Which is the 2020 Virginia Tree of the Year?
The State Arboretum of Virginia names sassafras the 2020 Tree of the Year.
Sassafras is a fast-growing tree that is native to the eastern U.S. and available from local nurseries. Their leaves display striking autumn colors, ranging from yellow to orange to red. And how many trees have three different leaf shapes sometimes on the same branch! They can be mitten shaped, three-fingered, and oval.
Various parts of the plant, including the leaves, emit a pleasant fragrance and traditionally were used in the making of various medicinal beverages. Pollinated trees produce fruits and stalks that birds enjoy in the autumn.
On Arbor Day each year, the State Arboretum at Blandy Farm honors one extraordinary species of tree as its Tree of the Year. The 2019 Tree of the Year was the eastern redbud.
The purpose of their program is to remind us of the value and environmental significance of trees in Virginia, to promote tree education and science, and to prize their awesome majesty.