Arbor Day celebrated in Thomaston

By Larry Stanford

March 2, 2014

The Thomaston Tree Board had one of its longest Arbor Day celebrations this month, as Arbor Day was celebrated on February 11, the week of the ice storm, but the trees commemorating the event weren’t planted until Tuesday, Feb. 25. The ice storm also kept the Forestry Commission from presenting the Tree Board with its 26-year Tree City USA flag, as the person who had the flag was working at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s emergency operations center on Feb. 11.

Regardless of the weather, the Tree Board and others marked Feb. 11 as Arbor Day in Thomaston. Jody Nelson, Chair of the Thomaston Tree Board, thanked the DAR John Houston Chapter, the Spade &Trowel Garden Club, and the Thomaston Garden Club for their donations of six Nuttail Oak trees to be planted.

Jeff Sanders of the Georgia Forestry Commission stated that of all the things he does, marking Arbor Day in Thomaston is his favorite.

“I was born and raised here in Upson County and I grew up with trees in town, and I knew one day, if we didn’t do something, if somebody didn’t take a proactive effort, the trees that were in town would be gone,” Sanders said. “Thanks to our leaders and people like you organizations, the trees are being replaced, and we appreciate that. But I appreciate what everybody in this room does to keeping Thomaston green. Thomaston is a beautiful city, and everybody in this room is keeping it a beautiful place to live in.”

Thomaston Mayor Pro Tem Doug Head read the annual city resolution marking February 11, 2014 as Arbor Day in Thomaston. A portion of the resolution read:

“We recognize that the Thomaston Tree Board encourages all citizens to plant and care for trees in our community;

“We proclaim that planting a tree is a significant event, but continuous proper care of that tree determines the extent to which these benefits are received;

“We dedicate and plant six Nuttail Oak trees along Highway 74 East as a living legacy to future generations.”

Nelson said the Tree Board is trying to choose sites around the middle school to plant the trees, especially since middle schools students under the direction of teacher Ashley Spivey Thompson work with City Arborist Steve Smith in planting the trees.

“We’re trying to choose sites around the middle school, where they can appreciate the trees as they come and go to school,” Nelson said. “Those trees will be there, hopefully, for the next 20, 30, 40 years. So when they have grandchildren, they can come back and show them the trees they planted.’

The Nuttail Oaks were planted on the slope alongside Highway 74 East, between the middle school and the track.

Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.