The day Arbor Day is celebrated differs from state to state due to climate differences. Georgia celebrates Arbor Day on the 3rd Friday in February. I'm running a day late, since that was yesterday.
If you know me at all, you know I preach planting native plants, and it's no different with trees. However, we need to take it a step further. Preserving our native birds and insects depends on planting what they need, and they need diversity.
When choosing a tree for your yard this Arbor Day, look around you. There's no need to plant another of what you already have. Oaks are popular and they are a good tree to plant, with all those acorns for the mammals. But if you are like us, you probably have oak trees all around you. Take note of not only what you have but also what's growing in your neighbor's yard. Try to find something different. But native, of course. You might have to do a little research. Try doing a google search for "georgia native tree." You could stay on the internet all day if you click every link you find.
The University of Georgia has an excellent publication on Native Plants for Georgia.
There are some beautiful native trees you might not have considered. If you don't already have one, I recommend you pick from these:
White fragrant summer blooms with vibrant red fall foliage. A much better choice than Burning Bush.
American Chestnut - Almost extinct, so if you find one for sale, buy it and plant it.
|Red Buckeye in March|
Red panicle blooms in early Spring develop large buckeye nuts that are food for wildlife. This tree might bloom as early as February when our Winter is mild. Looks like it will be March this year.
|3 Grancy Graybeard Trees massed, Shawmut, AL|
Fragrant fluffy white blooms in early Spring with blackish drupes on female plants. Unfortunately the trees shown here were cut down to make way for the new burger joint.
We love wildlife of all kinds, pollinators, birds, and even deer and squirrels, so I consider them when I choose a new plant for our garden. We enjoy the blooms as much as the bees do, but I like to see berries, nuts, or some other kind of fruit develop later on that is not only beautiful, but food for wildlife. I hope you will also think of the birds and the bees along with furry friends when you choose what to plant for Arbor Day.