Now is the time to plant a tree in Tennessee

Published 12:20 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2022

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Keep Carter County Beautiful has announced plans for a tree planting Saturday, March 26, along the Tweetsie Trail in Elizabethton. Those interested in helping with the project are asked to meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot on W. Elk Avenue between Williams Avenue and Hudson Drive.
Of course, the main focus of the tree planting by Carter County Beautiful is to add a bit of beauty to the community, however, planting trees is a popular way to do something for nature.
As the world comes to grips with the need to address climate change in the wake of a jarring UN report last fall that called for immediate and drastic action, trees will play an important role. They help remove carbon dioxide — a main greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change — from the air, store carbon in the trees and soil, and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Beyond combating climate change, trees provide a host of other benefits, including attracting wildlife, preventing soil erosion and providing shade — not to mention making our homes and communities look better.
Every year in the state of Tennessee, hundreds of native tree species are destroyed due to human development and natural disasters. Native trees are important members of our communities providing homes and habitats for fellow wildlife and pollinators, increasing property value, and cooling and cleaning our atmosphere.
Tennessee has a Tree Program of which the common goal is to plant one million trees by 2025. Since 2207, 741,960 trees have been planted by working with state and local agencies across Tennessee to distribute and plant trees.
Sometimes, we take organizations like Keep Carter County Beautiful for granted, but it is an important organization. It is a group that is interested not only in keeping our roadways, waterways and other lands free of trash, but in beautifying local properties. Planting trees is one way of doing that.
In Tennessee, Arbor Day is celebrated in March rather than in April. But, regardless of the date, tree planting any month any date is acceptable. In addition to planting trees, do some nurturing to trees already growing on your property. 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.
But be careful and know how to properly prune a tree. Drive through any neighborhood this spring and you will likely see a tree or two that has been victimized by a chain saw. The practice of “tree topping” is one frowned on by most experts.
Experts say topping destroys a tree’s form and compromises its structural integrity. It inflicts large wounds or stubs, which leave trees susceptible to disease and decay because the tree is incapable of closing such wounds.
This decay can set in within a couple of years in most tree species, while some do not take to the topping and die quickly.
Planting the right tree in the the right place now can spare property owners from headaches later. That’s why the Tree Care Industry encourages residents to give some thought to the location and variety of trees they plant. Staying clear of power lines is the first rule of thumb.
While it’s a noble endeavor to protest and lobby for action to combat climate change, a small step of planting a tree can feel equally as good. Why not start in your own backyard?

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