15,000 trees to be planted after ETX Arbor Day giveaway

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - East Texans are investing in Mother Earth after a year of drought and extensive environmental damage.

"The roots in the ground and the green side up. Other than that, it's pretty straight-forward," said Todd Nightingale, Hudson District Forester.

Nightingale couldn't pass up the opportunity to get others excited about the arbor day tree giveaway.

"In light of the drought that came through, the hurricanes that have come through and wiped out a lot of trees in the community, everyone's very aware of their surroundings and their need to "re-beautify" some of the areas that have lost trees," said Nightingale.

The Texas Forest Service is teaming up with Angelina Beautiful Clean to help East Texans reclaim the Pineywoods.This year's event was such a success that the Texas Forest says over 10,000 of the 15,000 trees were given away within the first two hours.

Foresters say these seedlings will do more than just shade your home.

"It's going to be good for buffering sound, air pollution. It's going to do a real good job of preventing erosion." said Nightingale.

The hardwood trees ,especially the dogwood, are better suited to survive future droughts.

"Native, locally adapted trees that will thrive and do well in your own landscape," said Cary Sims, County Extension Agent for Angelina County AgriLife.

Agriculture experts like extension agent Cary Sims says that's critical to keeping East Texas green.

"Quite frankly, looking ahead, this next year, the climatologists say it's going to be bad as well," said Sims.

All the trees were given away by the time John Price arrived at the Lufkin mall.  Still, he's happy his neighbors will be able to liven-up their yards.

"I'm glad that people did pay attention to what's going on here and could come and get the trees," said Price.

Even though it will be years before the seedlings reach maturity, the benefits begin once they go in the ground.

Organizers are hoping to expand the giveaway next year.

If you missed out today,  you can always buy seedlings at any nursery or garden center.

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