Montevallo holds Arbor Day

The line dwindled as Montevallo citizens claimed hundreds of seedlings at the city's Arbor Day Celebration Feb. 26. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo citizens packed into the Orr Park Recreation Building Feb. 25 to receive free trees and visit booths set up in honor of Arbor Day.

Herschel Hale, the chair of Montevallo’s Arbor Day and Beautification Board, worked to make the event more than simply a distribution of trees.

“With a lot of towns, this is all Arbor Day is,” Hale said, gesturing toward the lines of people waiting to pick up small seedlings.

Bill Legg, the vice president of the city’s Beautification Board, welcomed attendees to the event.

“This is Montevallo’s 17th year of being a tree city,” Legg said. “We’re the oldest tree city in Shelby County.”

Green Valley Nursery and Cedar Creek Nursery donated potted plants and trees in containers for a drawing offered numerous times during the day. Hale gave away a total of 125 trees during the event.

Montevallo’s Arbor Day holds offers more to citizens than free trees. A group of vendors set up booths in order to offer information and products for people visiting the event.

“All of the local vendors are associated with the outdoors; they’re all back toward nature,” Hale said.

Randy Glover, a photographer of Cahaba Lilies, had a booth covered with his photography for sale.

“The Cahaba Lily is something Alabama should be proud of,” Glover said. “I’ve always found it intriguing.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to cut trees,” he said. “Thankfully, they’re a renewable resource.”

Horticulturalist Joey Hamm attended the event to offer advice for people receiving seedlings.

“Soak the seedlings in water for four to six hours,” Hamm said. “Dig a hole larger than you’d imagine you’ll need. The tree needs room to grow and spread out. If it’s too small, the roots will girdle.

“Slowly backfill the dirt, filling halfway, then water, fill with remaining dirt and water again,” he said. “Water twice a day for the first two weeks, then as needed after that.”