celebrated in Nebraska in 1872. The idea came about as the pioneer Julious Sterling Morton from Detroit moved into the Nebraska Territory. He and his family loved nature and quickly began planting trees, shrubs and flowers. As a journalist and editor of the first newspaper in Nebraska, Morton was able to share his agricultural knowledge, environmental stewardship, and the interrelatedness of life and encouraged everyone to plant trees. His message and insight was well received by others who missed the trees and their many benefits such as windbreaks, fuel, building materials, and shade from the hot sun. On the first Arbor Day, more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Shortly after that, other states passed legislation to observe Arbor Day and today it is celebrated in all fifty states annually. Be sure to check out these helpful links to learn about each of the state trees, Arbor Day, and more:
As the school year nears the end and summer adventure plans are underway, here are a few interesting facts about Georgia that include trees and the great outdoors!
- State Tree: The official state tree of Georgia is the live oak (Quercus virginiana). This evergreen forms a broad and massive tree that grows 40 to 50 feet tall with a short trunk that is often 3 to 4 feet in diameter. It is one of the more majestic trees in the south and known for Spanish moss hanging from its branches.
- Largest Swamp: The Okefenokee in south Georgia is the largest “blackwater” swamp in North America.
- Natural Forest: Marshall Forest on the outskirts of Rome, Georgia is the only natural forest located within city limits of any city in the United States.
- Big Campus: Berry College near Rome, Georgia has the largest contiguous campus in the world with an area of about 27,000 acres.
- Natural Wonders: Georgia has seven official natural wonders, which are Amicalola Falls, Okefenokee Swamp, Providence Canyon, Radium Springs, Stone Mountain, Tallulah Gorge and Warm Springs.
The benefits of trees and landscapes are endless and can be tied to improved social interactions, increased economic value, reduced stress, and improved working and learning environments. This is exciting news, but not everyone has a large yard or access to community parks to enjoy these benefits daily. A small scale option to consider is growing herbs indoors on a window ledge such as rosemary, basil, lemon balm and mint. These fragrant herbs thrive with lots of light and can even be used for cooking. If you are feeling more advanced check out Window Farming: A Do-It-Yourself Veggie Venture.
To learn more, visit our Arbor Tips or contact our Urban Forestry Supervisor at 229-259-3530
Thanks to Better Homes & Gardens, we no longer have to struggle to find what plants work best in Georgia. By working with various professionals, they have helped to identify ideal plant material for our areas and suggestions include:
Arkansas Bluestar (Zones 4-10)
- Butterfly Weed (Zones 3-9)
- Perennial Plumbago (Zones 5-9)
- Geranium Rozanne (Zones 5-8)
- Swamp Hibiscus (Zones 6-11)
- Bottlebrush Buckeye (Zones 4-8)
- Purple Beautyberry (Zones 5-8)
- Paperbush (Zones 7-10)
- Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea (Zones 5-9)
- Fragrant Tea Olive (Zones 7-10)
- American Hornbeam (Zones 3-9)
- American Yellowwood (Zones 4-8)
- Lavender Twist Redbud (Zones 4-9)
- Little Gem (Zones 7-9)
- Yoshino Japanese Cedar (Zones 5-9)
- Athena Elm (Zones 4-9)
Did you know that there are approximately 250 tree species native to Georgia? To help bring awareness, the Georgia Forestry Commission prepared an educational manual on 92 species due to their commercial importance, state distribution, and/or unusual characteristic.
To learn more, visit Native Trees of Georgia or contact our Urban Forestry Supervisor at 229-259-3530.
City parks and open space are a key component to a successful community. Based on ConservationTools.Org, parks “attract tourists, serve as community signature pieces, offer a marketing tool for cities to attract businesses and conventions and host festivals, concerts and athletic events.” As a result, greenspaces are extremely important, but connecting them throughout a community can make an even bigger impact. For example, based on the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc (ABI) website, the ABI “is the most comprehensive transportation and economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States.” Once completed, the Atlanta Beltline will include a 22 mile expansion of the Atlanta Streetcar, 33 miles of multi-use trails, and 2,000 acres of parks and support “affordable workforce housing, economic development, job creation, public health, streetscapes, public art, environmental clean-up, and historic preservation – all with an eye towards sustainability.” This multi-phased project is scheduled to be completed in 2030 and includes both public and private partners. To learn more, check out the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc video. Also be sure to check out our Arbor Tips or contact our Urban Forestry Supervisor at 229-259-3530.
October - The Tree that Own's Itself
“The Tree That Owns Itself” which is located in Athens, GA, is probably the most unusual property holder in the world. The tree pays no taxes, is protected by the community and rests secure in its own enclosed garden-type lot. In addition, this unique tree has be featured in Ripley's "Believe it or Not" and has received regular attention from newspapers and magazines from around the world. The original tree became diseased and was blown down in a windstorm on October 9, 1942. The Junior Ladies Garden Club grew a sapling from one of the tree's acorns and planted it on the same spot on October 9, 1946.
The land on which the tree stands was originally owned by Col. William H. Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, Professor Jackson, out of love for the great oak, deeded to the tree ownership of itself and the land within eight feet of it on all sides. The marker at the foot of the tree reads as follows: "For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection, for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides." An original deed has not been located, but the Athens community has recognized the tree's title to the surrounding land and has taken measures to protect the tree.
Its property rights have never been questioned. So, the next time you’re strolling downtown Athens, stop by the corner of Finley St. and Dearing St. (one block off Broad St.) to visit “The Tree That Owns Itself.”
December - Winter is Coming
Winter is one of the best times to plant a tree! Many excellent varieties are available at your local nursery, with some of the best trees available in the winter. Your new tree will use the winter dormant season to establish new roots. When spring arrives, your tree will be on its way to providing shade for generations to come. The best time to plant in Georgia is between November and March.
While it may seem obvious that planting a tree is a good thing, here are some reasons which may not have not occurred to you. Well-placed trees can save you money on your utility bills. In the summer, trees shade your roof and windows and also cool the air around your house as they breathe. In the winter, evergreens can block cold north winds. By using less electricity you help cut down on emissions from power plants that contribute to the “greenhouse effect.” Trees of course clean the air by creating oxygen and they also keep our cities cooler by reducing the “heat island” effect, caused by concrete and asphalt storing and reflecting heat.