Texans celebrate 2021 Arbor Day in Weatherford, Texas – and beyond

Texans celebrate 2021 Arbor Day in Weatherford, Texas – and beyond

WEATHERFORD, Texas — Texans from across the state gathered today in the City of Weatherford and virtually to celebrate Texas Arbor Day – and turn over a new leaf.

Today’s celebration, themed Turning Over a New Leaf, demonstrated the optimism and hope that planting trees can bring to people. After this year’s unprecedented winter storm, continued effects of the pandemic and other extraordinary challenges, what better way to have a fresh start than by planting trees?

The main stage celebration, held at the Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, included a ceremony, tree planting and tree giveaway.

Dr. Todd Watson, ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist and Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M University delivered the Arbor Day keynote address on the legacy of trees.

“We celebrated the City’s 30th year anniversary as a Tree City, USA today, and honored our commitment of conserving and managing our urban tree canopy to connect people to nature,” said Shannon Goodman, Director of Weatherford Parks, Recreation and Special Events Department. “Gathering in person to celebrate and plant trees today has been a refreshing start to the rest of our year.”

In Texas, Arbor Day has become a fall event because the weather favors the start for young trees.

“It’s hard to be a tree in Texas,” said Gretchen Riley, Texas A&M Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program Leader. “National Arbor Day is celebrated in April, but we celebrate the first Friday in November as the start of tree planting season to give newly planted trees their best chance of survival.”

A thriving, healthy urban forest is important because it can positively affect the health and resiliency of the whole community.

According to Riley, the City of Weatherford was selected as this year’s host city for their excellence in community forestry. Members of several city departments joined forces to amplify the importance of trees in their community through the power of education, sustainability and a sense of community.

This Arbor Day, we encourage all Texas communities to celebrate trees and turn over a new leaf of optimism and hope for our future. This is a great opportunity for families to get out and learn about trees and how they protect and affect us.

The celebration was also live streamed across Texas A&M Forest Service Facebook and YouTube pages – encouraging and highlighting other Arbor Day activities across the state.

If you missed today’s ceremony, Texas A&M Forest Service is making it easy for anyone, anywhere to participate in Arbor Day. We’ve provided tips online to help communities create a memorable Arbor Day, as well as educational activities for schools, groups and families to get outdoors and learn more about trees.

Please visit http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/arborday/ for ideas on how to celebrate Arbor Day any time of the year. Here you can also find instructions on how to properly plant a tree and activities about the benefits of trees, tree parts and how to identify a tree by its leaves or structure – plus so much more.

You access photos from today’s activities at https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasforestservice/albums/72157720110334721 and you may also watch the 2021 ceremony on playback at @texasforestservice.

About Texas Arbor Day: Under the leadership of the Texas Forestry Association, Texas first observed Arbor Day in 1889, celebrating the benefits that trees provide over a lifetime. Today, the Texas State Arbor Day is sponsored by Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Forestry Association and the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.