Tree giveaway continues in Tate County, Olive Branch

By The Associated Press

SOUTHAVEN — “It’s awesome; I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Jeff Crow of the Hernando Point area as he, his wife, their 22-year-old son and a friend left the annual tree seedling giveaway in Southaven.

It’s all future shade and beauty for his 10 acres in southwest DeSoto County.

“We got loblolly pines — we must have got 300, several kinds of oaks, and some magnolias,” Crow told The Commercial Appeal. “There were a lot. One of my goals is to put some of these trees around my pond.”

About 10,000 seedlings were given away Saturday in the Snowden Grove sports complex. About half of the 5,000 remaining will be distributed Friday in Tate County and half next week by the city of Olive Branch.

The event is sponsored by the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, the DeSoto Soil and Water Conservation District and the county Board of Supervisors.

The district provided pines, river birch, Southern crabapple, pawpaw, sugarberry, pecan and magnolias. The Levee Board provided oaks — willow, water, shumard and saw-toothed oaks.

Hernando’s community development director, Shelly Johnstone, also a master urban forester, was giving out Southern magnolias, one to a customer, and tips on planting and care.

“I’ve been doing the giveaway for seven years now, and it’s nice to know how many trees will be planted in DeSoto County,” she said. “They’re good for everything from helping stormwater drainage to cutting air pollution — and trees are just pretty.”