Tennessee Tree Day, Chattanooga area nurseries taking orders for landscape, garden plants

If Joyce Kilmer’s ode to “Trees” is the playbook for your garden, you’re in luck. Tennessee Arbor Day, the ability to choose from 10 native bare root seedlings for $ 1.99 each, arrives next month. You have about a week to reserve your selections (as long as they last). They will be available for pickup on the weekend of March 19-20.

March is the end of the tree planting season, says Tom Stebbins, University of Tennessee extension officer for Hamilton County. But he understands the spring urge to get out and dig in the earth. Because these specimens are seedlings, they should thrive until they are thirsty.

“People will just have to go out and water,” he says.

These seedlings probably won’t even need a lot of water, maybe once a week on those earlier, cooler spring days. He advises keeping a watchful eye when the summer heat sets in. If the days are consistently hot and the soil is drying out, more frequent watering would be a good idea.

Typically, Stebbins says, fall is the best time of year to plant trees: “The soil is cooler. The air is cooler. Trees love it when it’s cool and humid.

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Landscape, garden plant orders

Tennessee Tree Day is a project of the Tennessee Environmental Council. The Nashville-based nonprofit was founded in 2007 with the goal of planting 1 million native trees across the state by 2025, an effort to increase Tennessee’s biodiversity and replace the trees lost to development and other causes. To date, according to the council, more than 679,100 trees have been planted by Tennessee residents (based on the number of orders).

This year, another 50,000 seedlings are available, making the program the largest community tree-planting event of its kind in America.

“It takes a few minutes to plant a tree, and the benefits multiply for generations,” says Jeffrey Barrie, CEO of the board. “We are seeking participation from all 95 counties and have established a statewide tree distribution network that makes it convenient for participants.”

To participate, you will go to www.tectn.org to place your order. A donation of $ 1.99 per tree is requested to help fund the work of the organization. Payment cannot be accepted during pickup, so trees must be reserved and paid for online.

You will need to pick up your trees during designated times on designated days at a location of your choice. Hamilton County has four distribution sites: the Hamilton County Extension Office on Adamson Circle, ArtsBuild on East 11th Street, Reflection Riding on Garden Road, and the Soddy-Daisy Community Library on Dayton Pike.

The surrounding counties have a single central distribution site. Some specimens are already sold out.


Don’t despair if you miss the Tennessee Tree Day order. Reflection equestrian arboretum and nature center will be opening its native plant nursery on April 1 and is already accepting orders. Crabtree Farms added an early spring plant sale, currently underway, in addition to its regular spring plant sale scheduled for April.

Melissa Astin, director of community outreach and engagement for Crabtree Farms, says the advance sale recognizes that not all plants are suitable for the April “giant” sale.

“It’s just a little sale of little plants for those who want to extend their gardening season,” she explains.

“Some of the things we sell a little too late [in April]early, early varieties that are best planted in cool weather, like your kale, cabbage and broccoli, ”she says. “It’s for people who want to start their garden and make plants in cooler weather compared to mid to late spring through summer planting.”

Two dozen vegetables and herbs are available in the advance sale, along with succulents and blackberries.

A link to the sale can be found at crabtreefarms.org. Although this is an online sale, with a barn pickup scheduled for March 4-6, Astin says she can help with orders if there are any questions or if potential customers don’t. no internet access. She can be reached at 423-493-9155.

The Reflection Riding Nursery propagates a wide range of perennials, grasses and sedges, trees and shrubs, which will be available until late fall. Nursery and Greenhouse Manager Dylan Hackett and Land Conservation Manager Scotty Smith work in tandem to educate area residents about the importance of native species.

“We need to fundamentally rethink our personal relationship with nature and learn to support it rather than control it,” Smith said. “A good place to start this journey is in our own gardens and yard.

“While ornamentals are certainly appealing to the eye, they don’t support our ecosystem the way native plants do,” he says. “Native plants are not only beautiful, but they also support healthy soil biomes, pollinators, insects and other wildlife.”

An overview of what is available in the Reflection Riding Nursery will be featured in a series of events presented by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones in March.

Plant Natives 2021 will begin with a seminar, “Indigenous trees in a time of climate change”, on March 19 and will continue with a virtual symposium from March 19 to 21 that includes presentations by seven speakers. Discounts for early registration for the three-day symposium are available until March 10.

The following weekend, March 27, will feature a new expanded outdoor native plant market in which 10 regional native plant nurseries will sell plants at the First Horizon Pavilion.

Contact Lisa Denton at 423-757-6281 or [email protected]

In one look

›Tennessee Arbor Day: Go to https://www.tectn.org. Click Get Involved and follow the drop-down menu to Tennessee Tree Program, then Tennessee Tree Day 2021. Click on your region to see available trees and choose a pickup site. Sales end on March 7. Trees available while stocks last.

›Crabtree Farms Early Spring Plant Sale: Go to crabtreefarms.org and click on the sell box on the home page. Online orders are now being accepted. Pickup at the barn will take place March 4-6. If you need help, contact Melissa Astin at 423-493-9155 or [email protected] Another sale is scheduled for April.

›Reflection Riding native plant nursery: Go to reflectionriding.org / plants to see the list of available plants. Advance orders can be placed now. On-site sales begin April 1 (opening hours of the crèche will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday). If you need help, call Dylan Hackett at 423-497-6208 or email [email protected]

›Wild Ones Chapter of the Tennessee Valley: Go to https://tnvalleywildones.org and click on Plant Natives 2021 for the list of fees and events, which include seminars and conferences March 19-21. The following weekend, March 27, there will be an outdoor native plant market at the First Horizon pavilion with 10 regional native plant nurseries represented. Entrance to the market is free.