Tree Stewards’ sale offers inexpensive saplings

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Hundreds of trees—most of them leftovers from spring planting efforts by the Virginia Department of Forestry—will be available for sale at low prices by the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards at two upcoming city events. Photo: Robin Hanes Hundreds of trees—most of them leftovers from spring planting efforts by the Virginia Department of Forestry—will be available for sale at low prices by the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards at two upcoming city events. Photo: Robin Hanes

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards will be back at Saturday’s City Market for the group’s second-annual fall tree sale, offering up hundreds of carefully cared for saplings ready for planting for low prices. The sale runs at the Market in the city’s Water Street parking lot from 7am to noon today, Saturday, October 11.

The nonprofit group acquires many of the trees from the Virginia Department of Forestry, which offers up its “leftovers” after the department’s large-scale spring planting. The Tree Steward volunteers then care for the young trees throughout the hot summer. It’s a system that allows them to sell the trees for just $5 to $10 in the fall—the best time to plant a new tree, because the sapling can get its roots established for the better part of a year before having to weather its first harsh, hot summer in the ground.

Dozens of species are available, including many natives. Shade tree species include American Chestnut, Chinese Chestnut, Bald Cypress, Black Gum, Hackberry, Shagbark Hickory, Black Oak, Chestnut Oak, Northern Red Oak, Scarlet Oak, Post Oak, White Oak, Willow Oak, Pecan, Persimmon, White Pine, River Birch, Sourwood, and Black Willow.

Understory and small trees include Chinquapin, White Flowering Dogwood, Washington Hawthorne, Bear Oak, Common Pear, American Plum, Chickasaw Plum, Redbud, Serviceberry, and Paw Paw. Shrub species include Chokeberry, Buttonbush, Crape Myrtle, Redosier Dogwood, Elderberry, American Hazelnut, Arrowwood Viburnum, Blackhaw Viburnum, and Possumhaw.

Buyers will also have access to a wealth of knowledge from Tree Steward volunteers at the Market, who can explain how to avoid common planting pitfalls and how to use tree tubes—which will also be on sale—to protect from damage by deer, rodents, and mowers. Get there quickly—the trees go fast.