Houston Donates Trees to Orange

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is lending a helping hand to its counterpart in the southeast Texas city of Orange, by donating more than 2,000 trees to that city's effort to replace trees torn down by Hurricane Rita. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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After Hurricane Rita destroyed millions of trees in east and southeast Texas in September, the Shangri-La Gardens Nature Center in Orange acquired about 5,000 donated trees to launch a major reforestation program for the city of Orange. When people at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center heard about that, they stepped up to help by donating about 2,000 left over from their annual Arbor Day tree giveaway. Arboretum spokeswoman Lori Hutson says it was easy to do.

"We get our trees from the Texas Forest Service, and we actually were able, we got a little bit more than we usually do, this year, so it actually just worked out perfectly that we had such a wonderful home, so to speak, to pass them on to."

Hutson says they're glad to be able to help, because so much of the east and southeast Texas forest was lost to the storm. She says the tree seedlings were moved to Orange just a few days after the offer was made, and the Shangri-la Gardens Nature Center will grow them and give them away free over the couple of years.

"They're gonna pot them out at their place and grow them out in probably like a gallon size pot for a year, and then they'll be offered in a year from now, so it'll be about their third year of growth, and they say that is the most successful rate for trees."

There's more information about the work of the Houston Arboretum and the Shangri-la Gardens Nature Centers on our website KUHF dot ORG. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.