The Henry County Soil and
Water Conservation District is partnering with the Henry County
Master Gardeners to hold the District’s Annual Arbor Day Tree
Giveaway on Friday, February 15 at 8:30 a.m. Trees will be
available at these four locations until they are gone: The
Aubrey Harvey Agriculture Building, 333 Phillips Dr., McDonough,
Heritage Park, 97 Lake Dow Rd., McDonough, The Locust Grove
Municipal Building, 3644 Hwy 42 S., Locust Grove, and
Stockbridge City Hall, 4640 N. Henry Blvd, Stockbridge.
The three species
selected for this year’s giveaway are Catalpa, Redbud and River
Burch. These bare root seedling trees should be planted as soon
as possible. Plant in well-drained soil in full sunlight. Keep
seedlings moist and cool until planted. Planting holes should be
8-12 inches in diameter and should be at least 8-12 inches deep.
Pull loose soil back over the roots, filling the hole half way.
Tamp down soil lightly, then backfill the rest of the area
around the hole and water. Do not compact the soil by tamping
down the wet soil. Water each seedling with one to two gallons
at planting time and check soil moisture periodically to be sure
it has not dried out. Fertilizer use on new seedlings is not
recommended and neither is placing manure or nitrogen based
fertilizer in the planting hole. Wood chips, pine straw, pine
bark, cypress bark, composted sawdust, gravel and composted
leaves will protect your tree from the outside elements when
applied 3-5 inches deep around the tree, but not touching the
Southern Catalpa is a
small ornamental tree, with showy white or purple-tinted flowers
and unusual long, cigar-shaped seed pods. It is host to
caterpillars that can be used for fishing bait. It is fast
growing and prefers moist, well drained, alkaline soil, but can
tolerate a range of soil types.
The River Birch needs
full sun and tolerates fairly dry soil once it is established.
It grows to 40’ to 70’ and has a 40’- 60’ spread. It has
lustrous medium-green leaves but is spectacular in the winter
with it’s cinnamon-colored, exfoliating bark.
The Redbud is a shrub or small tree seldom
reaching 50 feet in height and 12 inches in diameter. It has
showy purplish flowers that bloom in the spring before the
leaves emerge. Although the redbud does well in most soil types,
it prefers moist, well-drained sites.