By Baileigh Rebowe | LSU Student
Baton Rouge Green opens its third annual spring plant and tree sale today (March 15) with more than 40 different trees and shrubs available to Louisiana residents. The sale will be conducted mostly online.
Patrons pick up orders at the LSU Burden Center on Essen Lane on April 19.
Profits made from the tree sale will benefit Baton Rouge Green, a local non-profit organization devoted to improving the local urban forest and inspiring residents to plant and sustain community greenery.
Diane Losavio, executive director of Baton Rouge Green, said the sale not only allows the organization to continue its preservation efforts but also motivates residents to plant trees in their neighborhoods.
She said the prices of the items in the sale are generally lower than retail prices, and that all items are from local nurseries around Louisiana. Some of the trees available include live oaks, crape myrtles, magnolias, cypresses, dogwoods and fruit trees.
"We are particular in who we buy trees from. We do not get plants (for the sale) from far away states because we want to sell items that are susceptible to Louisiana weather and will do well here," said Losavio. "You also get to pick out exactly what you want and how many, instead of going to a store and only being able to purchase limited amounts because of unavailability."
Proceeds from the sale and other Green events contribute to the cost of area projects and the maintenance involved after the project is completed, which is not cheap, according to Losavio.
Baton Rouge Green has planted more than 35,000 trees in parks, in neighborhoods and along roadways since its beginnings in 1987. The organization planted and still maintains 5,000 trees along Baton Rouge's interstate system. Losavio said 79 trees were just recently planted at BREC's soccer park on Burbank Drive.
"Trees along the interstate are beautiful to look at and are great for tourism. Those who see how aesthetically pleasing it is here will want to spend money and bring their businesses to Baton Rouge."
Trees are beneficial to society for many other reasons, says Zhu Ning, professor of forestry at Southern University. For example, they keep yards and homes cooler in the scorching months of Louisiana summers.
Proper tree planting is vital to the community, according to Zing, because energy use is reduced in buildings and home, consequently reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, noting that 100 trees can remove up to 5 tons of carbon dioxide in the air every year.
The Baton Rouge area alone loses thousands of trees to hurricanes, storms, development and other factors that have to be constantly replaced. In spite of efforts of Baton Rouge Green, just one tree is planted for every four damaged or removed, according to Losavio.
Louisiana residents will have another opportunity to buy greenery at the 10th Annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show presented by the LSU Ag Center held at the John M. Parker Coliseum on the LSU camus March 24-25.