Fall and winter, when both temperatures and tree’s leaves begin dropping, is the perfect time to start thinking about creating a canopy to shade your neighborhood come summer. And one way to get started with that is through the Tallahassee and Leon County adopt a tree programs.
Stan Rosenthal is a forester with Big Bend Forestry. He says now is just the right time for North Florida residents to start thinking about planting new trees.
“Yeah, the best time to plant trees is when the leaves are off. It’s basically when they’re asleep and not to do too much anthropomorphism, but they’re asleep and they’re more open to that kind of stress,” Rosenthal says.
And the cooler temperatures are an added benefit since hot temperatures typically mean new plants need more water and watering is the one thing participants must agree to when adopting a tree from the city or county. Jennifer Magavero is an urban forestry specialist with the city. She says officials will provide adopters with all the information they need to properly care for their new trees.
“We do this program every fall or winter, that dormant season, and what we do is we encourage people to contact us if you’re a city resident, the city will come out and plant two trees in the front right of way of your yard,” Magavero says.
Magavero says experts will work with residents to select the best spot to provide the most benefit for both the tree and homeowner. Meanwhile, county residents can apply through the county program. They’re eligible for one tree planted anywhere between their house and a publicly maintained road or privately maintained road with public access. The county is offering Eastern Red Cedars through its program this year, while the city is offering Eastern Redbuds, Black Gums and Southern Red Oak. Magavero says one benefit of the program is that it promotes the planting of trees native to North Florida, which have better stability and wind resistance.
“These are also trees we usually target with the adopt a tree program for that reason. We want to go ahead and put in canopy trees that can handle these storm situations. They’ve just proven through their time and their adaptability that they are good Florida trees for our weather situations,” Magavero says.
The city is accepting applications for the program now, with plans to start planting trees in January. The County will begin accepting applications November 6th. They’ll start planting trees in February.