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Trees line South Independence near Stride Bank Center on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The city of Enid is celebrating its 13th year as a designated Tree City USA with its annual Arbor Day celebration at Meadowlake Golf Course on Friday. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — The city of Enid is celebrating its 13th year as a designated Tree City USA with its annual Arbor Day celebration.

The city will host a tree-planting ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, April 30, at Meadowlake Golf Course.

Outgoing Commissioner Jonathan Waddell and representatives of the Enid Tree Board will plant a Texas whitebud tree, purchased from Enid Floral & Gifts, in the park near the clubhouse during the ceremony, said Stephanie Morgan, Tree Board liaison and director of CDBG/grants compliance with the city of Enid.

“We plant it to about 90%, and then they leave some dirt around it for the ceremonial tree planting,” Morgan said. “We usually have the mayor or dignitary of some sort throw the first shovel of dirt into it.”

Typically, Morgan said children from various schools are invited to participate in the ceremony and get to name the tree, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will be socially distanced, and the naming process will work a little differently this year.

The ceremony is open to the public, and if any children are present, Morgan said they will get to pick and vote on a name, but if not, Waddell will name the tree.

To become a designated Tree City USA, communities have to meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day, according to Arbor Day Foundation.

Morgan said planting trees around town is “environmentally progressive,” blocks wind, prevents erosion and gives children a playground.

“Environmentally, the best thing to do is to plant trees and teach your citizens proper techniques on planting trees.”

The Tree Board has a “Tree Care and Selection Guide” that tells how to plant and take care of trees and lists the best and worst trees for Enid.

Some of the best trees for Enid are bald cypress, lacebark elm, cedar elm, Chinese pistache, hackberry, shumard oak, shantung maple, Oklahoma redbud, bur oak, American holly, loblolly pine and Caddo sugar maple.

Trees that are not recommended for Enid are silver maples, cottonwoods, dogwoods, Bradford pears, pin, water and willow oaks, Japanese black, Japanese red, Austrian pine, azaleas, rhododendrons, some hollies and many more not listed in the guide.

Another way to celebrate Arbor Day is to just appreciate trees.

“Go enjoy a tree,” Morgan said. “Sit under the shade, or put a tire swing or hammock out there and relax under a tree.”

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Kelci McKendrick is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kelci? Send an email to kelcim@enidnews.com.

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