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Soque plans tree-planting project
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Four community tree-planting projects are planned for Jan. 10-11 with the goal of planting 2,000 trees across Habersham County.

The projects are a collaboration of dozens of organizations in the Soque Partnership who work to improve water quality in the Soque River watershed.

The idea began with a conversation with Fairview Elementary and the school board about stabilizing school grounds that lack permanent vegetation by planting trees.

The first of the four plantings is set for Jan. 10 and will involve 16 community volunteers helping plant 1,500 pines and about 200 native persimmons and white oaks on 2 ½ acres of the Fairview Elementary School property. 

The second project set for Jan. 11 to plant 350 trees along the banks of a farm on Beaverdam Creek and re-establish a streamdside forest.

Trees next to streams help stabilize streambanks, keep water temperatures cool, serve as a buffer to capture upslope runoff and provide food to stream wildlife. Trees planted will be persimmon, white oak, red maple and river birch and about 50 container trees. 

The third tree project will make bareroot persimmon, white oak, red maple and river birch trees available to the public for $1 each.

“We wanted to share this tree planting project with the whole community, and since buying bulk trees really reduces costs, we thought, ‘Why not a $1 tree sale?’” says Justin Ellis the director of the Soque River Watershed Association that chairs the Soque Partnership.

Reservations for trees are accepted through Dec. 31st at www.soque.org or by calling 706-754-9382.

Before reserving trees, a brochure explaining which trees perform best in different conditions and how to plant them is available on the web or at Clarkesville and Cornelia libraries.

Trees will be picked up at the Mauldin House Parking lot across from the Clarkesville Library from 3-6 p.m. Jan. 11. 

Additional trees will be available the day of the sale, but reservations are encouraged to ensure availability. One and three gallon container trees are also available for $4.25 and $6.25 in 21 different species, if ordered in advance.

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