Get a free tree at Louisiana Forestry Association Thursday, the 16th

The Louisiana Forestry Association is celebrating Arbor Day by giving away 1,000

seedlings on Thursday, Jan. 16. Trees given away this year will be the American Elm, Silky

Dogwood and two species of oak: Black Oak and Water Oak.

Folks can drive through the parking area of the LFA office at 2316 S. MacArthur Drive in

Alexandria beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will give away 1,000 trees.

“A good way to look at planting hope for the future in the New Year is planting a tree,”

said. C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association. “And

this is the best time of year to plant trees in Louisiana. That’s why we celebrate Arbor Day each

January.”

More than 15 million acres of forests are spread across Louisiana, about half of the

state. Products from the forest account for about $11 billion to the state’s economy each year

— it’s Louisiana’s No. 1 crop! And just like field crops, trees are replanted after being harvested,

about 73 million seedlings throughout the state. That’s roughly 19 trees for every person living

in Louisiana.

The drive-through tree giveaway is limited to the supply of 1,000 trees, provided by

ArborGen SuperTree Nursery. So, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The American Elm is fast-growing and hardy and grows to about 70-100 feet. Its early

budding makes for early spring color. The Silky Dogwood has pale blue berries that birds love in

late summer. It’s a small tree-like shrub that grows up to 12 feet and has a rounded

appearance. It is tolerant to dry conditions but prefers moist, well-drained soil. The Black Oak

can grow up to 90 feet, but is slow-growing. Its acorns are good for most wildlife and offers

great shade for large areas. The Water Oak also can grow up to 90 feet and is a great tree

choice for shade. Its acorns also are good for most wildlife.