Five Arbor Day tree plantings are planned Friday morning in honor of for National Arbor Day in Manatee County.

April 26, 2013 

From left, Charles Leaks, Jimmy Michener and Willie Jones of the City of Palmetto Parks Department, water a just-planted Heritage live oak tree at Hidden Lake Park in Palmetto Friday after a Florida Arbor Day celebration attended by city and local officials. It's a labor of love for the trio of workers, who tend to think of the fledgling trees in their care as part of their family -- and it's a big family! In the last decade or so, their department has helped plant over 2,000 trees, 200 of which within are located within the city limits. Until this young oak gets established, it will be carefully hand-watered up to 3 times a week in regular visits from the city's 5,000 gallon watering truck. When it's fully grown, it will stand about 60 feet high and it's branches will extend 30 feet in any direction from this tiny trunk. We'll all be long gone by then, but our children's children may be able to reap the benefits of today's careful planning and hard work - part of what has helped the City of Palmetto earn its designation as a Tree City USA, along with the cities of Bradenton, Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria.

PAUL VIDELA — Paul Videla

MANATEE COUNTY ­-- Five Arbor Day tree plantings are planned Friday morning in honor of National Arbor Day in Manatee County.

The plantings are designed to recognize the value of trees to 165 communities from Florida and thousands nationwide designated as a Tree City/County USA.

Tree City USAs locallyinclude Anna Maria,Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Manatee County.

A Tree City/County USA must meet four requirements set by the National Arbor Day Foundation: have a tree care ordinance, a legal tree governing body, a comprehensive urban forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

The tree-planting schedule includes:

• 9:30 a.m. The city ofHolmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee will plant a Southern red cedar donated by Keep Manatee Beautiful at the trolley stop and canal on 77th Street at the intersection of Marina Drive.

• 10 a.m. The city of Anna Maria and Manatee County Parks and Recreation De-partment will planttwo green buttonwoods donated by Keep Manatee at Bayfront Park on Bay Boulevard near the public restrooms.

The Manatee County Natural Resources Deptartment and Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Advisory Committee/Tree Board has already planted a Southern red cedar at Emerson Point Conservation Preserve.

• 11 a.m. The city ofBradenton Beach Scenic WAVES will add three sabal palms, native groundcover and lighting, donated by the Bridge Street Merchants Association and Keep Manatee Beautiful, to the east roundabout at the intersection of Bridge Street near Bay Drive.

• Noon. The city of Bradenton will plant five crape myrtles at Manatee Avenue East at the intersection of Ninth Street.

• 1 p.m. The city of Palmetto will plant a live oak at Hidden Lake Park at 1720 12th St. W.

Children's books and movies about the importance of trees will be donated by Keep Manatee Beautiful.

Groups taking part in the Arbor Day celebrationsinclude city and countycommission/council mem-bers and staff, the AnnaMaria Environmental Enhancement & EducationCommittee, Bradenton Tree and Land Preservation Board, Bradenton Beach Scenic WAVES, Palmetto Planning & Zoning/Tree Board, Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Board, Manatee County Environmental Land Management and Acquisition Advisory Committee, Florida Forest Service, Manatee County Urban Forestry and Keep Manatee Beautiful.

-- Herald staff report

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