Arboretum celebrates Alabama arbor week 

by Kiara Posey

The sweet scent of blooming flowers and the sounds buzzing of bees filled the air as people gathered at the Troy Arboretum last Thursday for a tree-planting ceremony and seedling giveaway. 

The tree, an Eastern Redbud, was planted at the Arboretum to celebrate Alabama Arbor week. Each state has its own Arbor Week, which varies based on the climate and weather of that area. Alabama’s in held in April, ahead of National Arbor Day later this spring. 

“Nationally, Arbor Day is celebrated in April,” said Caitlin Keefover, an intern at the Troy Arboretum. “We have Arbor week for Alabama, which is just a week where we celebrate and plant trees.”

Troy University is a member of Tree Campus USA, which is founded by the Arbor Day Foundation. The designation means Troy is one of the 411 campuses around the United States that is dedicated to maintaining and planting trees.

The Eastern Redbud is a small tree that blooms with vibrant pink flowers in the spring, and is also beneficial to the environment. The tree is one of the first to bloom in the spring, bringing important pollen and nectar for pollinators.

“It provides multiple benefits to the environment,” said Dr. Alvin Diamond, the Director of the Arboretum. “It has nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are associated with its roots, so it actually makes some of its own fertilizer.

 “It also enriches the soil for other plants. It is very important in building the soil up and adding nutrients so that other plants can grow there.” 

 Additionally, in celebration of Alabama Arbor Week, the Forestry Commission donated around 300 tree seedlings to be given to people who attended the event. Trees such as the Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, American Elderberry, Red Maple, and several others were included in the giveaway. 

The seedlings were given away to encourage citizens to become more involved in nature and add beneficial trees to the environment.

“They’re native trees, they’re beautiful trees, and they’re great things for people to plant instead of ornamental and invasive plants,” said Keefover.

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