Trees provide shade and beautify Norman’s neighborhoods, but they can also interfere with power lines.
A municipal partnership between First United Bank, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, the Norman Park Foundation and Grissom Nursery will provide Norman residents with a free, friendly tree through a “Right Tree, Right Place” campaign.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Griffin Park, the city said in a news release.
Grissom Nursery is providing the trees at a discount, owner Rusty Grissom said.
“We love trees,” Grissom said. “It’s a great program. I love where I live and if you can do something to improve it, that’s even better.
Autumn McMahon, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, said the company was happy to participate and help educate the community about safe tree planting.
“We like trees, but we don’t like trees when they come in contact with power lines,” McMahon said. “It’s a risk to the community, a very dangerous security risk.
“We all know trees are good for everyone and we want to make sure we’re doing our part to be a good community partner.
The OEC provided campaign materials and money to purchase trees.
Various species of some 300 trees in five-gallon buckets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. They include Brandywine, Flowering Crabapple, Little Gem Magnolia, Live Oak, Shumard Oak, and Weeping Willow, the press release says.
To qualify for a free tree, residents will need to show proof of residency and they will be limited to one tree per address.
Residents should avoid planting in problem areas — too close to buildings, streets or sidewalks, or within 20 feet of a power line, the statement said.
The right trees in the right place can mean higher property values, lower electricity bills in the summer, and minimize washouts or standing water during rainstorms.
Municipal Forester Colin Zink will be on hand to answer any questions about the trees and offer advice on species and planting location options.
“We hope our residents of Normandy will take advantage of this free tree opportunity,” Zink said in the statement. “Trees beautify and provide incredible benefits to community members and landowners.
“We look forward to sharing information on best practices for planting, placement and more.”