Arbor Day in The Cov: Seedling giveaway in newly anointed ‘Tree City of the World’

Tree seedlings in need of a home. Seedlings will be available at Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum from 9 a.m. - noon on Saturday.

COVINGTON, Ky. – Today is Arbor Day, and the City of Covington’s new urban forester, Patrick Moore, has a favorite quote that lends spirit both to the holiday and the City’s 2022 celebration of it: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Attributed to a farmer in Manitoba named Nelson Henderson (as “advice” passed on to his son), the quote to Moore explains what separates Arbor Day from other holidays.

“Instead of a focus on the past, it celebrates the future and encourages people to plant trees for future generations,” Moore said.

To that end, Covington will celebrate Arbor Day on Saturday with a tree seedling giveaway (details below) that helps residents do exactly what Henderson encouraged.

And the City’s appreciation of trees doesn’t end there. In June, there’s a tree walk in an historic neighborhood organized by the Covington Urban Forestry Board, and streetscape planting events are being organized.

Meanwhile, Covington is boasting its new status as Tree City of the World – one of only 37 cities in the nation so honored and the first in Kentucky. That coveted recognition from the national Arbor Day Foundation is on top of Covington being named a Tree City USA for the 18th year in a row in 2021 and receiving a Growth Award for the sixth year.

Cassandra Homan, Moore’s predecessor as Covington’s urban forester, wrote the City’s application before she left and said Covington obtained the status because of ongoing efforts to develop an inventory of public trees.

A TREE INVENTORY MAP on the City’s webpage catalogs over 5,000 trees in parks and along streets in Covington, Homan said, and allows searches by species, tree size, and neighborhood. Once the colored “circles” on the map show a tree’s location, clicking on them will bring up additional information, including a link to an online page related to that tree’s scientific name.

The inventory – which is continuously being updated – provides data that helps City leaders make decisions related to the urban canopy.

Covington also gets “credit” for a regular pruning schedule, regular tree plantings, investing in its green landscape, and a “right tree-right place” philosophy that takes into account a tree’s eventual size, shape, and characteristics when selecting a place to plant it.

In short, the Foundation’s recognition represents independent, expert assessment that Covington leaders care about trees, recognize their benefit to the community, and take a strategic approach to strengthening the canopy.

“We take a pro-active, thoughtful approach, and it shows,” Homan said. “I look forward to Patrick’s work to continue that mission.”

Moore, whose appointment was approved just Tuesday by the Covington Board of Commissioners, had previously worked with the City’s Parks and Recreation Division since November 2018, most recently as parks project coordinator. He said he’s excited to join the Urban Forestry team in the mission of planting and maintaining trees for current and future generations of Covington residents to enjoy.

“The Urban Forestry program has a strong foundation and I look forward to being a part of sustaining future success,” Moore said.

About the events

  • TREE SEEDLING GIVEAWAY: at 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum. Each vehicle entering the convenient loop drive-through service at the main entrance can claim up to two seedlings, while supplies last. Species include willow oak, river birch, Sweet Bay magnolia, domestic apple, and buttonbush (a flowering shrub).  Complete planting instructions will be provided, as well as planting location recommendation guidelines, based on species size. It’s sponsored by the City, the Urban Forestry Board, the cemetery, and Bartlett Tree Experts.
  • COVINGTON NEIGHBORHOOD TREE WALK: at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 4, join the City’s Urban Forestry Board on a stroll through the Historic Licking-Riverside neighborhood and get to know the trees planted there. The pace will be leisurely, covering nearly 40 tree species in less than a mile. It will be led by Kenton County Extension horticulturalist Brandon George and Cassandra Homan, International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and former City of Covington Urban Forester, and the current consulting forester at Urban Canopy Works.


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