PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Hurricane Michael destroyed about 80 percent of the trees in Panama City, so National Arbor Day has more significance for locals.
These days Florida celebrates twice a year. The state Arbor Day is the third Friday in January and The National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.
Defuniak Spring was the first city in Florida to celebrate Arbor Day, way back in 1885.
This year Panama City partnered with Legacy Arborist Services to host a free tree care workshop and giveaway at the Oakland Terrace Clubhouse.
“What we are trying to do for the citizens of Panama City is to provide them with some knowledge they can use when they are either planting or taking care of trees at their own properties or they can help their neighbors with that,” Charlie Marcus with Legacy Arborist Services in Tallahassee said.
The three hour free workshop covered tree root protection, tree planting, and tree pruning.
“Through the root systems they suck up stormwater where you don’t have much flooding in communities with lots of trees, they absorb are pollution through their leaves and they provide energy conservation values by shading buildings,” Marcus said.
Each workshop attendee left with a free 7 gallon Winged Elm Tree.
Winged Elms provide color in the fall, wildlife habitat and energy conservation through the shade.
Southport resident April Farr said she learned a lot about pruning trees from Friday’s workshop.
“I came out here to learn more about planting trees because I have been in this craze of planting trees lately. I bought some property with 2 acres of land and was disappointed that I didn’t have more trees,” Farr said. “I think trees are just wonderful I love nature and I like the shade they provide and they are just healthy and it’s good for the birds and the squirrels.”
Panama City officials funded the workshop with a Florida Forest Services Urban and Community Forestry Grant.