NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed March 5 as Arbor Day in Tennessee to recognize the importance of planting and maintaining trees in our state. This year’s state celebration will be held in Winchester, which is celebrating its first year as Tree City USA.
“I admire all Tree City USA communities, but this year’s distinction holds a special place in my heart since Winchester is my hometown,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Our state Arbor Celebration is a reminder of the value of trees in small communities and in large cities. Our partnerships with local governments, tree care advocates, and the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council help us strengthen urban environments through planting and management of trees.”
In Tennessee, Arbor Day is officially celebrated on the first Friday in March. In 1875, Tennessee became one of the first states to adopt this special day. The state legislature set “Bird, Flower and Arbor Day” in 1925. This law calls for educators, civic societies and government officials to create a better understanding of nature and the importance of protecting wildlife, planting and cultivating flowers, and setting and protecting trees.
Tree City is a nationwide movement that provides the framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees. So far, 46 Tennessee communities have met the Tree City standards.
Citizens are encouraged to support Arbor Day by visiting local retail 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 locally grown trees adds value to your home with a quality product that is already acclimated to Tennessee’s growing conditions. A list of nurseries and garden centers with locally grown trees is available at www.picktnproducts.org.
Trees require proper maintenance for vigorous and healthy growth. For information about how to properly maintain landscape trees, 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.