County Forester Emily Martin and volunteer Marty Coffey with longleaf pine seedlings.

Special to The Sun

Fifty volunteers braved frigid weather to give away free trees at the 20th annual Crawfordville Arbor Day celebration. More than 1,500 native trees found homes at the drive-through giveaway outside the County Extension on Saturday, Jan. 20th.

Hundreds waited patiently in vehicles to choose from among 15 kinds of trees. Eight kinds were purchased as bareroot seedlings with grant funds from the National Wildlife Federation. Wakulla County Garden Club members planted the baby trees in pots last February and tended them for a year. Just Fruits Nursery kept them watered. The eight species were eastern mayhaw, parsley haw, rusty blackhaw, chinquapin, red cedar, live oak, pignut hickory, overcup oak, sweet shrub, possum haw, and dahoon holly.
County Forester Emily Martin and the Florida Forest Service contributed red maples, river birch, and containerized longleaf pine seedlings. Lynn Artz donated redbuds and elms dug from her yard. Jeannie Brodhead provided American hollies and other seedlings.
Volunteers greeted tree seekers all along the vehicle line. Pam Pafford and Jenn McWilliams handed out tree descriptions and order forms to those waiting on Ochlockonee Street. Tree advisors Jeannie Brodhead, Michelle Hackmeyer, and David Roddenberry helped those in line choose trees. At the Welcome Station on Cedar Avenue, Madeleine Carr and Barbara Wilson provided tree planting and care instructions. WCSO effectively managed traffic.
The ticket station, where order forms were exchanged for tree tickets, was capably staffed by Mary Driscol, Beth Hakemoller, Pam Morris, Tonia Murray, Evelyn Reid, Marney Richards, Jaye Sousa, and Marty Quinn. Fifteen pairs of volunteers staffed the 15 tree stations where tickets were turned in for trees. Roy Malmburg took charge of sign placement and monitoring tree counts. Betsy Smith pruned. Claudia Farren took photos. Most of the event’s volunteers are members of the Wakulla County Garden Club, the Sarracenia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, or Master Gardeners. Volunteers were rewarded with first pick of trees.
Tree were loaded into vehicles by Colleen & John Alcorn, Dianne Amburn, Logan Austreng, Dewana & Terrence Britten, Tamara Byrnes (& Charlie), Marty & Dave Coffey, James Cooper, Mary Cortese, Margaret Davis, Susan Fears, Jiujing Gu, Chris Hill, Jenny Lorch, Rich McWilliams, Rita Schuetz, Khadejah Scott, Penny Slaughter, Nicole Sullivan, Ann Reams, Betsy Rudden, George Weaver, Dianna & Shannon Whitmore, and Ryan with FFS.
“We’ve already ordered the trees that we will give away next year,” said Lynn Artz. “Soon we will put them into pots,” said Jeannie Brodhead.
Next year’s Crawfordville Arbor Day celebration will return to Hudson Park on Jan. 18, 2025.

Volunteer Susan Fears loading an overcup oak into a vehicle.
Tree recipient Troy Collins

Special to the Sun