Develop your green thumb by taking home a free tree from New Hanover County TreeFest

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The county is teaming up with the state forest service and UNCW to host the 23rd annual TreeFest.

The event will be held Friday, January 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Independence Mall inside the JC Penny corridor.

Trees are free and available on a first come, first served basis. A $5 donation per household is suggested, according to the county’s press release.

Officials will be giving away bald cypress, black walnut, red maple, silky dogwood, sweetgum, crape myrtle, cherry bark oak, chestnut oak, live oak, white oak and longleaf pine trees. Indian grass will also be available.

Experts will be on hand to help people select trees and learn how to take care of them. Before picking out trees, residents are encouraged to consider the size of the site, whether utility lines exist above or below ground, proximity to buildings and factors like drainage and sun exposure.

“Our area has lost trees to recent storms and TreeFest is the perfect opportunity to get replacement trees and rebuild the tree canopy in our community,” said New Hanover County Arboretum and Cooperative Extension Director Lloyd Singleton in the press release. “Trees are important to our quality of life as well as our environment.”

TreeFest began in more than 20 years ago after hurricanes Bertha and Fran destroyed trees in the area. The annual event offers the local community a way to rebuild the local tree canopy. Trees and grasses are grown in Goldsboro, NC at the NC Forest Service Nursery.