News: Corps announces Adopt-A-Tree program at J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Story by Tracy Robillard
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District will begin its annual Adopt-A-Tree program next month at the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake Project with 100 trees available for adoption.
The Adopt-A-Tree program encourages shoreline permit holders to assist in replenishing hardwood trees on public lands surrounding the lake. The Corps will give young trees to residents who own property adjacent to federal lands who are willing to plant and care for the trees on the public land near their property. Trees available for adoption will be similar to those distributed in previous years, including overcup oak, red buds, persimmon, and crabapple. Contact the Shoreline Management Section at the J. Strom Thurmond Project Office at (800) 533-3478 to check tree availability and to schedule an adoption.
“Over the years, damage to the trees caused by storms, the southern pine beetle, drought, and other natural occurrences has increased the susceptibility of pine trees and hardwoods around Thurmond Lake,” said Park Ranger Roosevelt Pough. “The Adopt-A-Tree program aims to replenish hardwood trees on public lands while giving families an opportunity to get involved with nature and connect with the great outdoors.”
The healthy, four-to-six feet trees up for adoption will come in a three-gallon container with fortified soil. The trees will be available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis at the J. Strom Thurmond Project Office beginning mid-January. There is no fee for the Adopt-A-Tree program, but those wishing to adopt must agree to the following:
1. All trees will be planted on public property adjacent to Thurmond Lake. Since the trees are purchased with public funds, they are to be planted on public property.
2. Trees will be planted within a few days of “adoption”. Containerized or potted trees are used to ensure greater survivability and easier handling. Planting and initial care instructions will be supplied with the tree. Trees not planted immediately should be watered regularly until they are planted.
3. Participants in the Adopt-A-Tree program will water and maintain the tree(s) to increase the chances of survival. Once planted, watering a tree through the first few months is critical for the tree’s survival. Trees take much longer to establish than most people think. The young trees used in the Adopt-A-Tree program can take more than a year to become fully established. For best results, trees will require supplemental watering during the establishment period.