Chattanooga's Arbor Day is Friday, March 6th. The Tennessee Aquarium and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy encourage everyone to plant a native tree this year. To promote native tree planting, willow oak and hawthorne trees will be available free of charge, at the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey building at the gift shop entrance. Six hundred trees will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 am Friday morning.
Willow oaks can be seen in the circle drive in front of the Aquarium. (Shown in their winter phase above.) They are very adaptable trees that do well in all types of soil and weather conditions. They are excellent shade trees that do well in urban landscapes. Willow oaks do require a considerable amount of room as they can reach heights up to 100 feet.
Hawthorne trees are a fruit-bearing, middle story tree growing to heights of 30 to 50 feet. These attractive trees produce lovely white blooms in spring and an apple-like fruit which is a favorite food source for many songbirds. One of the largest hawthorne trees in Tennessee is located in Chattanooga’s National Cemetery. Many people may have also enjoyed watching cardinals among the hawthorne branches at the Chattanooga Nature Center.