Arbor Day in Mississippi: Celebrating forestry’s impact on the state

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By a proclamation from Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi recognizes today as Arbor Day.

“Nationally, Arbor Day is recognized in April,” said Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) state forester, Russell Bozeman. “However, we celebrate Arbor Day in Mississippi on the second Friday in February each year because late winter is the best time to plant new trees. This gives the young trees time to take root before the spring green-up begins.”

Mississippi has been celebrating Arbor Day since 1926 as a special day to recognize the statewide contributions of trees and forests. The benefits of forestry to Mississippi include an approximately $12.8 billion contribution to the state’s economy, more than 62,000 jobs, and an average of $10.4 million toward education through Public School Trust (16th Section) Land timber sale revenue.

Additionally, Gov. Reeves has proclaimed February 13-20 as Tree Planting Week across the state. During this week, community partners, families, and friends will join together to celebrate the benefits of trees and community forests to recognize the unique beauty and diversity of Mississippi’s native trees.

Many counties will host events and give away trees, or sell them at a reduced price. Click here for a list of the tree giveaways and sales.

“Late winter is the best time to plant new trees in Mississippi,” said Bozeman. “This increases survival rate by giving young trees time to establish their root system before the spring arrives.”

“On behalf of the Mississippi Forestry Commission and all of our forestry partners, I want to thank Gov. Reeves for this proclamation,” Bozeman said. “I also want to encourage all Mississippians to take advantage of the tree giveaways and sales in their communities to help spread the importance of trees for future generations. Healthy trees lead to healthy lives.”

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