Clinton Township hosting Green Macomb tree sale

By: Dean Vaglia | C&G Newspapers | Published April 24, 2023

 Trees and plants will be available for pickup and purchase at the Clinton Township Civic Center on April 28 and April 29.

Trees and plants will be available for pickup and purchase at the Clinton Township Civic Center on April 28 and April 29.

Photo provided by Clinton Township


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — With Earth Day behind us and Arbor Day on the horizon, doing one’s part for the environment is on the conscious person’s mind. If the call to do something for the planet is coming your way, perhaps planting a tree is the place to start.

This year, Clinton Township is hosting Green Macomb’s yearly Arbor Day plant and tree sale. The sale will take place April 28-29 at the township’s Civic Center on Romeo Plank Road.

“This is an effort by the county, and we’re partnering up with them in the township to see if we can increase the tree canopy and take advantage of the tremendous benefits of having a wider canopy,” Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem said.

Normally held in Sterling Heights, the sale is a partnership between the county and the Blue Water Conservation District. Macomb County residents buy plants through the conservation district and pick them up at one of two sites, in either Armada or Clinton Township. Gieleghem expects there to be a surplus of plants available with anyone who has not pre-ordered one getting to pick from the remaining stock of paper birches, black cherries, Norway spruces, Douglas firs, red osier dogwoods and whatever other trees and plants are available. Plants are priced from $7 to $25.

Trees are sold as bare-root trees with thin, undeveloped trunks and roots exposed to the wind. David Lowenstein, consumer horticulture extension educator at the Michigan State University Extension in Macomb County, said plants like these need to get in the ground as soon as possible.

A good way of making sure you can plant the tree quickly is by digging a hole before going to the sale, although not just any hole or location will do. Trees need space to safely grow, both by having the air free of hazards, like power lines, and a footprint on the ground roomy enough for the roots.

“You want to dig a hole that’s about two to three times the width of the root bulb,” Lowenstein said. “Those roots are going to spread horizontally in those first couple of years; you want to make sure they have space to grow and that they’re growing in an area where the soil isn’t compacted.”

If you must leave your tree out, keep the roots submerged in water and plant before the summer comes.

“Don’t plant a tree in the middle of the summer, because the tree is going to be stressed with the hotter temperatures and it is less likely to mature and survive,” Lowenstein said.

Watering trees once they are in the ground is essential. Young trees need more water than rain alone can provide, so give the tree a gentle watering at its base every day.

Aside from their aesthetics and ability to capture carbon dioxide, Gieleghem says trees provide a suite of benefits to streets and neighborhoods. Trees have been linked to increased property values up to 15% and lower costs of cooling thanks to canopies, and they engender calming behaviors within people around them, slowing neighborhood speeds by 3-15 mph.

“We’re viewing this as an opportunity to work with residents to provide a convenient way to help them beautify their yards, and in doing so, they’re going to be able to enjoy the benefits of watching trees grow, but the community benefits in a lot of different ways,” Gieleghem said.

For more information about how to plant and grow trees, call the MSU Extension office at (586) 469-5180.