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Posted on: January 9, 2020

Arbor Day is January 17

image of Streets and Ground staff standing behind a table with saplings ready for distribution

Annual ceremony scheduled for 11:00am at Joe Pomar, Jr. Park

The public is invited to join the City of St. Augustine’s commemoration of Arbor Day on Friday, January 17 at 11:00am at the Joe Pomar, Jr. Park, located at 1600 Masters Drive.

The annual ceremony traditionally includes the planting of trees by city officials and presentations by the Street Tree Advisory Committee (STAC) with Smokey Bear leading the distribution of saplings to choose from: Southern Red Cedar, Sweet Bay Magnolia, and Florida Loquat.  Download our Right Tree, Right Place information and a guide on how to plant bare-root trees

Over the years more than 100 trees have been planted as part of the city’s Arbor Day ceremonies with the most popular being Live Oak.  This year, the city will plant three flowering D. D. Blanchard Magnolias that eventually will grow in excess of 50 feet. “We chose this tree based on a 2018 tree study that indicated we were deficient in magnolias and maples,” Streets and Grounds Manager Mark Hartley noted, “but also because it is a flowering tree which adds to the beauty, it increases our overall tree canopy, and most importantly it will likely live beyond our time and still be here for the next generation.”

Other trees planted in years past include Red Maple, East Palatka Holly, Southern Red Cedar, Sycamore, and Bald Cypress.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, there are 180 communities in the State of Florida which have received the designation of Tree City USA, but only 11 have received the designation longer than St. Augustine which has been designated for 37 years.

Florida's Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday in January when the weather is better suited to our local tree-planting season; whereas nationally, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

Past Arbor Day ceremonies have been held at various public locations throughout the city including, but not limited to, Rollins Park, Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility, the Plaza de la Constitución, the Willie Galimore Center, Davenport Park, and Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park. The last Arbor Day ceremony held at Pomar Park was in 1999.  

For more information contact the Public Works Department, Streets and Grounds Division, at 904.825.1040.

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