On Friday, Nov. 18, the Town of Chapel Hill will celebrate Arbor Day at the North Columbia Public Housing Community.
Arbor Day is a holiday that celebrates and encourages the planting of trees. In Chapel Hill, the day will feature a tree installation, during which six trees will be planted: two red maples, two white oaks and two red buds.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said trees will be planted in affordable housing communities in order to promote shade and better oxygen, counteracting the overheating that occurs in the area.
The celebration is just one of the events that have taken place or will take place during Arbor Week. Other Arbor Week activities include activities such as “Spotting the Spotted Lanternfly,” which was led by Dr. Kelly Oten on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Arbor Day Pritchard Park Volunteer Day, which will occur on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Though Arbor Day is typically observed nationwide during the spring, the Town of Chapel Hill has held its Arbor Day on the first Friday after Nov. 15 since 2000.
Kevin Robinson, the senior manager for planning and park operations for Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation, said trees that are planted in the fall have a better chance of survival. This is because the trees' roots have more time to settle in during the cooler, more humid conditions before the heat and stress of the summer.
“By far the best time to plant is November to December because right after planting them, you don’t need to water them for the next couple of months because of the cooler temperatures,” Neal Bench, the chair of the Community Tree Committee, said.
Candace Currin, a teacher at Glenwood Magnet Elementary School, said her third grade class will travel from their school by bus to join Hemminger and staff members of the Parks & Recreation and Public Housing departments in planting the trees.
Hemminger said the students will attend the event because third grade students study the local government, and are thus invited to participate in events the Town organizes.