SAN ANTONIO – A long line of vehicles along West Commerce Street quickly made their way to Elmendorf Lake Park to celebrate Texas Arbor Day with the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Employees and volunteers distributed nearly 300 trees to celebrate their vitality and encourage people to go outdoors.
Arbor Day is a national event celebrated in April; however, Texas' extreme temperatures force the celebration to be delayed.
“This is the best time of the year, in the San Antonio area, to plant trees,” Mark Bird said. Bird is the City of San Antonio’s Arborist. “They really need to take advantage of the cooler temperatures to establish roots so that when it gets hot and dry, the roots are established to be able to gather the moisture in the nutrients for them to grow above ground and provide the shade we will love.”
Nine different species provided tree-lovers to have their pick between shade or beauty.
“We have five (species) that are going to be large and for shade,” Ross Hosea said. Hosea is the special projects manager for the parks and recreation department. “Then, we have four types of trees that are smaller, (will grow) less than 20 feet (and) are more ornamental.”
Daisy Kena lined up early to make sure she picked the perfect species for her home.
“I chose the orchid tree that has a white flower, and it’s really a rapid growing tree for shade,” Kena said.
According to Hosea and Bird, trees can add value to a property and cut energy use.
“Any of these trees will definitely, you’ll see in a number of years a benefit on your utility from just being able to shade the house,” Hosea said.
“If we plant them in the right location on your property, you get the protection of shade over your house that reduces the energy cost that you spend for air conditioning,” Bird said.
San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department plans to host future drive-thru tree adoption events throughout the fall and winter.
For future events hosted by the department, click here.