| Arbor Day Information |



Governor Tomblin Proclaims April Arbor Month

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has designated April as Arbor Month throughout the state of West Virginia.

“West Virginia is the third most forested state in the nation, with 12 million acres of forests. This vast renewable resource is important to our economy—providing thousands of jobs—in addition to providing animal habitats, countless recreation opportunities and contributing to our state’s natural beauty,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Arbor Month is a wonderful opportunity for us to get involved in our communities and plant a tree.”

Officials from the Division of Forestry will assist communities throughout the state with tree plantings, Arbor Day events and Tree City USA award celebrations.

West Virginia’s official Arbor Day is Friday, April 11, but many communities schedule celebrations throughout April and May.

National Arbor Day is the last Friday of the month – April 25 this year.

Julius Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day in 1872 in Nebraska. Morton found the treeless prairies of Nebraska to be detrimental to farming and began planting trees and shrubs to prevent the loss of valuable soil. The idea of Arbor Day gradually spread to other states and found its way to West Virginia in 1883.


Fifteen W.Va. Communities Awarded Tree City USA Status

Officials at the West Virginia Division of Forestry (DOF) announced that 15 cities and towns have been awarded Tree City USA status. Those communities are Bath, Bluefield, Elkins, Follansbee, Harpers Ferry, Hinton, Huntington, Lewisburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Ronceverte, Shepherdstown, Summersville, Vienna and Williamstown. Being named a Tree City USA community means that each city or town has committed to maintaining a sustained and active tree care agenda.

Members of the DOF’s Urban and Community Forestry program will assist those communities with tree plantings, Arbor Day celebrations and Tree City USA award celebrations. Events have been scheduled as follows:

•April 11: Hinton, Lewisburg, Ronceverte and Vienna

•April 23: Huntington

•April 25: Elkins, Parkersburg, Summersville and Williamstown

•April 26: Harpers Ferry

•April 29: Bath

Planning of celebrations for Bluefield, Follansbee and Shepherdstown is underway and dates will be announced. Morgantown will celebrate its Tree City USA award this fall.

West Virginia’s official Arbor Day is Friday, April 11, but many communities schedule celebrations throughout April and May. National Arbor Day is the last Friday of the month – April 25 this year.


Information about Urban Forestry

Looking for information on how to manage your urban forest? The Division of Forestry has compiled these links to help you learn to properly care for the trees in your cities and towns.

Checklist of best management practices
for tree and shrub care

Planting and Transplanting Trees and Shrubs

Urban Forest Management Plan

Checklist of how to select, purchase,
install and care for urban forests (trees)

Planting Trees in Designated and Built Community Landscapes

Planting and After Care of Community Trees

Tree Owner's Manual

How to place value on municipal trees

Midwest Community Tree Guide

Trees Pay Us Back

Checklist of how to protect trees during development (construction)

Preserving Trees in Development Projects

Protecting Trees from Construction Damage

Urban Forestry Best Management Practices

Illustrated guide of how to trim (prune) trees and shrubs

How to Prune Trees

Urban Forestry Publications and Links

| Tree Planting Instructions |

| Urban & Community Forestry Fact Sheets |

Community Tree Brochure

Municipal Tree Restoration Program brochure


West Virginia cities and communities also contain a valuable forest resource, the urban forest. A community's urban forest includes all street and park trees as well as privately owned tress in residential neighborhoods. The West Virginia Division of Forestry recognizes and supports the significant role these trees play by enhancing the quality of life for all West Virginians through the Urban and Community Forestry program. The goal of the Urban and Community Forestry program is to promote the long-term care of trees in cities and communities throughout the state. Our program cooperates with communities to ensure this care by encouraging the initiation of municipal tree boards and ordinances that establish guidelines for the planting and maintenance of trees on public property.

Program Highlights
  • The West Virginia Urban and Community Forestry Council represents community forestry interests from across the state and provides advice to the State Forester concerning the program. The Council works to raise public awareness with a biannual newsletter and promotes higher standards of tree care through training workshops and educational events. Council information can be obtained from the interm Chair, Dan Brown.

  • Andy Sheetz, the Partnership Coordinator, is available to work with volunteer organizations interested in tree planting and other related projects. He also is active in assisting community tree boards with finding financial support and other resources from various private and public entities for all types of community forestry projects. Andy can be contacted at (304) 558-2788 or Andy.I.Sheetz@wv.gov.

  • The Tree City USA program is a national award for communities with a sustained and active tree care agenda. Tree City USA is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and administered locally by the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

  • Utilizing funds from the USDA Forest Service passed to the Division of Forestry, communities can receive financial assistance in the form of Demonstration City Grants. These grants are offered to Tree City USA communities and communities working toward this goal for tree planting projects, hazard tree removal, creating arboretums and outdoor classrooms, street tree inventories, and management plans. Applications are available each July.

  • The Municipal Tree Restoration Program promotes planting only small maturing trees under over-head utility lines. This program is a cooperative effort between the Division of Forestry, West Virginia University, Allegheny Power and American Electric Power and encourages communities to plant "the right tree in the right place." Large and potentially hazardous trees growing under power lines can be removed and small maturing species are planted in their place at no cost to the community.

  • The Mountaineer Treeways program provides FREE seedlings for volunteer groups that wish to plant trees on public property. This program is a joint effort between the West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the West Virginia Division of Highways and the Turnpike Authority. For more information about the Mountaineer Treeways program, contact Andy Sheetz at (304) 558-2788.

    Additional information about Urban and Community Forestry and related programs can be obtained from Bob Hannah, Urban Forestry Coordinator, at (304) 825-6983 or Robert.L.Hannah@wv.gov.

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