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Our Giveaway Trees are Nearly Gone? You’d Better Be-Leaf It!

With the changing of the season comes more than just cable knit sweaters and West Oak’s Yam Spiced Latte’s. It also brings one of our favorite fall programs – KDB’s Annual Community Tree Giveaway! For our 2016 Giveaway, we’ve consulted with forestry industry experts – including our City’s own Urban Forester, and our friends at the Texas A&M Forest Service – to provide seven different native and adaptive tree species for the Denton community. Registration for our 700 available trees is filling up at a phenomenal pace, with less than 130 only 13 trees remaining. The popular Autumn Blaze Maple reached registration capacity within the first 6 hours of public access; while we aren’t surprised (thanks to its bright fall palette and rapid growth for a traditional shade tree), we are thrilled to see such a great community interest in our program!

With all this in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you get to know the seven species offered through this year’s Giveaway – whether you’ve already snagged your registration spot, or are still making up your mind on your tree selection (don’t wait too long!).

Autumn Blaze Maple No Longer Available
Deep green foliage bursts into a bright, saturated red, channeling an iconic fall image epitomized by the Autumn Blaze Maple. Growing at a rapid average rate of 3 feet per year, this shade tree reaches maturity 10-15 years after planting, with a spread that spans a minimum of 35 feet to a sprawling 50. If you registered just a moment too late to receive one from this year’s giveaway, fret not: KDB members get first access to Tree Giveaway registration! Follow the link to become a member today, and be ahead of the game for next year.

The lovely Autumn Blaze Maple. Photo from shadetreefarm.com

Burr Oak No Longer Available
The Burr Oak is a native North Texas shade tree, offering a canopy spread overshadowing that of the Autumn Blaze by a nearly 30 foot reach. As a hearty, durable grower, this tree has a significant drought tolerance, with a life expectancy of 200 to 300 years. And while we may not be around to enjoy it for quite that long, the wildlife encouraged by its fuzzy acorns will surely thank you for its plantation. Or, you could make adorable fall crafts like these fluffy little hedgehogs:

Found at housefulofhedgehogs
Found at housefulofhedgehogs

Chinkapin Oak No Longer Available
Offering a spread of 50 to 60 feet and growing an average of one to two feet per year, the Chinkapin Oak is classified as both an ornamental and shade tree, if provided with full sun and room to unfurl its branches. And if you’ve ever wished to frolic with the wildlife of the forest and live out your dreams of being a Disney princess, this tree offers some of the sweetest acorns of those in the Oak family, enticing a wide variety of nature’s fauna right to your backyard.*
*Frolicking not necessary nor guaranteed upon planting of tree.

Picture from tamu.edu
A mature Chinkapin Oak. Picture from tamu.edu.

Lacebark Elm No Longer Available
Despite what its name may insinuate, the Lacebark Elm is anything but delicate. Considered a tough landscape tree, it is hardy enough for harsh planting situations like streets, patios, or even parking lots. With a medium growth rate of 3 to 4 feet per year, it grows to a mature height of around 50 feet, encouraging nesting birds and small animals to take up residence in its colorful branches.

Lacebark Elm, found via oregonstate.edu
Lacebark Elm, found via oregonstate.edu

Loblolly Pine
Our notable evergreen on offer this year is the Loblolly Pine. It is the fastest growing Southern Pine, and lives around 300 years. It is considered highly aromatic, with a rosemary pine fragrance you can enjoy while sitting under the shade of its 35 foot canopy, or while you’re collecting cones for your wreaths, centerpieces, and DIY ornaments.

Majestic Loblolly Pines, courtesy of forestryimages.org

Mexican Plum
Our tastiest tree is the Mexican Plum, boasting fragrant white blossoms budding forth in late winter, giving way to its small fruits from late summer to early fall. And while the fallen plums are a nice treat for local wildlife, they are also great for a tart jam you can make right at home. Don’t be jelly- we’ve got your recipe right here.

Blooms of the Mexican Plum, from haufc.org

Texas Redbud No Longer Available
Maybe we’re a little biased, but our final tree species is the office favorite (we have dedicated a festival to it, after all). The sign of a true Texas spring is the first blooms of the Redbud emerging from the gloom of winter. Picking up on the tail end of the Mexican Plum’s last March blooms, this tree’s buds (which are actually PINK, and not red) burst forth to welcome the spring season back to the North Texas region. Though it’s colors are worth waiting for, you can enjoy the Redbud’s heart shaped leaves nearly year-round.

The bright pink buds of the Redbud tree, found via flickr.com

Found a favorite? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter! If you haven’t registered yet, make sure to visit the registration application before all our trees are gone!

Still need more information? Check out the 2016 Tree Giveaway Species Guide, or find planting resources and more fun stuff through our tree planting resources.

 Want to volunteer for the event? Sign up here for our pre-event work day on October 20th, or email our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@kdb.org for more info.