City celebrates Arbor Day

Members of Keep Abbeville Beautiful (KAB), along with members of Abbeville City government and volunteers spent Wednesday in preparation for Arbor Day.

For this year’s Arbor Day Tree Planting, KAB Tree Preservation Chairperson Susan DesOrmeaux said KAB wanted to give the city, not only beautiful trees, but the added gift of Louisiana Citrus. With labor donated by Leslie LeBlanc of D.A. LeBlanc Landscape Co., three Louisiana citrus trees were planted right off Charity Street on Jean Lafitte Boulevard.

Along with members of KAB, Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza and Councilmen Carbett Duhon, Wayne Landry and Francis Plaisance attended the ceremony, as well as volunteers Charles Dill and Betty Fuller. The Mayor also signed a proclamation urging all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands, and to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations.

According to DesOrmeaux, “with Leslie LeBlanc’s help, we selected appropriate trees for our region -- trees that were beautiful, pest resistant and those that would bear tasty fruit for citizens to enjoy.” She added that homeowners along the boulevard will help to water the trees until they are established.

The traditional Satsuma was planted because the fruit is easy to peel, has few seeds and separates easily into segments. The fruit matures at different times during the growing season, which allows for a long harvesting period.

The Ruby Red Grapefruit was also chosen as it is the most widely planted grapefruit variety in Louisiana. It matures in December and stays on the tree through May. DesOrmeaux said “many of these trees can be seen on abandoned lots when driving on Hwy. 14 toward Intracoastal City -- a sure sign they won’t need a lot of pampering.”

The last variety chosen was the Louisiana sweet orange, the traditional round orange grown in South Louisiana for its rich flavor and cold hardiness.

The Vermilion Parish Office of the LSU Agricultural Extension Service on West Port Street in Abbeville has a wealth of free information about Louisiana home citrus production. KAB urges citizens to take advantage of this valuable resource and make the effort to select citrus trees that will beautify gardens and give the added benefit of delicious, healthful fruit.

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