Each year the Union County Board of Freeholders provides free shade trees to schools for Arbor Day. This year, due to schools being closed as a result of Covid-19, 80 crabapple trees will go to Union County residents and community organizations on request.
To request a tree, find out more about tree care in Union County, or to join the Rutgers Master Tree Steward of Union County volunteers, email Jim Nichnadowicz, Union County 4-H Agent, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is unfortunate that we are not able to distribute these trees to schools as we usually do, so we hope that residents and community organizations can give them good homes,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
The trees are five to six feet tall and weigh about 10 to 15 pounds each. Each tree has been growing in a five gallon pot. They can fit into a mini-van, SUV or car with a folding back seat. A deer guard is included.
Crabapples are known for beautiful spring flowers as well as small sour apples that can be used to make jams and jellies.
These trees usually grow to about 15 to 20 feet tall over 10 years with a spread of similar dimensions.
It is suggested not to plant the trees near a sidewalk or driveway.
One tree per address will be permitted and will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.
Arbor Day has been a National Observance since 1872, encouraging the public to plant and care for trees. This year Arbor Day fell on Friday, April 24.
The U.S. Forestry Service, the Arbor Day Foundation and other partners have developed free, user-friendly software to calculate the dollar value of trees in urban communities. For more information visit iTreeTools.org.
The Master Tree Steward program is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, which is supported in part by the Freeholder Board and is headquartered in the Colleen Fraser Building at the County complex in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East. For information on all Extension programs visit ucnj.org/rce.
For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection online at ucnj.org/green-connection.
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