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Plant tree seedlings or maintain existing trees

Staff Report • Apr 5, 2013 at 8:44 AM

For the 13th consecutive year, the National Arbor Day Foundation has named Johnson City a Tree City USA. To keep that distinction going, the city will be handing out tree seedlings Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon at Metro-Kiwanis Park, 817 Guaranda Drive. More than 3,000 seedlings will be given away as part of the city’s goal of planting 10,000 trees.

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 earlier each year, it’s hard to question that reclassification.

In addition to planting new trees, Tennesseans can also observe National Arbor Day later this month 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.

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

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