NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - If the trees in your yard took a beating during Hurricane Florence, New Hanover County officials are looking to help.
TreeFest, an annual distribution of tree seedlings, will be held Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until trees run out, inside Independence Mall in the JC Penney end court.
“Hurricane Florence took away many trees in our area, and TreeFest is a great opportunity to increase the tree canopy and biodiversity in your yard,” New Hanover County officials said in a news release Monday morning. “Trees are free, with a suggested donation of $3 per household to help ensure that TreeFest can continue next year.”
Tree species include bald cypress, black walnut, buttonbush, chestnut oak, crape myrtle, longleaf pine, persimmon, pignut hickory, red maple, river birch, silky dogwood, swamp chestnut oak, white ash, and white oak. Grass species include Indian grass and little bluestem.
There is a limit of five trees and/or grasses per household. Additional information and helpful tips can be viewed here.
TreeFest began in 1997, after hurricanes Bertha and Fran destroyed many trees in the area. The TreeFest Committee organizes the event; members and sponsors include: North Carolina Forest Service, Keep New Hanover Beautiful, New Hanover County Department of Parks and Gardens, New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District, City of Wilmington, UNCW Department of Environmental Sciences, Wilmington Earth Day Alliance, and Independence Mall.
The trees and grasses are grown in Goldsboro, NC at the NC Forest Service Nursery. The committee encourages planting of the seedlings within a week of the event, noting that winter is a great time to plant trees and grasses in the New Hanover County area.