Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 10:16 p.m.
Northern transplants may remember celebrating Arbor Day the last Friday in April. In Florida, Arbor Day, like spring weather, comes early.
Today is Arbor Day for Floridians. It has been the third Friday in January since 1945, when the Florida Legislature voted to recognized it at the prodding of the state's foresters.
They wanted to take advantage of the cooler weather. By the time warmer weather arrives, the roots of young trees have had time to become established.
If it's not possible to plant a tree on Arbor Day, consider planting one in the next few weeks.
Dig the hole wider, but not deeper, than the root ball. Fill the planting hole with soil and water (adding organic matter is optional).
Form a small circle of dirt around the tree trunk to hold in water, and add a layer of mulch a few inches thick to help keep the young tree moist.
Water frequently for the first few weeks and apply fertilizer in mid-February to late February.
Perhaps President Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 Arbor Day message will inspire you to take shovel in hand:
"It is well that you should celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your lifetime the nation's need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted."
Comments are currently unavailable on this article