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Friday is Arbor Day in Mississippi

Mississippi will observe a statewide Arbor Day Friday, by proclamation from Gov. Tate Reeves.

Though the national Arbor Day is recognized in April, the Magnolia State observes Arbor Day on the second Friday of February “because late winter is the best time to plant new trees,” according to Mississippi Forestry Commission state forester Russell Bozeman.

“This gives the young trees time to take root before the spring green-up begins,” he said.

Arbor Day has been celebrated this way in the state since 1926. The benefits of forestry to Mississippi include an approximately $12.8 billion contribution to the state’s economy, an average of $10.4 million toward education through Public School Trust Land (16th Section) timber sale revenue and more than 62,000 jobs.

The week of Feb.13-20 has also been proclaimed Tree Planting Week statewide.

Leading up to and following Mississippi Arbor Day, many counties will host events and give away trees or sell them at a reduced price.

The Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Mike Warren Tree Sale will be Feb. 25 at Lincoln Civic Center, 1906 Belt Line Drive NE, Brookhaven. Hardwood, ornamental, flowering, fruit and wildlife trees and shrubs will be available from $3 to $8 each. The sale begins at 7 a.m.

“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.”

For a full list of tree sales and giveaways across Mississippi, visit www.mfc.ms.gov. For more information on the Lincoln County sale, call 601-833-9321 ext. 3 or email kati.smith@usda.gov.