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State Arbor Day celebration includes free seedlings

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Bare root tree seedlings including Dahoon Holly, Shumard Oak, Pecan, River Birch, Fringe Tree, Crape Myrtle, Florida Flame Azalea and Sparkleberry will be available as long as supplies last.

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In celebration of Florida’s Arbor Day, free tree seedlings will be given away Friday, January 19th in Crestview and Saturday, January 20th in Fort Walton Beach.

These events are sponsored by the Florida Forest Service, the Yellow River Soil and Water Conservation District, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the City of Crestview, the Garnier Beach Garden Club and the City of Fort Walton Beach.

Bare root tree seedlings including Dahoon Holly, Shumard Oak, Pecan, River Birch, Fringe Tree, Crape Myrtle, Florida Flame Azalea and Sparkleberry will be available as long as supplies last.

University of Florida Extension Agents will conduct tree planting and pruning demonstrations at the Crestview event and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions at both events.

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The Crestview event will be held 9 a.m. to noon at Twin Hills Park located at the corner of East James Lee Blvd. (Hwy 90) and Hathaway Street. The address is 100 Hathaway Street South. The Arbor Day event will take place at the pavilions near the playground on the far west end of the park.

The Fort Walton Beach event will be held 10 a.m. to noon at the Fort Walton Beach Library located at 185 Miracle Strip Pkwy Southeast.

Arbor Day was originally founded in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 as a tree-planting day. Every state recognizes Arbor Day but because of differences in climate, each state selects its own date to fit the best planting time for trees. Florida’s Arbor Day is the third Friday in January. National Arbor Day is the fourth Friday in April. Florida foresters and other tree experts take advantage of the cooler time of the year. Planting trees now allows young trees to become established by the time hot spring weather arrives.

Visit https://www.arborday.org/celebrate/dates.cfm to learn more about Arbor Day.

For more information about the Crestview and Fort Walton Beach Arbor Day Celebrations, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County at 689-5850 or the Florida Forestry Service in Okaloosa County at 689-7838.

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@co.okaloosa.fl.us.

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