ORLANDO, Fla. – Friday is Arbor Day, a day dedicated to planting trees, and those with a green thumb looking to celebrate the national holiday can receive as many as 10 free trees through a few programs.
Arbor Day was started in Nebraska by journalist and editor J. Steling Morton who shared his love of agriculture by encouraging tree planting through his writing, according to Arborday.org.
On the last Friday in April, people across the U.S. and other countries plant trees for future generations to enjoy.
Here are a few ways to find native trees for your yard or gift them to someone else.
City of Orlando: One Person, One Tree
The city of Orlando is giving free trees to residents as part of Mayor Buddy Dyer’s One Person, One Tree initiative.
The program funded by OUC and the Florida Forest Service provides up to two trees per household. The program runs after Arbor Day through the spring planting season.
Residents can choose from the following Florida native trees: Live oak, tulip poplar, bald cypress, Chickasaw plum and yaupon holly. Visit arborday.org/cityoforlando to order a free tree.
Orlando has distributed 6,700 trees since the One Person, One Tree initiative was launched by Dyer in 2015.
“If every resident planted a tree in the City of Orlando, the tree canopy would increase from 25 percent to 40 percent, reducing CO2 emissions the equivalent of taking nearly 40,000 cars off the road,” according to the city of Orlando website.
Arbor Day Foundation
Anyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation can choose 10 trees. The foundation will ship them to its members’ homes or they can be sent to family and friends.
Visit Arborday.org and pay for a $10 six-month membership or $15 for a one-year membership. Based on the area code of the member, they can choose from several types of trees. In Central Florida live oaks, crape myrtle and bald cypress are the available trees. The options vary for different areas of the country.
City of Oviedo tree giveaway
Oviedo City Hall will give away two trees per household while supplies last on May 7.
Residents can choose from various trees, including bald cypress, bottle brush, camellias, dahoon holly, peppermint crape myrtle, red maple, Shumard oak, southern magnolia, Tuscarora crape myrtle and tonto crape myrtle.
For more information please call (407)971-5668.
Altamonte Springs tree giveaway
On Friday, the city of Altamonte Springs is giving away a variety of trees for residents at Eastemonte and Westmonte parks.
The giveaway runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information is available at Altamonte.org.
Get to know Florida's native trees
Maybe you don’t have a yard or space for a new tree to plant on Arbor Day. Florida is home to many types of interesting native trees including palm, longleaf pines and mangroves.
Learn more about how these trees and controlled fires are crucial to sustaining Florida’s ecosystems at The Nature Conservancy website nature.org.