Did you know that Florida has its own Arbor Day? Sure, we still champion trees and their benefits with other states collectively in April, but individual states hold their own celebrations to coordinate with their planting seasons. Florida celebrates in January — the third Friday in January, to be exact — because that’s when many trees are dormant and transpiration is minimal, meaning they’re easier to transplant. In fact, Florida is the first state to celebrate each year.
The state began celebrating Florida Arbor Day in 1886, and more than 200 communities across the state join in the celebration.
This year, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County and the City of Lakeland are holding an event on Jan. 17 (two days before the actual day) to discuss the benefits of trees and which native trees work well in a Florida Friendly Landscape. The event will be from 10-11:30 a.m. at The Nectary at 1047 East Main Street in Lakeland. You can reserve your spot at https://bit.ly/3TWMVdo. For more information, call 863-519-1041.
In addition, Winter Haven will be hosting its annual Arbor Day Celebration & Tree Giveaway on Jan. 19 in South Central Park from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Trees will be available to Winter Haven residents who complete the three educational stations to learn about how to plant, care for, and choose their Florida-friendly tree. For more information, call 863-508-9201.
Check your local community news to find other celebrations across the state.