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February 21, 2013

Tree giveaway will help fill gaps left after tornado

It's been almost two years since the devastating April 27 tornadoes, but it’s a day that  still rings fresh in the mind of those across Alabama.

While many homes and businesses damaged or destroyed in the storms are back functioning, the bare-branched splintered trees and lack there of, such as on the farm of Cullman resident Larry Tucker, are still present.

On Tuesday, Tucker took his own step to rebuilding, as he was one of many in the county taking advantage of the Alabama Forestry Commission’s free tree seedling giveaway at Sportsman Lake Park.

“I’m going to put these out on my farm,” Tucker said as he turned to leave the event.

His story was just one of many Albert Mayo heard while assisting residents in their choice of tree.

“People have been sharing stories,” said Mayo, an employee of the Forestry Commission.  “For a lot of them it seems to do them good.”

There was no lack of variety to choose from as roughly 15 types of trees were available including, Persimmon, Red Maple, Red Bud, Crepe Myrtle, Japanese Maple, and Green Ash among others. By noon,  Mayo said close to 2,000 had been given away.

“I’m proud we can do this for the citizens of Cullman County,” he said. “Our job is to assist citizens, and that’s what we like to do. We’re trying to help people plant back, and this is just a small way to help so many people who lost trees.”

With what few trees were remaining, Mayo noted they wouldn’t go to waste. He said those left would be placed throughout the park.

Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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