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Over 13,000 trees given away during free tree Fridays campaign


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's fourth annual Free Tree Fridays campaign resulted in the distribution of 13,400 trees during 27 events held across the state each Friday from March 22 through April 26. The events were hosted by the Forestry Division in the weeks between Arkansas Arbor Day, proclaimed in March by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and National Arbor Day, celebrated on the last Friday in April.
“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” said Kristine Kimbro, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator. “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.”

The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of urban and community trees, partnered with the Forestry Division for the campaign this year. AUFC donated six species of hardwood seedlings native to Arkansas including red mulberry, bald cypress, sycamore, Shumard oak, cherrybark oak, and river birch.
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. 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.