VAIL, Colorado - The town of Vail's free tree give-away returns Wednesday through Friday with the annual Trees for Vail event. Residents who show proof of Vail residency will be eligible to pick up one free tree to be planted within the town. The give-away will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town of Vail Community Department parking lot while supplies last. The 100 available trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to one tree per household.
A brochure will accompany each tree with information on tree planting instructions and the town's wildfire reduction efforts. A variety of 5-gallon native tree species were selected to encourage biodiversity and healthy vegetation.
Available tree species are as follows:
• Aspen, Picea pungens (adaptable).
• Englemann spruce, Picea engelmannii (adaptable).
• Lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta (adaptable).
• Native chokecherry prunus virginiana (adaptable, with lovely white flower in springtime, attracts wildlife).
• White fir, abies concolor (adaptable in sun or shade, well-drained soil)
• Woods rose, rosa woodsii (prefers full sun, flowering).
-Town Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Kristen Bertuglia is organizing the effort.
"Planting trees in the Town of Vail will replace trees lost to the mountain pine beetle infestation and endow a noteworthy beautification of Vail," she said. "We have specifically included lodgepole pine again this year to start a new generation of younger trees; since the beetles typically target trees of a certain age, younger trees should thrive."
Trees have numerous environmental benefits beyond habitat, providing shade and lowered energy costs, air quality and stormwater runoff improvement, and they slow climate change by trapping carbon in their leaves, trunk and roots.
Trees for Vail was initiated in 1992 by community members and continued until 1998, resurrected in 2009. For details about the upcoming tree planning activities, call Bertuglia at 970-477-3455.