In honor of Arbor Day, the City of Key West along with the Monroe County Extension Service, planted a Krugs Holly tree in the butterfly garden at City Hall. The Krugs Holly tree is native to south Florida and the Bahamas and provides significant food and shelter for wildlife. This area of the butterfly garden is undergoing renovations and this newly planted tree will be the start of future plantings to enhance the garden. A large strangler fig tree existed in this location last year and fell over in a storm, damaging nearby plants.
“The Extension Service procured the tree from the Key West Botanical Garden,” said the City’s Urban Forester Karen DeMaria, “and I chose the species based the planting location and the tree’s benefit to birds, bees, and butterflies.”
As part of the planting, the extension services filmed a how-to video about the proper way to plant a tree. It will serve to help the community, and the video will also be a training tool for the City’s Community Services Department, which plants the trees.
In 2020, the City purchased and planted five canopy trees, 16 subcanopy trees, and nine palms on City properties, primarily in street planters and park areas. The City also accepted as donations and planted on City properties -- streets and parks -- a total of 13 canopy trees,
nine subcanopy trees and five palms.
In 2019, the City purchased and planted 13 canopy trees, 26 subcanopy trees, and six palms. Five canopy trees and three subcanopy trees were donated to be planted on City properties.
Arbor Day is observed nationally to celebrate the role of trees in our lives and to promote tree planting and care. The City of Key West has long recognized the importance of its trees and its environment and has been a member of Tree City USA for nine years.
In the photo: Key West Urban Forester Karen DeMaria was joined by Monroe County Extension Service’s Michelle Mularz, and Tree Commissioner Ed Cunningham, along with members of Community Services and extension Service interns to film the proper way to plant a tree.