Ocean City Tree Giveaway Flourishes

first_imgOcean City Shade Tree Commission co-chairman Josh Linthicum helps Linda Rothermel with her seedling selections Monday. By Maddy VitaleJim Flynn, of Ocean City, walked up to a table at the Ocean City Community Center and made his selections during a free tree giveaway Monday.“I picked a beach plum and a bayberry,” Flynn said. “I’m trying it for the first time. We lost some trees last year because of flooding.”Flynn, and other residents and visitors stopped by to select a seedling or two and speak with Josh Linthicum, co-chairman of the city’s Shade Tree Commission, who offered advice on the best ways to grow a healthy tree.The program is part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. It is designed to help communities replace trees damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy as well as in other storms. The types of seedlings selected are ones that are indigenous to the area and would handle the shore conditions the best, Linthicum explained.“There are different species that do better in the habitat,” he said. “We are trying to replenish trees lost in Sandy and in general.”Jim Flynn, of Ocean City, makes his selection with assistance from Josh Linthicum.In addition to up to five seedlings, a resident also received instructions on how to store, care for, and plant them.The guides help residents choose the right place on a property to plant a tree while keeping in mind the tree’s full-grown size in the future. It also explains that the seedlings should be planted within two days after they are picked up in order to prevent the roots from drying out.While Linthicum helped visitors to the Community Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., select their seedlings, three other locations had them.By mid-morning, Linthicum already had 35 people select their trees. “We sold out immediately last year,” he said of the event. “It is fantastic the state helps us get the tress. It really helps replenish the trees damages by Superstorm Sandy, floods and other things,” he added.City Hall located at 861 Asbury Ave. and the 46th Street Welcome Center also hosted the giveaway. Linthicum said each of the sites had 100 seedlings to offer to residents. The Ocean City School District distributed seedlings to students.Jim Burke, (right) of Egg Harbor Township, talks with Josh Linthicum about some of the seedling choices.Jim Burke, of Egg Harbor Township, is a retired Upper Township principal who also was vice principal in Ocean City, stopped by the table to say what a good program the tree giveaway is.He recalled when his children would take home seedlings from their schools.Now, he said, the trees are healthy and big.“You try to impress upon the kids how important it is,” Burke said of the environment and the tree giveaway. “It is an important program.”The goal of the Tree Recovery Campaign is to distribute 600,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the course of six years. It is a joint effort between Ocean City, the New Jersey Forest Service, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Canon, and FedEx.For a list of all distribution locations across the state, visit www.forestry.nj.gov or www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests.The tree giveaway is growing as more and more residents take advantage of the replenishment program.last_img