Keep The Tree Canopy: Free Arbor Day Tree Seedling Giveaway For Montclair Residents

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What Montclair’s precious tree canopy looks like in 20 years is up to all of us. If we each plant one yard tree now, we can start to offset tree loss due to age, climate change, disease and storms. We can continue to benefit from the wonderous ecological services that native trees provide.

In honor of Arbor Day, on Friday April 26 (2-5pm) and Saturday April 27 (10-1pm), the Montclair Environmental Commission and Montclair Public Library have teamed up to offer Montclair residents FREE native-to-New Jersey trees. The beautiful and majestic Red Bud, Pin Oak and Black Gum tree seedlings will be available while supplies last. Last year 250 native trees were given away to residents.

Not only do trees provide shade, but native species provide homes and food for birds, pollinators, and other native wildlife who are experiencing growing pressure due to climate change, lawn pesticides and development. Native trees improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, and remove air pollutants, among many other benefits.

Where and When: Stop by the Library café on S. Fullerton street to play your part in preserving this precious community asset. Times: Friday April 26, 2pm to 5pm and Saturday April 27 10am to 1pm.

On Saturday 4/27 from 10 -11:30am, ISA Certified Arborist Lucinda Landon will be on hand to can answer tree-related questions.

Can’t make the dates? Plant a native tree anyway and help to strengthen the canopy and our environment. Local garden centers such as Orange Garden Center and Cedar Grove Nursery carry native to New Jersey trees. Select your tree from the list of native trees that are appropriate/prohibited to plant in Montclair. You can find this list on the Township Website, Shade Tree Department section: https://www.montclairnjusa.org/government/departments/community_services

Inspire others: When you plant your new native tree this spring or fall, email a photo of yourself and your new yard tree to Mtcenv@gmail.com so your tree can be counted in efforts to grow our community tree canopy. We will also include yours on a visual display of our community tree plantings for all to see.

The Montclair Environmental Commission suggests other ways to protect trees this spring:

* Don’t use toxic pesticides, herbicides or insecticides which can harm birds, pollinators, wildlife and the health of your soil that trees depend on.

* Prune the deadwood and preserve the health of your trees.

* Have ash trees inspected for disease. There is an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer insects in New Jersey which affect ash trees.

* If you need to remove a tree for disease, or another reason, be sure to replace within 12 months as per Township Ordinance. Replace with native species only. Select a native tree species according to the Township Shade Tree Department appropriate tree list.

* Be sure to plant your tree correctly. No mulch volcano. Only mulch in the shape of a donut. Expose the roots near the trunk so they can breathe.

* Take it a step further and plant other native plants in your yard along with native trees. Plants that will attract birds, pollinators and other beneficial insects to your yard.

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