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City of Oxford prepares for Arbor Day

OXFORD -- The city of Oxford's Arbor Day celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at George Street Park. Everyone is invited to attend.

The celebration, sponsored by the Oxford Trees, Parks and Recreation Board, will include the reading of an Arbor Day proclamation by Mayor Jerry Roseberry, a demonstration of tree care by Bartlett Tree Service, a children's activity table sponsored by Oxford College, coffee and donuts, and free seedlings provided by the Covington Service Guild.

At noon, everyone is invited to head over to the pocket park on Bonnell Street for the planting of dogwood seedlings.

Oxford residents and officials have long been concerned with maintaining the historic city's tree canopy.

"This is Oxford's 11th year as a Tree City USA," said City Councilman Hoyt Oliver. "We've been (removing) old oaks from Oak Street, but the tree board has been planting more than we're losing."

Arbor Day was initiated in Nebraska in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, as a day to reflect on the importance of trees.

The first Georgia Arbor Day was proclaimed by the Georgia General Assembly in December 1890. In 1941, the General Assembly set the third Friday in February as the day Georgia celebrates Arbor Day.

National Arbor Day is the third Friday in April, but it is too warm at that time of the year to plant trees in Georgia. Trees should be planted between November and mid-March to better their chances of becoming established before the onset of summer heat, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission.