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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

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Express-News Weekly Column Saturday, January 13, 2001 Submitted by Calvin Finch, Ph.D., Director of Conservation, SAWS, and Horticulturist

Planting Trees

It is heartbreaking every time one of the old trees in San Antonio is knocked down to make way for a road or building. Sometimes it is necessary, but it seems that if we are not careful, all of the trees will be gone before anyone realizes it. To prevent that from happening, one organization, San Antonio Forest, has established a heritage tree registry. If you have a special tree because of size or history they would like you to complete and submit an information sheet on that tree. You can print the application from their website at or call Dominick Dina at 273-9082 to have one sent to you.

The advantage of having important trees on the registry is that there will be an inventory of the resource and a way to know how important a particular tree is in light of what else exists in the area. It may be a way to mobilize tree advocates to work with developers to find alternatives to destroying a particularly special tree.

Protecting old trees is very important, but just as important is planting new trees. San Antonio Forest has a tree planting program and so do a number of other organizations.

The Bexar County Master Gardeners have always been interested in reforestation of our area. They are one of the partners in Project Re-Leaf led by City of San Antonio arborist Debbie Reid (207-8265). As part of the effort, VIA is planting trees near bus stops. On the San Antonio Mission Trails, American Forests is funding the planting of 20,000 trees over the next few years. Juvenile Probation, AACOG, HEB, Tesoro Petroleum, City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Texas Forest Service, San Antonio Trees, and Councilperson Debra Guerrero are other partners in the project.

Many neighborhoods, Habitat for Humanity, garden clubs, and schools have also sponsored tree planting programs. There are several ways you can get involved in the tree planting effort:

Plant trees in your own yard. Plant high quality trees like live oak, Texas red oak, cedar elm, Monterrey oak, Chinese pistache, desert willow, Arizona cypress, bur oak, lacey oak, red bud, and chinkapin oak. Plant them where they will have plenty of room for their ultimate size and do not plant them under the utility wires. Recommended tree lists and planting instructions are available on the internet at or call the Extension Service at 467-6575. CPS also has a utility wire-friendly recommended tree list.

Volunteer to help plant trees at one of the tree plantings organized every week or two. Subscribe to the San Antonio Gardener newsletter ($12 to SAG, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio, TX 78230).

Organize a tree planting at your school, church or neighborhood. Free trees are available for some projects (especially schools) through City of San Antonio Parks & Recreation. If you organize a tree planting make sure there is a provision for mulch over the root system and watering for the first summer. Survival rate increases from about 20% to over 90% if someone is responsible for a once/month deep watering that first summer.

Join San Antonio Forest, San Antonio Trees, the Bexar County Master Gardeners, the Men's Garden Club of San Antonio (men and women), or other groups that have an active tree protection and planting agenda.

Visit The Texas Trail tent at the Stock Show & Rodeo in February. The Texas Forest Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife will have tree planting information available. AACOG and the Master Gardeners will give away 2000 small Monterrey oaks (and other species) to homeowners who commit to plant them.

Remember, in addition to being very attractive, trees make our area a better place to live because they provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy bills, clean the air, provide shade, and can reduce lawn watering needs. Do your part and plant trees.