If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with a good plant and a good deal. So when a friend told me there was an event this past weekend that was giving away two free trees to anyone that came, I said: I'm there!
Nothing free comes easy though. The event started at 9am, and when my mom and I got there at 8:50, the line for trees was already down the block. I expected to walk up, grab some small scraggly trees and head on out to brunch. These were GREAT trees though. Think 6-10 foot tall trees in all varieties, like dogwoods, japanese maples, redbuds (the cute purple ones in bloom right now), and cedars. Trees like these easily cost $40-$100 at Home Depot or Lowes, which meant people started lining up at 7am for those suckers. Needless to say, by the time my mom and I got through the 3 hour line, only the uncool varieties were available - but we still left with a pretty cute flowering trees and some sunset maples.
While the wait for these trees was awful, I did learn a lot of great things about the organization hosting the event – no it wasn't just people handing out trees for free. Trees Charlotte is a nonprofit that hosts the tree event every spring and fall in an effort to help diversify the canopy in Charlotte. The event was run entirely by volunteers who had been there since 6am, and were in very good spirits considering they'd been lugging trees and mulch all day. I love their mission, and the fact that they are giving people great trees to populate their yards with, rather than more stinky bradford pears. Needless to say, I'll definitely be back at their next tree giveaway in October - just a bit earlier and with a coffee in hand :)
If you're near Charlotte and looking to plant up your yard this spring while also benefitting the community, I found out about a few more events coming up (though - not free!):