Arbor Day Give Away

Get a free tree at La. Forestry Association for Arbor Day

The Louisiana Forestry Association is celebrating Arbor Day by giving away 1,100 seedlings on Friday, Jan. 26. The giveaway will include 300 Laurel Oaks, 300 River Birch, 300 Sugarberry and 200 Persimmon trees.

The drive-through tree giveaway will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the LFA office, located at 2316 S. MacArthur Drive in Alexandria.

“Planting a tree is looking toward the future,” said. C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association. “We celebrate Arbor Day in January because it’s the best time for tree planting, during the dormant season for trees.

In Louisiana, more than 14 million acres are forested about half of the land in the state. Forests also are important to the Louisiana economy. The forest products industry accounts for $11 billion to the state’s economy and trees are Louisiana’s largest crop.

Many acres of trees are harvested each year, but also more than 100,000 acres are replanted, which equates to more than 73 million seedlings. That’s about 19 trees for every person living in Louisiana.

The drive-through tree giveaway is limited to the supply on hand. The four species are fast-growing hardwood trees and are provided by ArborGen SuperTree Nursery.

The Laurel Oak grows about 60 feet tall and is easy to maintain in most environments and many animals can use its acorns for food. The River Birch has good tolerance to wetness and drought. It grows to about 40-70 feet and is becoming more popular for landscaping, offering great color in the fall. The Sugarberry tree’s fruit is enjoyed by many songbirds. It grows up to 60 feet and has a broad crown. The Persimmon tree grows well in most soils and produces a fruit that tastes similar to an apricot. It can grow to about 40 feet and its leaves offer beautiful colors in the fall.

Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1872 and is now celebrated nationwide as an annual tree-planting day to foster the ideals of conservation so that our forests will always be plentiful.

The Louisiana Forestry Association has provided Arbor Day seedlings for the public since 2004.

The Louisiana Forestry Association is a group of more than 4,000 members that includes forest landowners, foresters and others employed in the forest products industry. LFA’s mission is to further the practice of sustainable forestry.