Forest Faire will celebrate all things trees

By Christine Arpe Gang & Mike Maple
Memphis, TN (October 24, 2008)- Canopy trees or understory trees, fall is the best time to plant them, and Saturday’s Forest Faire at the Memphis Botanic Garden will tell you how to do that successfully. A celebration of National NeighborWoods Month, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Memphis Botanic Garden, honors trees planted decades ago, as well as those that are newly installed.

When we hear the words “tree hugger,” we sometimes think of slightly wacky folks who will do almost anything, including putting themselves in front of a bulldozer, to save any tree. But many sane and rational gardeners embrace their trees with love and respect, and well they should. In the hierarchy of garden plants, trees are at the top. The care taken in choosing, planting and maintaining them leads to years of enjoyment, not only for the original owner, but for many who follow.
At Forest Faire, speakers will share their knowledge of proper planting and care every hour in the Lake Pavilion. You will find out about canopy trees, tall trees that provide a canopy of shade, and understory trees, the shorter, sometimes flowering trees, that grow under and beside their tall partners.
Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton will read a proclamation at noon.
Trees and shrubs can be purchased at the event, and a tree will be given out as a door prize every hour. Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. You can bring a small branch with leaves from a tree in your yard and have it identified. Local artisans and craftsmen will sell their creations, and there will be live music. Many “green” organizations will distribute brochures, including information on how neighborhoods can get grants to plant trees.
Pat Skaggs, past president of the Memphis Herb Society, will conduct a workshop at 10:30 a.m. on making decorative concrete castings that use leaves as molds. The fee, $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers, includes all materials. Call 636-4128 to reserve a place.
Admission is free, and families may bring picnics to enjoy in the lush forest at the Memphis Botanic Garden. National NeighborWoods Month is a project of the Alliance for Community Trees, a national group dedicated to helping communities restore their tree canopies. Forest Faire is sponsored locally by the Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association, the Cooper-Young Community Association and the botanic garden.
Urban forester training
If you want to make an in-depth study of trees, you can sign up for the next urban forester training session put on by Shelby County Extension at the Agricenter. The five-week class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning January 22. The class will cover tree biology, and recognizing, choosing and caring for trees in an urban environment. The $45 cost covers all teaching materials and notebooks. Students are expected to do 20 hours of volunteer work for the extension program or other nonprofit organizations with urban forestry programs.
Related Resources:
Memphis Commercial Appeal- Forest Faire will celebrate all things trees
VECA- Neighbors for Trees
Memphis Botanic Garden