??Trees Atlanta will holds its 13th annual Tree Sale and festival on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its headquarters, the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, at 225 Chester Ave.

Each October, Trees Atlanta offers more than 1,000 plants – including 200 species of trees, shrubs, native perennials, and tree-friendly vines – for purchase by the public. All proceeds benefit Atlanta neighborhood tree planting projects, helping volunteers plant approximately 2,000 trees each year around the city. The trees planted with funds from the annual sale help rejuvenate Atlanta’s declining tree canopy and contribute to a healthy, diverse forest.

Sponsored by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., this year’s Tree Sale will not only feature unusual and hard-to-find native and exotic trees, it will also feature a selection of native trees, shrubs, and perennials that attract wildlife and pollinators such as birds, butterflies, and bees.

“Every dollar invested at the Tree Sale will not only buy you a great tree for your yard, it will also enable Trees Atlanta volunteers to plant shade trees in urban areas where they are needed most,” said Greg Levine, Trees Atlanta’s co-executive director. “The annual sale is an essential part of making these plantings possible, so Atlanta citizens can enjoy a healthier environment.”

“I would advise all shoppers to arrive early,” Levine continued, “since lines for the sale begin appearing around 7 a.m., and several species sell out literally within minutes.”

The Tree Sale gives plant lovers a chance to talk with experts about why each tree is unique, so that making the decision on which tree to buy becomes easier. The Tree Sale will have an extensive selection of oaks, ginkgos, hickories, hollies, dogwoods, redbuds, azaleas, hydrangeas, blueberries, and many more species and varieties.

One variety that is making its first appearance at the Tree Sale this year is Sheri’s Cloud blackgum, which is a variegated blackgum that was discovered in Arkansas. Another great plant that is always very popular is the paw paw. It’s a small tree with beautiful leaves and delicious fruit. Also available will be Devil’s Walking Stick, which has the largest leaves of any native tree (they’re compound and can be up to 5 feet long!). And if you’re looking for beautiful vines for a trellis or fence, we’ll have several great native options like coral honeysuckle, passion vine, native wisteria, and trumpetcreeper.

Along with the Tree Sale, the festival component will feature planting and pruning demonstrations, live music, a small sheep petting zoo, kid’s crafts, raffles and food trucks. There will also be opportunities to learn about the components of Trees Atlanta’s LEED-certified building.

“We would love for the community to come see what the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center has to offer,” says Connie Veates, co-executive director. “We want our visitors have access to not only an excellent selection of trees, shrubs, and vines, but also to knowledgeable tree experts and friendly entertainment, as we kick-off the 2012 tree planting season.”

A complete list of trees and plants for sale will be available on treesatlanta.org. And if a shopper wants a big tree but has a small car, Trees Atlanta can provide delivery, as well as planting assistance, within a limited area for a small fee.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.