Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tree Planting Time in The Woodlands 2011

Arbor Day is always a fun day in The Woodlands Texas.  For the past few years, the festivities are held at Rob Fleming Park in the Village of Creekside Park. Lots of people in the area go to the event to obtain free tree seedlings. It is generally promoted by The Woodlands Development Company.  This year the following trees were distributed.

  1. Bald Cypress - native that loves water. Perfect for wet areas of the yard or on a body of water. These trees grow wild in or near ponds and marshy areas. They are well known to thrive in swamps. They will develop knobs from their root systems at the surface. Therefore it is not a good tree if you required grass in the shade under it. It grows slow. My 10 year old tree is about 15 feet tall growing in very good moist soil in the backyard in the sun. Trees on the pond grow slower for lack of nutrients. The tree sheds its leaves in the hot dry months of the summer and in the fall. They live for centuries. Perfect for a fishing hole on a pond. I have planted 100-200 of these trees since I moved here. 
  2. Flowering Dogwood - small early Spring native bloomer that thrives in partially shaded areas. It needs some sun but tends to flourish under the shade of larger trees in the forest. The tree turns a solid white before most trees even start leafing out in the Spring, typically in February. There are many in The Woodlands and in Southeast Texas. 
  3. Laurel Oak - one of our large natives oaks, known to tower about 60 feet high. It is a large (70 feet) fast growing tree with a relatively short life (50 yrs.). It is not cold resistant, freezing at about -3 degrees F; that is only 8 degrees under our known record low. 
  4. Loblolly Pine -  is not the native pine here but it is used by timber companies because it is more resistant to disease than the native Long Leaf Pine and a development company or lumber farm likes it because it grows very large (100 feet) faster than other varieties. Most of The Woodlands used to be a timber company. 
  5. Red Maple - large native tree (90 feet) having rich colors with of varying reds in the Fall. These are abundant among our forest trees and a favorite around homes. 
  6. Southern Crabapple - a well balanced native tree when planted alone in the sun and growing in moist soil. It is a medium size fast growing shade tree that has beautiful white flowers in the Spring. 
  7. Southern Wax Myrtle - small to medium sized bushy tree that is very useful to obstruct vision between homes or cut down on noise. It grows fast and is susceptible to varying boring insects which can cause weakness in the limbs. It is popular to provide a screen quickly and naturally. Some people let it grow wild. Others prefer it trimmed into shapes. 
  8. Wild Common Apple - small native variety that actually produces small apples. It grows to a height of about 30 feet.   

This year for entertainment there was a clown, face painters, musicians, recorded music, slides and a variety of children activities. For the adults, there were booths of information pertaining to nature, trees, recycling and even a recent trend - Zero Trash. Volunteers from the Woodlands Garden Club were distributing the seedlings. I planted half of my seedlings that afternoon. The volunteers were very generous, so I ended up with a lot of work to get them all in the ground.  There are five more Cypress trees on the pond to replace some of those lost in the drought. Reforestation occurs every year for me. Droughts have taken a heavy toll on seedlings for the last two years. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Arbor Day in The Woodlands and Houston 2011

On Saturday, January 22nd, 2011, The Woodlands celebrates Arbor Day with a seedling give-away of  6 species, has kids events and entertainment. The event is held in the Village of Creekside Park at the large park. For location of this major, please refer to the parks section of the Woodlands Commentary. Also each hour, a larger tree is given away in a drawing to visitors if they are present. This year, these seedings will be distributed to help make our community a better place to live - Loblolly Pine, Red Maple, Southern Crabapple, Bald Cypress, Laurel Oak, Southern Wax Myrtle, and Wild Common Apple. You can plant seedings in public areas here, as long as you do not destroy property in the process. Providing a child the opportunity to plant a tree and watch it grow is one not to be missed! It s gratifying to see a tree that you plant be a large tree in 10 years or so, so come out and get one or more seedlings, compliments of The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau, the South Montgomery County YMCA and The Brickman Group. There is no entrance fee and the seedlings are free.

Also on Saturday, January 22nd, Houston celebrates its Arbor Day with organized group tree plantings (25000 seedlings) as a project, sponsored by Apache Oil and Gas.  Click on link for more specifics. There is also classes taught and storytelling in an Arbor Day festival at the Houston Arboretum on January 29th from 10AM to 4PM.  Click on link for video and location. That is sponsored by WM Waste Management.