People all over the country plant trees Friday for Arbor Day. And for the past 18 years the Idaho Forest Products Commission has been giving out free saplings. It’s given away more than 350 thousand trees in that time. But the commission has no idea how many of those trees have been planted. Now the commission is trying to find out what’s become of its free trees.
It wants stories about the trees it gives out. One of the first it heard was from Gypsy Hall. Hall says about fifteen years ago her mother went to the bank one day. It happened to be Arbor Day and she came home with a sapling. She planted it in the middle of the back yard.
“Gave it lots of love and made sure no one that ran over it with the lawn mower.” Says Hall.
When her mother died in 2003 Hall moved into her parent’s old house. She says she looks at that tree every day and thinks of her mom.
“After my mother passed away the tree all of a sudden really started to come into its own." Hall says. "That first year it had four little pine cones on it which is the number of people in my family, which was a wonderful thing to see. And now it’s over fifteen feet tall.”
This year the Forrest Products Commission has turned to Facebook to look for more stories like Hall’s. It started a contest called Show Us Your Tree. The commission asked people to post stories and pictures of trees they’ve planted. Gypsy Hall plans to post her story. The contest is open through next week.