Arkansas Department of Agriculture gives away 13,000-plus trees during Free Tree Friday events

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas is about to get a lot greener.

The Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that the agency had given away 13,400 trees during its Free Tree Friday events. The events took place across the state at 27 locations between Arkansas Arbor Day, March 22, and April 26, which is National Arbor Day.

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The Forestry Division hosted the events and partnered with the nonprofit Arkansas Urban Forestry County. The council donated six species of hardwood seedlings native to the Natural State, including red mulberry, bald cypress, sycamore, Shumard oak, cherrybark oak and river birch.

Officials said the idea for the annual Free Tree Fridays campaign started in 2021 when Grant County Ranger Troy Wood requested an Arbor Day celebration giveaway in his county.

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Department Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator Kristine Kimbro said the program filled an important need.

“This program is an excellent way to provide access to trees for people who may never have planted a tree and to residents in areas like Little Rock and Wynne who lost trees in the March 2023 tornadoes,” Kimbro said. “Arbor Day celebrates trees, and through Free Tree Fridays, we are able to promote proper planting techniques for bare root and potted trees, as well as the importance of planting native species.”

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According to the Forestry Division, the Arbor Day act of planting a tree gives hope that the tree will grow to provide clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, healthier communities, and natural beauty.

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