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On April 3, four Highlands neighborhood associations—Bonnycastle, Deer Park, Highlands-Douglass and Upper Highlands—are marking Kentucky Arbor Day along with individual donors and local businesses with the United Nations Environment “Billion Tree Campaign” Program, “Plant for the Planet.” The Kentucky Division of Forestry has pledged 2,000 native Kentucky bare-root seedlings for local residents to take home. Recipients are asked only to sign a pledge that they will plant and nurture the trees to adulthood.

The annual effort began in 2006 with Belknap resident Stephen Spanyer. The inaugural Highlands campaign in 2007 began with 300 seedlings distributed.

Master gardeners and experts from the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the University of Kentucky Extension Service will be available to answer questions on tree care and maintenance, such as what soil and sun conditions work best for particular species, how to plant the seedlings and when to prune the growing trees.

Available varieties of the 12- to 24-inch seedlings include understory, which mature up to 30 feet tall, and taller canopy species, which top out at 70 to 120 feet. Understory species include eastern redbud, flowering dogwood and pawpaw, while residents may also select white, cherry bark or bur oak, Kentucky coffeetree, yellow or tulip poplar or white pine trees from the canopy family.

The actual date of Arbor Day is April 30. 

The event, which takes place Saturday, April 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Douglass Community Center, 2305 Douglass Blvd., is rain or shine. Parking is available on Douglass and also adjacent to the Division 5 Police substation. For more information and photos of available species, visit http://highlandsarborday.info.

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Photo: Flickr/

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