NEW HANOVER COUNTY – The 24th annual TreeFest will be held Friday, January 14 and Saturday, January 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or while supplies last, at Independence Mall inside the JC Penney corridor. Please note the new starting time as this is different from previous years.
Households may choose up to five (5) free trees or grasses from the available selection (a $5 donation per household is suggested). All trees and grasses are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tree species include bald cypress, black walnut, red maple, persimmon, silky dogwood, Chickasaw plum, crape myrtle, overcup oak, willow oak, sugarberry, redbud, flowering dogwood and longleaf pine. Little bluestem grass will also be available. Trees are bare root and should be planted as soon as possible.
More than 7,000 individual plants will be available during the give-away, with an equal amount distributed each day. In order to serve as many in our community as possible, we ask patrons to limit household allotments to of five plants.
Experts will be available at TreeFest to help with plant selection and provide information for their care. Before selecting trees, residents are encouraged to consider the size of the site, whether utility lines exist above and below ground, proximity to buildings, and site conditions like soil type, drainage and sun exposure.
“While we avoided a hurricane this season, we know our area has suffered significant tree loss in recent years and TreeFest is a great opportunity to get replacement trees and rebuild the canopy in our community,” said New Hanover County Arboretum and NC Cooperative Extension Director Lloyd Singleton. “Trees are so important to our quality of life here in New Hanover County, as well as our global environment.”
TreeFest began in 1997 after hurricanes Bertha and Fran decimated tree populations in the area. Since its inception, TreeFest has given away over 100,000 tree seedlings to area residents. The NC Forest Service Nursey in Goldsboro, NC grew the plants for this event. A voluntary planning committee and many sponsors, including the NC Forest Service, NC Cooperative Extension, New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District, UNCW Department of Environmental Sciences, Wilmington Earth Day Alliance, Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, New Hanover County Parks and Gardens and Independence Mall, make TreeFest possible, and by generous donations from its patrons.