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“When all the ships come sailing into the arbor”

Want to do something for Houston? Plant a tree.

Houston’s battle against the relentless drought, thus far characterized by felling, dismembering and mulching dead trees, entered a new phase Friday as parks officials announced plans for an Arbor Day 2012 planting of 25,000 trees in four city parks.

I’m sure all of my regular readers already know this, but just in case there are any strays here today, Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated in the US on the last Friday in April, which this year will be April 27.

“Houston loves its green,” city Parks and Recreation Department Director Joe Turner said in calling for shovel-wielding volunteers to join in the Jan. 21 plant-in. The trees, ranging from adolescents like the one planted Friday to mere seedlings, will be installed in Memorial, Hermann, Mason and MacGregor parks.

City Forester Victor Cordova said the project will focus on seedlings – about 20,000 of them – because the junior trees are more adaptable to environmental conditions. Groups or companies sponsoring the planting of more mature trees must agree to keep them watered for two years.

Did I say April? Well, as Arbor Day is a public domain holiday, you can pretty much make any day you want be Arbor Day. Tradition, schmadition. If you want to take part in this Houston holiday, see the Parks and Rec website for details.

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