NEWPORT—A combination of 2,010 trees and shrubs were distributed on Saturday, March 7 during the 39th Annual Tree Day Celebration held at the Division of Forestry office in Newport.
The event was hosted by the Tennessee Department of Forestry, the Cocke County Soil Conservation District, Keep Cocke County Beautiful (KCCB), the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Over 120 individuals took home a wide variety on trees that included sugar maples, river birch, flowering dogwood, redbud, American chestnut and pecan.
The shrub species were just as plentiful, and included sweet shrub, hummingbird and ruby spice, sweet spire, common with-hazel and oak leaf hydrangea.
Amanda Hill, District Clerk for the County Soil Conservation District, said the annual event always draws a large crowd.
“We had over 100 people show up this morning before 9 a.m., and some of them started to line up around 7 a.m.,” Hill said.
“We distributed double the amount of plants this year than we did at last year’s event.”
John Henderson, Area Forester with the Division of Forestry, said each person received a good amount of plants at Saturday’s event.
He said that spring is the perfect time to plant shrubs and trees.
“We had well rounded support from a lot of groups this year. There were twice as many varieties of plants distributed. This is always a very popular event here in the county,” Henderson said.
“Spring is always the best time to get these new plants into the ground. Each person received a good supply of trees if they wanted them this year.”
RJ Moore, TVA Natural Resources Specialist, said that all but one variety of plant that was distributed during the event was a native species.
He hoped that each person learned something about the plants they received during the event.
“We appreciate the local folks coming out for this event each year,” Moore said.
“Each year we try to educate and help folks understand what plants are native to the area. Everything that we distributed this year is native to this part of Tennessee.”
In addition to several agencies, there were many volunteers that helped with this year’s event.
Volunteers included Johnnie Sue Phillips, Dan Williford, Amanda Hill, RJ Moore, Brian Stewart, John Henderson, Cliff King, Jessi Linkous, Kinsley Graves, Meka Henderson, Hadassah Henderson, CHS student Shelby Wallen, and three members of the Cocke County FFA Forestry Team.