When two massive tornados ravaged rural west Kentucky in mid- December 2021, Allensville nursery owner Ashley Short wanted to help rebuild by providing trees. On the family’s 1811 farm, he selected 21 species, including evergreens, nine different oaks, and perennial favorites, red maple and yellow poplar. In March, he potted 4,000 18-inch seedings in gallon pots and cared for them through a hot, dry summer. Fourteen of the 21 affected counties responded to the offer, and trees were delivered during National Tree Week by Christian County extension staff and master gardeners and other University of Kentucky cooperative extension agents. For some communities, the tree distribution was the first time they had come together since the tornado.“It’s good for the community to come together; getting the trees Is so important,” said Pembroke Mayor Judy Peterson. “We have been through so much and lost so much. You have to have mother nature – it helps build back and gives us hope.”

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