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Janet Laminack: Tree seedling sale to benefit 'Cool Shade for Third Grade' program in Denton County schools

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Janet Laminack

Every year, the Denton County Soil and Water Conservation District has a tree seedling sale. This is a great opportunity to get affordable trees for a good cause. All proceeds benefit the "Cool Shade for Third Grade" program in Denton County schools. 

"Cool Shade for Third Grade" happens in October. Members of the Denton County Master Gardener Association delivered 2,900 seedling trees to third-graders in 31 elementary schools across the county. 

The delivery of the trees includes a short educational presentation about the importance and value of trees for water quality, windbreaks, soil protection, wildlife habitat and oxygen. Visiting the schools and talking to the third-graders gives one hope for the future. 

The presentations start off with a few questions by the Master Gardeners and the children typically have all the right answers. It's common for a student to report on the condition of the tree that their older sibling received as a third-grader. The knowledge of the importance of trees, letting kids nurture their own tree and getting more trees planted in our communities are all worthy causes.

The trees that are available this year in the SWCD tree seedling sale include one-gallon container trees for $9.50 each. Those are large shade trees — bur oak, live oak, Mexican white oak and shumard oak. And they're also selling some smaller, flowering trees — desert willow, Mexican plum and vitex.

Also available are bare-root pecan trees for $3 each. Who can resist having their very own state tree of Texas? The squirrels will thank you.

Smaller container trees available are $4.50 each. These are 6 to 12 inches tall with a 10-cubic-inch root volume. That selection includes Afghanistan pine which is an evergreen, cedar elm and bald cypress. If you have been on the San Antonio River Walk, bald cypress are the majestic trees planted along the banks. They can handle wet feet or drought.

Orders for the trees are being taken now and are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so place your order early. Also the trees must be picked up on Friday, Feb. 23 at the North Texas Fairgrounds in Denton between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Mail or submit orders to Denton County SWCD, 525 South Loop 288, Suite C-1, Denton, TX 76205. Make checks payable to Denton County SWCD. If you have questions, call 940-383-2691, ext. 3, or visit the USDA Service Center in Denton.

And as always, contact us at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension with your garden and landscape questions at 940-349-2892 or email us at master.gardener@dentoncounty.com.

JANET LAMINACK is the horticulture county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2883 or via email at jelaminack@ag.tamu.edu.