Earth Day Celebrated With Free Tree Seeds

Manchester City Environmental Commission Deputy Chair Peggy Middaugh raises some of the tree seedlings that were given away during the second day of a two-day gift-giving program on the lawn of the city complex on Colonial Drive. Behind him were residents Matthew and Megan Belps who had come to collect their seeds at this year’s event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

MANCHESTER – Hundreds of hackberry, mockernut hickory and willow oak seedlings were distributed to township residents in honor of Earth Day and to help keep the township green.

The free giveaway, one of two events coordinated by the Township Environmental Commission, is held during Earth Day week at the city complex on Colonial Drive.

Manchester Township Environmental Commission Deputy Chair Peggy Middaugh joins new commissioner Dina Newbert with seed distribution. They also provide information to the residents who pick them up on how to plant the correct seeds and the background of the type of seeds given.

When asked how it was decided as to what kind of seedling would be available this year, Middaugh said “it’s run by the Manchester Department of Public Works and they sent someone two days ago to the State Forestry Center in Jackson and they picked him. and that’s when they know what they’re getting.


The Manchester Environment Commission celebrated Earth Day with a tree seed gift. Commissioner Dina Newbert, left, joins Commission Chair Peggy Middaugh as residents Matthew and Megan Belps pick up the seeds. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

“I kept calling and asking, do you know what species? No, they don’t know until they get it,” Middaugh added. How that person made the decision, we don’t know, but it’s been incredible.”

“We had dogwood last year,” Middaugh added. He noted that the willow oaks left quickly and by the morning of the second day, they were gone but those who came that morning were more than satisfied with the mockernut hickory and hackberry.

Matthew and Megan Belps were among those looking to spruce up their property with some additional shade. “We’ve come here before and now have a lot of nice trees growing in our backyard because of this,” says Megan Belps.

A display showing mockernut hickory, willow oak and hackberry tree seedlings is seen in the courtyard of the Manchester Township city complex during the Municipal Environment Commission’s free seed giveaway held in honor of Earth Day. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

As for how to plant a tree seed, start looking for a good location for your new tree and remember it will grow to its adult size. Then wet the roots. Remember, dry roots die. Dig a hole two to three times as large as the roots when spreading.

After that, place the tree in the hole at the right depth and loosen the soil gently. Be careful not to plant the roots too deep or too shallow.

Add more soil and pack it with your hands. Then use water to firm the soil if necessary. Mulch around the tree with wood chips and water the tree regularly, but not too often or the roots may rot.

The second event held at the weekend saw representatives from Jersey Central Power & Light come out to talk to attendees at City Hall about saving money and saving energy.

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