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April 29, 2013

Community celebrates Arbor Day

JACKSONVILLE — Groups in Jacksonville and Rusk are commemorating Arbor Day – a national observation traditionally held the last Friday in April – with a number of different events, including tree plantings, plant sales and garden tours.

During Friday's Arbor Day celebration at the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum, the Jacksonville Garden Club honored two of its presidents with markers to be placed in gardens there.

An honorarium for Christine Fincher, president for two-year terms in 2006 and 2008, will placed near an Eastern Red Cedar, while one for Pat Baggett, the current president who began serving in 2010, will be place near a cluster of Winged Elm trees.

As a nod to this year's Arbor Day celebration, Texas A&M Forest Service officials also planted a LaBahia Pecan at the Arboretum Friday.

“We planted a seedling about three feet tall,” said Cherokee County Extension Agent Kim Benton. “Be-cause trees are so important to us as humans and our way of life – they clean our air and water – we felt an excellent way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree. It's a way of prolonging our future.”

Rusk Girl Scouts also have done their part in honoring national Arbor Day, as they paired up with the Lone Star Military Farmers Friday to plant pear trees at Jim Hogg Park in Rusk; the trees have been donated by Spooktacular Bull Bash, a strong supporter of the LSMF initiative.

On Saturday, the Jacksonville Master Gardeners will host a sale at the Arboretum, with an array of plants available.

“These are plant that successfully grow in Cherokee County,” Benton said, describing daylillies, annual bedding plants, vegetables, herbs and butterfly plants – among others – that will be at the sale. “We don't truck in plants– the master gardeners grow them themselves”

Prices range from $2 to $5 for those in pots, increasing in cost for larger containers. “But the cost is very reasonable,” she said.

Master gardeners also will be sharing gardening tips with attendees, Benton said. “Even if you don't intend to buy, but you want to talk to the gardeners, they can help you. It's a great way to get to know them,” she said.

The Cherokee County Master Gardeners will host a home garden tour from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 11 in Rusk, with five local gardens participating in the event.

Cost is $5 per person, with tickets available at Rusk's Singletary Memorial Library or from any Cherokee County Master Gardener. Benton also will have tickets available at the extension office in Rusk.

Gardens listed on the tour include The View, at 261 Golf Crest Dr. East; B4 Garden, 151 Euclid; Enchanted Serenity Garden, 210 E. 6th;  Grace Manor, off US Highway 84 East; and Cherokee Hills Daylily Farm, 8217 FM 1857 (Sardis Community).

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