Trees go quickly during annual conservation sale

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 16, 2007

Thousands of trees will be planted across Lincoln County in thenext few days following a sale at the Army National Guard armory onHighway 84 this morning.

More than a hundred county residents waited patiently in line inthe armory’s lobby early today for the opening of the NaturalResources Conservation Service tree sale, and others continued toarrive throughout the early morning.

The stock of available trees, priced from $1 to $5, was alreadybeginning to thin about a half hour after the doors opened.

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A few minutes after 8 a.m., Lynn Richardson, a volunteer whohelped organize the event, said, “The barrels are starting to lookempty. We might make it until 9 a.m.”

Trees for sale included dogwoods, weeping willows, southernmagnolias and a variety of oaks, maples, birches and crepe myrtles,among others. A selection of various fruit trees were also forsale. In addition, a limited number of free loblolly pine saplingswere given away to customers.

Many of those present said they attend the annual eventfrequently.

“This is an annual event so every year I’m here,” said RobertEarl Wilson, of Ruth, who purchased a variety of about 30 trees. “Ialways seem to find more room. I plant them all over my place forthe deer and wildlife.”

For others, it was their first time to take advantage of thediscounted saplings. Charlestine Waterman, of Brookhaven, purchasednine trees of the fruit and flowering variety for her front andback yards.

“This is a good project. I probably couldn’t afford to buy themfrom a nursery,” she said.

While many were purchasing trees for property beautification orto enhance the available wildlife, others were replacing trees lostto Hurricane Katrina or through other means.

Emily Bennett purchased about 20 trees to replace ones shebought at the event two years ago.

“I want to fix up my yard without anyone mowing them down,” shesaid with a smile.

Her husband has inadvertently cut down the two-year-old treeswhile mowing the lawn.

The sale is presented annually by the NRCS to bolsterconservation efforts.