Experts: January and February are best months to plant trees locally

arbor day tree theresa herndon

Theresa Herndon, right, receives a bundle of native tree saplings from state Forest Service Senior Forester Maria Wilson as her grandchildren, Iagan and Lexus Foss, observe.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Theresa Herndon picked the perfect time to move to her new home.

Her house stands on a large plot of land with minimal trees, and the area’s recent Arbor Day observance let her put her green thumb to work.

With her grandchildren, Iagan, 6, and Lexus Foss, 5, in tow, she consulted the Florida Forest Service’s senior forester, Maria Wilson, during Friday’s Arbor Day sapling giveaway at the University of Florida/IFAS County Extension office.

 “I bought a house on five acres of land with nothing on it but three long-leaf pines,” Herndon said. “We’re going to fill it up with these trees.”

Among the indigenous saplings were red maples, which Wilson advised Herndon to put in a one- or two-gallon pot of soil for a year to allow their root systems to develop before planting them.

By the three-hour tree giveaway’s end, Wilson said she and fellow foresters had provided several hundred saplings to nearly 100 residents and answered countless questions about planting and caring for trees as well.

Across the parking lot, extension horticulture agent Sheila Dunning got down and dirty — literally — as she and Okaloosa Master Gardeners’ volunteers planted two donated trees.

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