David Crockett High School juniors Aisling Hagan, left,  and Abigaile Cowden helped the Jonesborough tree giveaway run smoothly as they efficiently bagged and gave aways a variety of tree types — from red oak and tulip poplar to red bud and white pine.

By ALLEN RAU

Staff Writer

arau@heraldandtribune.com

Jonesborough hosted a tree-planting event this past Saturday as part of a statewide effort to give out 250,000 trees. 

“The Town of Jonesborough purchased 500 trees, so we’re distributing them all,” Keep Jonesborough Beautiful Advisory Council member Kay Grogg said.

“Red oak, tulip poplar, wild plum, redbud and white pine. They’re all native to Tennessee. Those are the native trees.”

Grogg said there were 40-50 people waiting when the event officially opened, and each was given their choice of tree. “They told us they were going to be bundled in bundles of five, one of each. But they came in separate so we just let the people get whatever they wanted … the redbud and the red plum seem to be most popular.”

The event was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. but all the tree seedlings were gone by 11 a.m.

According to organizers, the event ran extremely smoothly thanks to the help of local student volunteers from David Crockett’s Beta Club.  The Academic Service Club provided students to help with the distribution.

Juniors Aisling Hagan and Abigaile Cowden were manning the table as the last seedling was handed out. “Our advisor reached out to the whole Beta Club and said we were going to help hand out trees at the Visitor’s Center on this day and asked if anyone was interested, Hagan said,  “Come and sign up if so, so Abby and I did.” 

When asked why they volunteered, Abigaile said, “I love trees and I love community service and volunteering.  I thought it would go smoothly if more people were here.”

According to 250K Tree Day literature, trees provide more benefits than a lot of people realize.

Besides providing humans with oxygen and cleaning the air, trees also contribute to health, save energy, increase property values and even help reduce crime.

BrightRidge employees Brian Ellis and Josh Cole were also on hand to advise folks on areas to plant and where to avoid.

“We want to educate everybody on where to plant the trees, and to not plant under power lines on the road or going to their house where it will cause problems down the road,” Ellis said.

“If we educate them before they plant, it prevents us from having to come out and do maintenance on them afterwards and it helps our reliability.”