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Skaggs: Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree
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Arbor Day celebration
When: 10 a.m. Feb. 19
Where: Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St., Gainesville

Feb. 19 is Arbor Day in Georgia — so why not plant a tree to celebrate?

The kind of tree you choose to plant is up to you. But here are four to consider:

Trident maple
This tough and attractive deciduous tree (Acer buergeranum) grows to 25 to 35 feet and just about as wide, making an excellent small tree for the landscape. Trident maple has lustrous, three-lobed leaves in summer that turn red, orange and yellow in fall. This tree has attractive grayish-brown bark which exfoliates with age and can be grown as a single or multi-trunk specimen.

Lacebark elm
 A tough, durable shade tree (Ulmus parvifolia) reaching 40 to 50 feet, it has dark green leaves in season and yellow to reddish-purple fall color. This outstanding specimen tree features mottled bark with gray, green, orange and brown coloration. Easily transplanted and tolerant of poor sols, lacebark elm is an excellent addition to any landscape.

Downy serviceberry
A deciduous native flowering tree reaching 15 feet to 25 feet and about half as wide, the serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is a graceful, early-blooming small tree. Preferring well-drained acidic soil and part shade, Serviceberry typically blooms just before dogwood with 2- to 4-inch pale pink to white flower clusters. Easily trained to a multi-trunk specimen, this tree also features purplish-blue fruit in early summer.

Dura-Heat river birch
This fast-growing, deciduous tree has a dense, fibrous root system. It typically grows to 30 to 40 feet and up to 25 feet wide. Dura-Heat river birch holds up better to heat stress than other birch cultivars, and does not defoliate as much in the summer months like the Heritage river birch, giving it a fuller appearance. The river birch’s white exfoliating bark on the branches adds to winter interest.

 

Celebrate Arbor Day
In recognition of Arbor Day, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration is 10 a.m. on Feb. 19 at the Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University in Gainesville.

Sponsored by Keep Hall Beautiful, Full Bloom Nursery, the Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association, Georgia Power Company and the Georgia Forestry Commission, Arbor Day 2010 festivities include a joint Proclamation from the City of Gainesville and Hall County presented along with recognition of Gainesville’s status as a Tree City USA. Tree City USA recognizes towns and cities across the United States that meet standards designed to promote and manage urban forests.

A slide show of former Hall County Champion Trees and State Winners will be presented by the Georgia Forestry Commission. Also, student winners in the “Trees are Terrific and Energy Wise” Art Contest will be honored and recognized as well.  

Tree seedlings will be available courtesy of Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Power. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Robin Halstead at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce at 770-532-6206.

Billy Skaggs is an agricultural agent and Hall County extension coordinator. Phone: 770-531-6988. Fax: 770-531-3994.

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