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Free Trees for City Residents

10/10/2012

Growing the Urban Forest

On Saturday, October 13th, at 7:00 am Mayor Lioneld Jordan, the City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department, and the Urban Forestry Advisory Board will be sharing FREE trees and shrubs with city residents.  The 14th annual tree giveaway will be held on the Fayetteville Town Center Plaza adjacent to the Fayetteville Downtown Square. The event is held annually to bring residents a hands-on opportunity in helping grow the urban forest.  Adults should be prepared to show proof of their City residency before selecting a tree or shrub. 

Due to increased costs from growers, fewer plants will be available this year than in past years.  Limit one (1) plant (tree or shrub) per adult Fayetteville resident that is present at the event.  Participants should bring a City utility bill, driver’s license, piece of mail, or similar item that proves their City of Fayetteville residency.   

The urban forest benefits the City in the following ways:

   - Cleans the air and drinking water 
   - Provides opportunity for pedestrian friendly walkways
   - Moderates the extremes of sun, wind, and temperature
   - Protects and enhances property values
   - Reduces heating/cooling utility usage
   - Reduces stormwater runoff, erosion, and water table depletion
   - Provides habitat for birds and other wildlife
   - Offers food supply for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, which ensure the success of over 1000 plants worldwide that offer human consumption benefits.  Pollinators are also responsible for over $40 billion worth of products annually in the U.S.
   - Provides behavioral benefits.  Trees planted where they can be observed from residential dwellings, hospital rooms, or school classrooms can reduce crime rates, quicken patient recovery rates, and increase child productivity.

Trees available this year include Black Oak, Kentucky Coffeetree, Thornless Honeylocust Shademaster, and White Flowering Dogwood. Shrubs include Possumhaw Holly and Fragrant Sumac Gro-low.  The trees and shrubs are provided in three (3) gallon sized containers.   

Celebration of Trees is a one day event, but growing a tree is a sustained endeavor. Tree giveaway participants are encouraged to plant and manage their tree as an essential part of the urban forest.  The Urban Forestry Advisory Board selected native plants because they should be easy to grow and maintain. The selection of plants reflects our town’s unique setting on the edge of the Ozarks. Many pollinators, birds, and other wildlife have evolved with native plants and depend solely on them for food and habitat.  This year’s trees and shrubs are drought adaptable.

The Urban Forestry Advisory Board and Urban Forestry Services stress Right Tree, Right Place.  Trees can take many years to reach their mature height and spread.  It is important for homeowners to take all surroundings into consideration when picking the location for their new tree.  To avoid heavy pruning or removal, consider the mature height of the tree when planting near overhead power lines. 

Informational flyers on tree species and planting instructions will be available with each tree.  Urban Forestry staff and Urban Forestry Advisory Board members will be available to offer tree planting tips.