SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Although the official National Arbor Day is nearly two months away, the state can pick any time to celebrate their own day to celebrate planting trees. With the climate warmer in Georgia, the Peach State celebrates in February, and Tybee is having their day this Sunday.
Tybee Island has its share of iconic trees, like the one at the Old Fort Screven Bakery, near the walking trail at the north end, or the rare multi-trunked palm off the back river. The quality of trees usually isn’t part of the everyday thoughts of most people, but Arbor Day is a way to remind people how essential trees are.
“It’s extremely important, the more canopy we have, the more habitat we have for our ecosystem, the more protection we have when crosswinds come through, and also with root systems it allows for absorption so the flooding is not as bad,” city arborist Brent Levy said.
Levy says that they lost nearly two thousand trees when Hurricane Matthew came through. Many Tybee Islanders got an idea of just how fragile the ecosystem is, and possibly had a better appreciation for the remaining trees.
“Right, it really kind of opens people’s eyes, during the regular day, a lot of people don’t think about it too much, after a hurricane you see the damage and people start preparing and wanting to fix things and make it better,” Jamey Rabun, at River’s End Campground, said.
Sunday at 10 a.m., Tybee and the Savannah Tree Foundation are teaming up for Georgia Arbor Day and will pass out seedings for anyone who wants them.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, so we try to set this day aside the celebrate Georgia Arbor Day and bring people out and give them trees to take home, so that they can do some of their own planting.”
And hopefully those seedlings will take root and provide more canopy on the Islands for future generations.
That will all take place at the River’s End Campground which is on the north end of Tybee near the Public Works Grounds.