Color Our Canopy for Florida Arbor Day January 19, 2018

posted Nov 23, 2017, 7:40 AM by Dianne Battle
The best way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree (or several).  The Arbor Day Foundation celebrates Arbor Day this year on April 27.  But in Florida, tree planting time is much earlier, between mid-January for zone 11 all the way to mid March (in zone 8).  Florida's Arbor Day is the third Friday in January.   This year, that is January 19.  That's when you may be able to find free tree seedlings offered by garden clubs in your area, or by Master Gardeners affiliated with your county extension office.   That's an excellent time to look for blooming trees (free or for sale) listed in FFGC President's Initiative, "Color our Canopy"

Refer to the USDA Frost/Freeze calendar for your city for the optimal time to actually plant the trees.  They can be maintained in their containers in a sheltered place next to your home until just after the last freeze/frost day, and then planted.

With a little planning on your part, your club can be eligible for the Nell Coe award, which promotes the planting of trees that will "Color our Canopy."  Choose trees from the awards list that will do well in your plant hardiness zone.  If your garden club is offering trees to the public, remember that blooming trees for your growing zone are always popular choices.  District IV garden clubs are in zones 8-9.  For planting advice use the University of Florida's informational website, and search for your selected tree.  You can also use these resources for planting and maintenance instructions. 

Trees provide so much more than shade!  The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time to plant one is right after your last frost/freeze date.  Get planting!!!!