West Point celebrates Arbor Day with two donated oaks

Published 10:36 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

WEST POINT — West Point city officials celebrated Arbor Day Friday morning in J. Smith Lanier II Park in the downtown area by thanking Point University for two trees that were recently planted in the park by city employees Thomas Scott and Sammy Inman.

Two overcup oaks have been gifted to the city by an anonymous person who wanted to make a contribution through thee university. City Manager Ed Moon said the donation was a most appropriate one since it fits in with what the city has been doing. “This tree grows well in our climate,” he said. “We have planted them in other locations in the city.”

The overcup oak is native to the Southeastern states. It can grow up to 60 feet in height with a base that’s some 30 inches across. Its dark green leaves are lyre shaped and are usually between four and six inches in length. The leaves are light green on the inside. The tree gets its name for its cup-shaped acorns.

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The crowd that gathered in the park included Moon, Mayor Steve Tramell, council members Jerry Ledbetter, Sandra Thornton and Ben Wilcox, and students and staff from Point University.

The mayor thanked everyone for turning out on a very windy morning. “I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and to promote the well being of this and future generations,” he said. “Let’s celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands.”

Arbor Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in Nebraska in 1872. Thanks to the leadership of J. Sterling Morton, approximately one million trees were planted in the Cornhusker State that year. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in every state and across the world. A proclamation read aloud by the mayor noted that trees can reduce the erosion of topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife.

“Trees are a renewable resource, giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products,” the mayor said. “Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and add to the beauty of our community. Wherever they are planted, trees are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”