By Rose Doerting, Garden Club of Frankfort

Tire swing, birds’ nests, squirrels chasing each other around a broad trunk, napping in an Adirondack chair in dappled shade. What do these images have in common? Trees! It is no accident that PBS Nature programs begin each episode with a view of a magnificent acacia tree — a symbol of nature, the wild and the beauty of the natural world. Trees are vital to the well-being of all living things as a means of oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, wildlife habitats and sheer beauty in forests and landscapes.

We are seeing evidence of climate change, such as:

  • More frequent and intense storms with increasing flooding and erosion
  • Warming winters and less snow cover
  • Long summers with more hot days
  • Periods of drought and heat, impacting natural habitats and agriculture

What can we do? Plant a tree, or better yet, plant two trees.

The Garden Club of Frankfort applauds the Frankfort Tree Canopy Plan, which is planting trees along downtown city rights of way.

Above, James Stinnett, with Woodland Tree Care, plants a tree downtown as part of the Frankfort Tree Canopy Plan, a city initiative to plant trees in urban areas along streets and sidewalks. (Photo submitted)

As Alex Cunningham of Frankfort’s Urban Forestry Division explained to Garden Club of Frankfort members at the May meeting, they have researched and hand-picked trees that grow well in urban areas along streets and sidewalks. These trees are investments in Frankfort’s future health and well-being because they:

  • Produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide
  • Filter pollutants
  • Increase property value
  • Manage stormwater
  • Provide habitats for animals, birds and pollinators
  • Decrease crime rate
  • Help improve mental and physical health
  • Reduce energy use

The urban trees are being planted in several phases, in the spring and fall. We suggest you drive by, or better yet, stroll through downtown streets to admire these new trees. Many have tags so you can see the name of the tree. There are also many mature trees to see in our local parks and Liberty Hall grounds.

See a tree that you like? Plant one or two new trees in your yard or farm. It will enhance your property value, as well as create a lasting legacy for your family and community. Your children and grandchildren will watch the new tree grow as they grow. They can help water their special tree and realize everyone has a role to play in helping the environment.

The Garden Club of Frankfort, in partnership with Angel’s Share Nursery, planted dogwood trees at all of the elementary schools in Frankfort/Franklin County this past spring. The school children can watch the trees grow as they learn and grow at school. Someday, they may even show their children the tree they helped water at their school.

So, you have walked through downtown to see new trees, you have checked local nurseries for that special tree. Are you ready to plant your new tree? Fall is a great time to plant a tree. A tree properly planted in fall gets a head start on the growing season before the stress of summer. Cooler fall temperatures, and fall/winter rains, allows a new tree to establish stronger root systems.

For more information about planting trees, you can contact the Franklin County Extension office at or University of Kentucky Department of Forestry at

This graphic shows how to correctly plant a tree. (Graphic courtesy Kentucky Cooperative Extension)
From left, Gianna Rogers, Ariel Jackson, teacher Ruby Rogers, Sawyer Welch and Logan Beeler planted a tree during Bridgeport Elementary School’s Tiger Time after-school group. (Photo submitted)