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Plant or care for trees in celebration of Arbor Day

Staff Report • Mar 2, 2012 at 8:29 AM

National Arbor Day is traditionally observed on the last Friday of April, but there are a number of states that celebrate the tree-planting holiday on a date that best reflects the growing season of the region. That is why today is Arbor Day in Tennessee.

The National Arbor Day Foundation says the Volunteer State has good reason to encourage its residents to plant trees earlier than they did a few years ago. A warming climate has prompted the foundation to change Tennessee’s designation on its “hardiness-zone” map — a guide to help growers determine what trees might do best in certain regions.

The foundation’s map, which factors in climate data from more recent years, has placed most of Tennessee into the more moderate zone. With many trees budding this year in February, it’s hard to question that reclassification.

In addition to planting new trees today, Tennesseans can also observe Arbor Day by nurturing existing trees. If high winds and winter storms have damaged your trees, now is the time to take care of the broken branches.

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, minor damage involving only the smallest branches of the tree usually results in little or no permanent injury to the tree. A bit of pruning and ground cleaning will take care of the problem.

For more information on the planting and care of your trees, visit www.arborday.org.

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