Oklahoma City still has work to do to replace trees damaged or destroyed by a devastating ice storm five years ago. Another giveaway of 1,000 trees will continue a good start.
Oklahoma City and the Tree Bank are working together to give away the 1,000 trees for a sixth time since the 2007 ice storm, which laid waste to much of the area's tree population with a thick and long-lasting coat of ice. The Apache Foundation is funding the program through a grant.
The city has handed out more than 5,000 trees so far through the program, saidcity Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock.
The trees available are cedar elms, shantung maples, Chinese pistaches and Shumard oaks.
“They're hardy trees that are suited to Oklahoma,” McClintock said.
Several city programs, including the tree giveaway, are intended to help residents add trees to their properties, especially in the aftermath of the ice storm. The city maintains a book on local trees and their planting guidelines, and offers gardening classes at places like Will Rogers Gardens in the summer.
Some trees on private property and in parks are still recovering from the 2007 storm, which left a blanket of limbs and broken trees on the ground in its aftermath.
“We were going around for weeks, if not a month or two, looking for storm debris,” McClintock said.
Registration for applicants begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Log on to www.okc.gov/releaf or call 604-0041 to apply.
Only residents of Oklahoma City are eligible. The trees are generally handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, but the city will accept more than 1,000 applicants to account for some people who don't pick up their trees, McClintock said.