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Planning to plant: Get trees in ground now for next year

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

COVINGTON -- The Georgia Forestry Commission is reminding residents that while autumn is the time when colorful leaves fall to the ground, it is also the time to plan for planting tree seedlings.

"The Georgia Forestry Commission has a great selection of seedlings in stock for anyone who wants to enhance their land," said Russ Pohl, chief of reforestation for the GFC. "We have excellent selections for all Georgians, for green thumb hobbyists to landscapers, wildlife lovers and timber growers."

An assortment of trees is available, including such hardwoods as redbuds, yellow poplars and a wide variety of oaks and maples. Several species of pine are offered, including the native longleaf pine, known for its distinctive, flowing needles. Hardy shrubs and perennials, including crepe and wax myrtles, are also available.

Prices are nominal and packages of trees range from 10 to 1,000. Also, combination packages are available including an ornamental package which consists of five red maples, five crepe myrtles and five red bud trees. A wildlife package consists of five crabapple, five persimmon and five sawtooth oak trees. These packages cost $45 each.

Detailed planting instructions accompany each purchase.

"Seedlings should go into the ground between November and February," Pohl said. "That is when the trees are dormant, and Georgia's traditionally wet winters can help them get established."

Pohl said the GFC's online ordering system makes it easier than ever to purchase seedlings. By logging on to GaTrees.org, visitors can peruse tree selections, find out about species' growing preferences, locate step-by-step tree planting instructions and learn much more about the benefits of trees.

"Trees are environmental work horses," he said. "In addition, of course, to providing immeasurable beauty, trees clean our air and water, provide shade for cooling our homes and communities, habitat for wildlife, and serve as recreational havens for camping, hiking and hunting. Trees are a renewable resource that provide us with countless everyday products to make our lives better."

Pohl said residents who own larger tracts of land may consider planting trees on cut-over or idle acres.

Locally, the Georgia Forestry Commission District 4 office, which includes coverage for DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties, is at 2707 Access Road and is managed by Chief Ranger Michael Sapp. The phone number is 770-784-2480.