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Germantown to host state’s Arbor Day celebration

From Staff Reports

Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed March 4 as Arbor Day in Tennessee to recognize the importance of planting and maintaining trees in our state. This year’s celebration will be held in Germantown in Shelby County.

“We congratulate Germantown for being recognized as the Tennessee Tree City of the Year by our partners with the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council,” State Forester David Arnold said, “We’re proud to highlight Germantown for Arbor Day in Tennessee and the work they’re doing to maintain tree canopy coverage. Planting trees enhances our rural and urban landscapes, provides forest products and jobs for forest industries, reduces the erosion of our topsoil, and provides habitat for wildlife.”

During West Tennessee’s most recent ice storm, trees in Germantown suffered significant damage, particularly at the Oaklawn Garden Arboretum and its botanical gardens and park.

“Restoration is steady as we work with Germantown’s Public Works Department on tree repairs, removals, and debris pick up,” Germantown’s Natural Resource Manager and Certified Arborist Wes Hopper said. “During the cleanup, we are moving ahead with educational tree tours and the addition of our third arboretum. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has been a valued partner in our arboretum program, and we’re pleased to offer the Certified Arborist Study Course this fall.”

Germantown has recertified for the status of a Tree City of the World as well as a Tree City USA. Tree City is a nationwide movement that provides the framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

Citizens are encouraged to support Arbor Day by visiting local nurseries and garden centers for Tennessee-grown trees. The Division of Forestry’s East Tennessee Nursery also grows tree seedlings to meet forest conservation needs. Selecting native trees adds value to your home with a quality product that is acclimated to Tennessee’s growing conditions. A list of nurseries and garden centers with locally grown trees is available at www.picktnproducts.org. Orders for the Division’s nursery will be taken until April 15 and are for bulk orders of a minimum of 25 seedlings of any selected species.

For information about how to properly maintain landscape trees for optimal growth, visit your local Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry office or visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/urban.html.

The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.