Oxford’s Arbor Day Is May 1; Which Seedling Do You Want?

By: Jeanie Petersen

Oxford’s Arbor Day is May 1; Which seedling do you want? Oxford Mayor Terry Stark receiving the Tree City USA flag from DEC Senior Forester Greg Owens on a previous Arbor Day. Come to the Arbor Day ceremony from 9 to 10 a.m. May 1, for the ceremony and tree give-away.
(Photo by Jeanie Petersen)

OXFORD – The Oxford Village Tree Board will be holding its thirty-fourth “Tree City USA” Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, May 1, starting at 9 a.m., at the LaFayette Park bandstand. Plans (while scaled back to avoid a large crowd) include a proclamation, the announcement of the three Oxford Academy fifth grade Arbor Day poster contest winners, and a give away of seedling evergreen trees and a variety of seedling shrubs. The Oxford Village Tree Board encourages families and individuals to have a planting celebration of their own on Arbor Day.

Oxford was recently named a "Tree City USA", for its twenty-seventh year in a row, by the National Arbor Day Foundation. One of the standards for that designation is that the community must have a tree board, which the village has. The Oxford Village Tree Board members are John Godfrey, Jeanie Petersen, Gray Stevens, Sandy Dain, and Jean Curtis. Accepting the Tree City USA flag and award from the DEC Forester will be the honorable Village of Oxford Mayor Terry M. Stark.

Having an Arbor Day observance is another standard, and the Tree Board enjoys coordinating this ceremony with a tree give away. The seedling tree that was chosen for this year is Frasier Fir, Abies fraseri. It is a hardy evergreen “Christmas” tree which was purchased from the Meadowview Tree Farm LLC, a small nursery in Western NY.

The Frasier Fir (zone 4), is closely related to the balsam fir. It is a narrow, pyramidal tree with glossy, dark green needles. It is not suited for hot, dry sites, as it prefers moist, well-drained soil in sun to light shade. Considered a small to medium, slow growing conifer, it will grow to a height of 30’ to 50’ tall with a trunk 16 to 20 inches across. The Fraser fir has been used more times as the official Christmas tree in the White House than any other type of tree.

The Village Tree Board has also opted for some attractive flowering shrub seedlings: Rose of Sharon, Butterfly Bush and Tuliptree. Rose of Sharon -Althea- is an erect shrub or small tree that flowers July through September. Butterfly Bush will have fragrant flowers July through the fall. The Tuliptree is a fast-growing tree with bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers in profile and turn golden yellow in fall. (Please, only one seedling per person.) 

The founder of Arbor Day, J. Sterling Morton said it best more than 140 years ago, "Other holidays repose upon the past. Arbor Day proposes for the future."

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The seedling trees will be wrapped in moist newspaper. All you will need to do is pick a spot and dig a hole. Don’t be late though, rain or shine, quite often the seedlings are gone in minutes! Please wear a mask and socially distance. Visit http://treeboard.oxfordny.com/ to learn more about the Village of Oxford Tree Board. Contact the Tree Board through the Village Hall at: (607) 843-2512 or email:vgoxford@stny.rr.com .




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