Alpharetta Celebrates Arbor Day at Wills Park
Young and old began the day by helping plant a tree near the park's community garden.
Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle joined local residents for the city’s 22nd annual Arbor Day celebration Satrurday morning near the Wills Park Recreation Center.
Belle Isle began by recognizing former Mayor Arthur Lethchas for having a “great leadership initiative in terms of making Alpharetta a green city”.
He proceeded to read the official proclamation which included,
“I, David Belle Isle, Mayor of the City of Alpharetta, Georgia, do hereby proclaim the 18th day of February, 2012 as "Arbor Day" in the City of Alpharetta, and urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands; and urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations.”
Deb Zemlock, president of the Alpharetta Natural Resources Commission informed the audience that the tree planted was a male Ginko baloba tree. She also encouraged citizens to come back in the Fall to enjoy the beautiful gold leaves the tree produces.
Tree Tip: When planting a Ginko baloba tree it’s best to get a male. According to Zemlock, female trees produce fruits that are “really kind of stinky”.
This year’s tree was bought by the city’s Tree Bank Fund, which was set up to replace trees that are taken down through land development and other means.
While only one tree was planted at this year's celebration Zemlock says there are plans to plant more in the future as well as moving to other locations so that different parks can benefit.
Arbor Day is celebrated at different times around the country depending on the ideal climate for tree planting.
Tree Tip: In Georgia, February is a great time to plant trees says Zemlock.
Arbor Day is an important event in Alpharetta as it is only one of 137 cities in the state to be named a "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Elaine Areias is a member of the Alpharetta Garden Club and would simply like to remind citizens that the we need trees for air.
“Just by replacing trees that are lost we would get cleaner air,” says Areias.
Tree Tip: Zemlock advises that when planting a tree one should not place the mulch at the base of the trunk. Doing so can cause rot and fungus in the base of the tree. Instead you should pull the mulch back three or four inches from the base.
There was an appreciation brunch at the Mansell House following the ceremony as a thank you to all of the volunteers who made this year’s Arbor Day possible. Just some of those include volunteers from the Alpharetta Historical Society, Alpharetta Garden Club, Webb Bridge Middle School Green Team and the Alpharetta Rotary Club.