BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – In celebration of Earth Day coming up this Saturday, Tractor Supply, in conjunction with the Tennessee Environmental Council, has been planting trees native to Middle Tennessee while also removing invasive species.

On Wednesday, dozens of volunteers showed up in Brentwood to help plant, weed and recycle. This was part of a three-day effort to help improve the local environment.

“We consider ourselves stewards of life out here,” exclaimed Marti Skold-Jordan, Manager of the Tractor Supply Foundation. “So, Monday we dug in the dirt and planted things at Cul2vate, and yesterday we planted 375 trees out at Harlinsdale Park. And today we’re on the trails right around our SSC here at Tractor Supply, and we’re clearing invasive species and planting native trees. We’re going to plant some crab apples and some wild plumbs.”

Many Tennesseans would be surprised to learn that honeysuckle is not native to our state. It’s an invasive species, and the volunteers spent the last two days removing it before planting the saplings.

“Today, we’re out here removing bush honeysuckle, which is an invasive species,” explained Allyson Davenport, Tennessee Environmental Council Statewide Engagement Coordinator. “And why we’re removing it is it degrades biodiversity and it outcompetes native species. So, it’s very important to remove the honeysuckle.”

The native crab apple and wild plumb saplings they planted over the last two days are expected to remove more than 650,000 pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. And you as a homeowner can also do your part, first by removing the invasive species.

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“Homeowners, are more than welcome to remove the invasive species,” Davenport said. “You can do it with loppers, or you can get a nifty tool called an ‘uprooter’ where you put the tool right around the root of the tree and you just pull it up and that will bring all the roots.”

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And of course, you can then plant a native sapling in its place!