Students at Albany Technical College celebrated a “late” Georgia Arbor Day and fulfilled one of the requirements of a Tree Campus USA by planting a Live Oak tree on campus. Despite temperature predictions of more than 100 degrees, with special care the tree is expected to do well.
ALBANY, Ga. — Only a few months past Georgia’s official date, students and faculty of Albany Technical College planted a nine-foot Live Oak tree.
Thursday’s event marked the college’s participation in Tree Campus USA, a national program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
According to George Paul, instructor of Environmental Horticulture at the college, the Live Oak was selected because it happens to be Georgia’s state tree and also for the hardiness of the variety. Paul said that even though the ground between the Nathaniel Cross Health Care Technology building and the Career Development Center is irrigated, summer in south Georgia is the worst for planting.
Ideally, trees should be planted in winter, when the trees are dormant. Winter is also when many tree varieties have lost their leaves and are without the water replacement burden resulting from leaf “transpiration.”
Paul said the planting ceremony had been progressively pushed forward from the Georgia Arbor Day date — the third Friday in February — because of the recent illness of Albany Tech president, Anthony Parker, who has attended the event since the first tree was planted in 2008.
“The ‘Three Rs’ for tree-planting are the right tree, the right place and the right time,” said Chuck Norvell, urban forester for the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Norvell said that despite the timing of the event, with 100 degree plus temperatures predicted over the next several days, the irrigated location of the tree and additional hand-waterings should serve as adequate support until the roots develop properly.
“We can all plant a tree at least once a year,” Norvell said. “In Georgia we’re losing approximately 105 acres of forest each day, replaced with an equal amount of hard surface, such as highways and sidewalks, which can get very hot and give off heat after the sun goes down.”