WILMINGTON –– If you missed out on the 1,000-tree giveaway last month, Saturday will bring another chance to grab a sapling and help regrow the city’s tree canopy. Wilmingtonians will be able to get a free tree, or two, Nov. 13 at Legion Stadium as long as the supplies last.
The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees is giving away the free trees to residents willing to help regrow the urban forest. The event is being held in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery program and Verizon.
The giveaway is running from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or until they run out of the 3-gallon trees. Pick-up is at Legion Stadium parking lot, located at 2149 Carolina Beach Rd. Those who arrive early will have first dibs on their preferred tree species.
Wilmington residents are also invited to bring a container to take free mulch.
The operation is intended to help replace trees that were lost or damaged by weather events. The Cape Fear region lost countless trees after Hurricane Florence in 2018 submerged their roots in rain water. Development has also played a significant role in the diminishing canopy.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of green space and trees to our daily lives,” Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in the release. “By replacing trees damaged or lost by previous storms, we can help to ensure that Wilmington will continue to enjoy the benefits of a healthy canopy, from cleaning our air and water, to mitigating flooding and bolstering our mental health.”
The native species available for taking include American Elm, American Hornbeam, Bald Cypress, Paw Paw, Persimmon, Pin Oak, Redbud, River Birch, Serviceberry, Southern Red Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Sweetbay Magnolia, Sycamore, White Oak and Willow Oak.
Each person may take up to two trees. However, certain species with limited quantities and in high demand will be limited to one: Paw Paw, Persimmon, Redbud and Sweetbay Magnolia.
This is the fifth time Alliance for Cape Fear Trees and the Arbor Day Foundation have joined to organize a tree giveaway. At the last event, on Oct. 23, all 1,000 trees were claimed by 10:30 a.m., an hour and a half before closing. The partnership has delivered 4,000-plus trees throughout Wilmington through various giveaways and planting events.
“We have seen that Wilmington residents are eager to replenish their tree canopy,” Connie Parker, president of the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, said in a press release.
A partner of the event, Verizon iterated in the release its commitment to reforestation, with a goal of planting 20 million trees within the next eight years. The company has planted 7.8 million trees in 18 countries and 35 states since 2009.
Send tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org