Today is National Arbor day and the N.C. Forest Service is encouraging all North Carolinians to think about all that our forests do for us. Trees bring more than scenic beauty; large deciduous trees shade and cool houses in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. Evergreen trees help save on heating bills by blocking the wind in the winter. Trees are also excellent filters for pollution that find their way into our lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and underground sources of drinking water.
If you’re thinking about planting trees around your home, consider species native to the state as they typically require less maintenance and are better suited to the local soils and climate. As with anything you plant, be sure you are putting your trees in an appropriate and safe location. ‘Right tree, right place’ means that before you plant a tree, know what it looks like at maturity and its site requirements. Consider the height, crown spread, proximity to electrical wires and buildings, and the available planting space above and below ground, which is crucial to the long-term survival of the tree.
The official North Carolina Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday after March 15. National Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April. Different municipalities in the state may celebrate their local Arbor Day at different times. For information related to native tree nurseries in North Carolina or to order seedlings through the N.C. Forest Service visit us online at http://ncforestservice.gov.
To find out more about the benefits of trees on your property, visit The International Society of Arboriculture website at www.treesaregood.com. For more information on indigenous plants and trees log onto the N.C. State University Web page “Going Native” at www.ncsu.edu/goingnative/index.html.