POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant in Bloom (PPIB) is offering free Eastern Redbud trees to local homeowners.
Molly Park of PPIB shared the Audubon Society has noted that birds in North America have been reduced by one third in the past 50 years, one of the reasons for this is a loss of habitat. To help restore the bird population, PPIB members decided it would be beneficial to provide free trees to fellow Point Pleasant residents.
These trees are Eastern Redbud trees which are grown locally at Clements Tree Nursery in West Columbia and are two-year seedlings. All that is necessary to receive a tree is to apply to receive one or more. They will become available for immediate planting in March 2020, but the number of trees for reservation must be known by January 2020. The trees will be purchased in lots of 25. Also, if a resident would like a tree but is unable to plant it, PPIB members will have the tree planted with the resident’s consent.
To plant the Eastern Redbud, the tree should be placed with three inches of mulch around the tree, but not touching the tree’s trunk. The soil the Eastern Redbud is planted in should be kept moist, but not saturated while the tree is becoming established, this aspect is especially important if the tree is planted in full sunlight.
The Eastern Redbud is a small tree which will grow to between 20-30 feet in height and 25-35 feet in width and should live for approximately 20 years. It has mauve-pink blossoms which bloom in April for about two or three weeks and because of its size it is strongly recommended that the tree not be topped. When its heart-shaped leaves first appear they are reddish-purple, change to dark green in the summer, then to yellow in the fall. It may want to grow with several trunks. It will grow in full sun or light shade, but needs about four hours of direct sunlight each day. It also yields brownish-black pods that are two-three inches in length and remain on the tree all winter. Some birds will eat its seeds, early nectar seeking insects are drawn to it and when the tree is larger it can serve as a nesting sight and shelter for birds.
For those who are interested in applying for a Eastern Redbud tree, contact Park at 304-675-5027 or Anna Herdman at 304-675-1865.
Erin Perkins Johnson contributed to this article and information was submitted by Molly Park.