Houstonians to receive free trees to replace what Harvey destroyed

The first Friday in November is always Texas Arbor Day.

This weekend Houston residents can get up to five trees in, for free.

Texas A&M Forest Service will host an upcoming Tree Recovery event in Houston as part of the NASCAR Green Race for Trees Campaign. This year, the campaign will distribute 500 trees in Houston to replace those that were damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

Area residents may visit Hermann Park Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to receive free trees. Texas A&M Forest Service will continue to aid in the effort to restore lost tree canopy in Houston as part of the agency’s mission to conserve and protect the natural resources of Texas.

The NASCAR Green Race for Trees Campaign is a sustainability partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation, NASCAR, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M AgriLife and Harris County Master Gardener Association. This tree giveaway event is also sponsored by Hotels for Hope and Safety-Kleen.

“The people of Texas have suffered great personal and physical loss,” said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation President. “By replanting, we strive to bring healing and hope to the people and the communities in which they live, as well as help return the beauty and the value trees bring back to their properties.”

Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Urban and Community Forester Matt Weaver said even though they just gave away more than 1,100 trees, 500 trees will be given away this weekend.

They'll also give away 1,000 trees next month, as well as in January 26th, which is Houston's Arbor Day.

“Hurricane Harvey for us in the Houston region was a water and flooding event. Whereas, Rockport and Port Aransas it was a wind event, so they lost a lot of trees due to the actual wind of the hurricane,” said Weaver. “Houston’s a little different, because a lot of people might not be aware or have lost trees because often in flooding events it can take months to years before you see tree loss.”

The trees that will be given away will be either the Live Oak, Bald Cypress, Burr Oak and Red Maple, in one to three-gallon tubs, not seedlings.

Port Aransas and Rockport will also be giving away each 1,000 trees.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery program, a national program underwritten by FedEx and foundation members, aims to replace trees in communities affected by natural disasters throughout the United States. The program has held more than 775 events and distributed more than five million trees since its inception in 2012.

“Over the past five years, NASCAR has worked with Arbor Day to support local communities devastated by natural disasters and we are hopeful this effort helps bring some normalcy and comfort back to the residents in Houston,” said Catherine Kummer, Senior Director, Green Innovation, NASCAR.

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