Lamar Co. to give away free trees for Arbor Day

By HASKEL BURNS,

In honor of Arbor Day 2019, which in Mississippi is held annually on the second Friday in February, the Lamar County Soil and Water Conservation District will give out 1,000 native hardwood tree seedlings to Lamar County Residents.

The district, with the help of the Mississippi Forestry Commission and the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will hand out the trees on a first-come, first-served basis at 9 a.m. Feb. 9 at the Lamar County Multi-Purpose Center at 99 Industrial Row in Purvis.

“We want to help remind the community to take care of our resources and our wildlife; that’s what we’re all about,” said Lisa Browning, education director for the Soil and Water Conservation District. “They’re bare root trees, but they’re very good for our wildlife.”

The trees include white oak, crabapple, cypress, red oak, Chickasaw plum and persimmon. Attendees are encouraged to get to the multi-purpose center as early as possible, as the trees are usually grabbed up pretty quickly.

“Last year, we were finished giving them out at 9:20 (a.m.); we had a big line,” Browning said. “We usually give out a couple of each variety to each person if they want them – some went away with eight to 12 last year. 

“We had 800 and they went fast, so this year we upped it to 1,000 and they’ll probably still go fast. Next year, we may have to increase even more.”

Next week will be celebrated as Tree Planting Week in Mississippi, as a result of Gov. Phil Bryant’s Arbor Day/Tree Planting Week Proclamation. Arbor Day was first observed in 1872 in Nebraska, with the first official Arbor Day Celebration being held in 1882 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mississippi adopted Arbor Day as an official day of observance in 1926.