Tree Recovery Workshop Draws A Crowd

"For this tree to do well, we need to get some mulch in there to conserve water," said Rob Crawford, a certified arborist who addressed an attentive crowd Friday morning.

They filled the Woolmarket Community Center to talk trees. Land owners learning to make the right decisions about what's best for re-foresting the coast.

"We're trying to help the recovery after the storm. People planting new trees and people learning to take care of the trees that they have that may have been damaged. Storm recovery basically. Making the coast a nicer place and a prettier place to live," said conference organizer, Howard Page.

While Hurricane Katrina certainly caused significant damage to the coast's tree population, there's another emerging issue that could threaten the trees far more than any storm. Development, especially along the beach front, is becoming a serious issue.

"We've got a maritime forest which is predominately live oak trees. It's being taken over by parking lots, condos, casinos, hotels. All this stuff happening on the beach. And we've got to protect what we've got or else it's going to be completely changed," said Crawford.

A public tree giveaway followed the workshop. Thousands will be planted across the coast.

"Because they're excellent for property values. They're excellent for economic development. Curb appeal Eco tourism. So, it's very important we replace the trees in the correct manner," explained Donna Yowell with the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.

New trees offer a promise of future growth, and another visible sign of post-hurricane recovery.