Oct. 25, 2001

Media contact: Erv Evans, 919.515.5378 or erv_evans@ncsu.edu State Master Gardener coordinator, Department of Horticultural Science College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

NOTE TO EDITORS: As part of the Trees of Strengthsm campaign, specialists with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service are providing monthly news releases related to trees. This is the second in that series.

Governor declares November Trees of Strengthsm month Gov. Mike Easley has declared November Trees of Strengthsm month in North Carolina, encouraging North Carolinians to plant trees in memory of those who died in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and to show support for the firefighters, police officers and servicemen who protect and defend the nation.

Through its Trees of Strength campaign, North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s educators and Extension Master Gardener volunteers are planting trees and providing tree-planting information that will enable other individuals and groups to join the effort.

“Late fall and early spring are the best times for tree planting, so the governor’s proclamation is timely,” said Erv Evans, coordinator of the state’s Extension Master Gardener program and a faculty member with N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The statewide Trees of Strength campaign began Sept. 29 in Hillsborough, where town officials and others gathered to plant a red maple in front of the town hall and to learn how to select and plant trees of their own. Extension Master Gardeners in other counties also are planning events for their communities.

“Trees have long been seen as an enduring symbol of life and renewal,” Evans said. “We believe that the trees we plant this fall and spring will serve as a lasting symbol both of our promise to remember those who lost their lives and of our support for our troops and others who help protect and defend our lives and our freedom.”

“These are the reasons our Extension Master Gardeners are encouraging citizens to plant trees as part of this campaign. But there are plenty of other practical benefits that people can derive from planting trees,” Evans said. “They enhance the appearance of our communities, for example, and they increase property value, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and reduce energy costs, soil erosion and stormwater runoff.”

The Trees of Strength campaign will continue until December 2002.

Trees of Strength will be marked by red, white and blue ribbons, and Extension Master Gardeners will keep a registry of all the trees planted as part of the effort and provide tree-planting and tree-care information to those who wish to plant Trees of Strength.

To find out more, call your county’s North Carolina Cooperative Extension center. You can find the number listed under county government in your local phone book or on the Web at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/counties. Or visit the Trees of Strength Web site at http://www.treesofstrength.org.

—Dee Shore, 919.513.3117 or dee_shore@ncsu.edu —

For more stories from N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/writing/newsrls/presspak.htm