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Local project created to replace lost or damaged trees

As David Craft walked across his front yard, he stopped and pointed to a huge stump.

"That afternoon, there were 70 mph gusts through here. It took a lot of beautiful trees down all over the city," said Craft.

Craft lost two massive oak trees when Tropical Storm Michael blew through Greensboro. A few blocks away, Craft also spotted several places in Fisher Park where trees came tumbling down.

"As you get older, you start appreciating the value of things that have been around for a long time," Craft explained. "They provide shade and acorns and convert carbon dioxide to oxygen for us to breathe."

Craft wanted to replace his oak trees and perhaps the ones in Fisher Park. As it turns out, he had a tough time finding red or white oak trees.
Christina Larson, owner of the Guilford Garden Center, was shocked to hear Craft couldn't find the perfect tree.

"It's not surprising," Larson said. "The market has tended toward smaller ornamental and flowering trees in recent decades."

To help homeowners looking to replace their hard to find red and white oaks, Larson created the Greensboro Oaks Project. She explained the importance of the project.

"From an ecological stand point, an oak tree is really important because there's food for wildlife. The whole food web is supported by red oaks and white oaks like no other plant."

Guilford Garden Center is taking orders. But Larson said the nursery will not see any green from selling trees.

"We are getting them at cost and turning around, selling them $5 more than cost. Then, that $5 will go toward Greensboro Beautiful which will help plant more trees all over the city."

Homeowners can buy red or white oak trees in three or seven gallon containers. Just the right size for anyone to handle.

"If you got a little bit of time and a shovel, it will take you 10 minutes to plant one of the trees," said Craft. "Just make sure you water it for the first year or two and it will take off on its own."

The white oak is the official tree of Greensboro. It was selected because its large size provides lots of shade and it can live for hundreds of years.

Guilford Garden Center will take red and white oak orders for the rest of the month. The oak trees will arrive in March. To order a red or white oak, click here.

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