Celebrating Arbor Day - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Celebrating Arbor Day

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- Forestry plays a vital role in Louisiana's economy. Every year more than 100,000 acres of trees are planted in the state. The Louisiana Forestry Association is doing it's part to spread awareness about the importance of trees with an annual event. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton has the details.

We're used to driving through to pick up food- but how about baby trees?

"It's just a way to recognize and remember that trees are important to our state and to our economy and to our communities," says Buck Vandersteen, Executive Director of the Louisiana Forestry Association.

It's the Louisiana Forestry Association's annual seedling giveaway in celebration of Arbor Day, which is celebrated on the third Friday in January in Louisiana.

"Each date is different depending on the climate. Louisiana has ideal weather conditions right now. The soil is moist. It's cool. It's a good time," adds Vandersteen.

"The Louisiana Forestry Association has been doing the tree giveaway for about ten years now. Every year they give away one thousand Red Bud and Oak seedlings."

"A lot of people stop by and get these and it's good for people to come out and remember Arbor Day," says Frank Chandler, who stopped by to pick up a tree.

John S. Wells comes every year to get a seedling. You could say he's got a green thumb.

"I've got a couple out by the road that are about 15 or 20 feet tall that are just leaping out of the ground if you put the right water and fertilizer on them," says John S. Wells, who comes every year to get a tree.

Others come back for a second chance.

"It didn't live but it started living, you know and it finally died but I'll try my luck again this year," says Doretha Hanks, who also came to get a seedling.

As the seedlings become trees, the forestry association is spreading awareness about the importance of forestry and helping to grow memories.

"It's really kind of a fun thing over time to see how big that tree gets and the kids and family remember well I planted that several years ago and look how big it is today," adds Vandersteen.

The seedlings passed out today were donated to the forestry association by Arborgen Nursery.

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