The city of Palm Coast, which has earned Tree City USA’s Growth Award 14 years in a row, celebrated Arbor Day on Sept. 18, at Town Center.
Arbor Day had its origins in late-1800s Nebraska, as officials urged locals to plant trees on the prairies. It was proclaimed in 1872 and first became an annual event in 1874, and Nebraska is still known as the Tree Planter’s State.
But the shade cover offered by trees is especially important in hot, rapidly developing places like Florida, said Mimi Vreeland, Horticulture Extension Agent and Master Gardener Program Coordinator at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) Extension in Flagler County.
“Shade trees will become more and more important in regions like Flagler County that are quickly growing and developing, because they: 1) shade and cool the ground surface which can lower ground surface temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day; 2) provide residential energy and water savings; and 3) provide essential habitat and food sources for native and migrating animal species and natural predators of various garden pests,” she said.
Trees can also help increase property values, improve soil quality, provide food and shelter for native wildlife and recharge the aquifer system, and shade trees near a home can help lower energy costs, according to Vreeland