As part of its campaign to plant 5,000 trees throughout the region this year, the Soque River Watershed Association will have its second annual community tree sale to make it as easy as possible for individuals, businesses and other organizations to plant trees.
In early 2013, the SRWA and a team of community partners planted more than 2,500 trees including 1,500 trees at Fairview Elementary to stabilize barren soils, 350 trees at a streamside farm to reduce streambank erosion and sold 660 trees to the general public. More than 20 volunteers helped with the plantings.
“We often underestimate the value of a tree,” SRWA Director Justin Ellis said. “Trees are nature’s restoration tools. They create topsoil, allow rainfall to soak into the ground, cool our urban environments, clean the air, provide oxygen, hold streambanks in place and increase property values. Overall, they improve our natural environments more than any other tool, which is why planting them is the single best gift we can give back to the land.”
The tree sale will be from 3-6 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the Mauldin House on Green Street in Clarkesville across from the library. Most sales will be advanced orders made online or by calling 706-754-9382. Once trees are reserved, cash payments can be made and trees can be picked up Jan. 10.
The variety of trees has expanded, providing more options to plant native Georgia trees. Six different varieties of bareroot trees purchased from the Georgia Forestry Commission are available for $2 per tree: river birch, white oak, American persimmon, red maple, green ash and tulip poplar. The website describes each species and a preferred planting spot.
Twenty-one varieties of larger container trees are available in 1- and 3-gallon sizes for $6 and $8 each. Some bareroot trees may be available the day of the sale, including pines, but advanced orders are encouraged.
For the first time this year, the sale also features local bareroot blueberry plants from Sidney Roland’s farm on the Chattahoochee River. Blueberries are sold in bundles of 10 for $25. This is the only locally grown tree offered.
For residents interested in supporting tree plantings but don’t need trees, they may volunteer for today’s planting. About 1,000 trees will be planted at Level Grove Elementary at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
In order to meet the 5,000 trees planted goal in 2014, individual and business donations are encouraged. Every $2 donated plants a tree.
“Even though these trees start out small, in 5 to 10 years as we watch these forests grow, we’ll be amazed at the difference they make,” Ellis said.