Tree giveaway, fair to mark Arbor Day

04/20/2013 12:00 AM

04/18/2013 3:34 PM

Arbor Day will be celebrated Friday in Wichita with a tree giveaway in Old Town and a tree fair in Kiwanis Park.

Associated Integrating Marketing’s Care-A-Ton tree giveaway will start at 6:30 a.m. Friday in Old Town Square at Second Street and Mead. It will be giving away 3- to 4-foot Brandywine maple trees, one per person. People won’t need to leave their cars; volunteers will be on hand to load up trees.

The giveaway will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until all the trees are gone. Associated has given away 6,500 trees since starting the event seven years ago. According to the event’s Facebook page, Care-A-Ton gets its name from the fact that a tree, throughout its lifetime, removes an estimated 1 ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Westar Energy, Johnson’s Garden Centers, KFDI Radio, Airbus Americas and Exhibit Arts also sponsor the event. Planting tips and background information also will be given along with the trees.

The city’s annual Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Fair will be from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the Kiwanis Park shelter, 5101 W. Second St. Project Beauty is featuring the Kentucky coffee tree as its 2013 tree and will have seedlings for sale for $10. A Kentucky coffee tree will be planted during the celebration in honor of Danny Oliver for his service to the community. Oliver retired last year from the city of Wichita’s Park and Recreation Department, where he spent his career working with trees.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. A crew from the Park and Recreation Department will demonstrate trimming and pruning of trees and stump grinding, if weather permits.

The Kentucky coffee tree is a hardy shade tree for large properties, Project Beauty says, and “is most interesting in winter landscape, bare and bold.” In pioneer days, people roasted the seeds, ground them and made coffee, Carol Graham and Jean Wellshear of Project Beauty say.

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