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a tree grows in houston

Houstonians dig in and plant more than 13,000 trees despite COVID-19

Houstonians dig in and plant more than 13,000 trees despite COVID-19

Trees for Houston planting season 2020
Houstonians planted more than 13,000 trees in the Greater Houston area despite the coronavirus pandemic.  Photo courtesy of Trees for Houston

By the most recent estimate, Houston boasts more than 33 million trees, based on a 2015 study. That number is now higher, thanks to the dirty work put in by Houstonians and volunteers and members of the local nonprofit, Trees for Houston.

The organization announced that some 13,062 new trees were planted in the Greater Houston area. Typically, during a planting season — which runs from October to April – Trees For Houston plants more than 20,000 trees. The COVID-19 pandemic has cut into that number, according to the group.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we had to cancel more than 15 volunteer plantings and community outreach events, which would have resulted in 5,000 additional trees being planted this season,” said Barry Ward, executive director of Trees For Houston, in a statement.

“However, we continue to fulfill our mission by planting trees with staff while practicing social distancing,” Ward added. “We are continuing to move forward with planning many planting and maintenance projects along with tree giveaways for the fall. With consistent funding, we are confident that our organization will be able to reach our goal of planting and distributing more than 20,000 trees next year.”

The trees planted will benefit the community for generations by reducing air pollution and storm water runoff, minimizing noise and light pollution, slowing erosion, aiding in reducing stress, and providing food and habitat for the wildlife in the community, according to Trees for Houston. The organization credits companies including FedEx, Coca Cola, and Chevron and myriad local groups for nurturing along this year’s growing season.

Highlights of this year’s growing season include 264 trees planted at Buffalo Bend Nature Park, 118 trees at the Port of Houston, 100 trees at Bear Creek Park, and 84 trees at the TC Jester and Ella Esplanade.