Thousands of loblolly pine seedlings arrive in Bastrop County
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While the scars created by the Bastrop wildfire have begun to heal, it will take decades to restore the Lost Pines forest that made the area unique.
Thousands of loblolly pine tree seedlings were delivered to Bastrop County Tuesday as part of the restoration effort.
"For Bastrop State Park, we'll be planting 220,000 trees this winter," Jamie Hacket, the superintendent of Bastrop State Park, said.
The seedlings are coming in from across the country, including thousands from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center right here in Austin.
"Our role was to locate the indigenous seed source and then find nurseries who would go ahead and start the large scale grow out,” Jim Rooni with the Texas Forest Service said. "We look upon today and this shipment as the very first step in a long-term recovery process."
Experts expect it to be 10 years before the new trees will be big enough to provide shade.
"By the middle of December, all of these 550,000 some odd seedlings we're getting in are going to be in the ground," Rooni said. "By the time we're done over the next four years, we expected between four to four-and-a-half million seedlings to have come in and go into the ground in Bastrop County."
But the Lost Pines of Bastrop will live on.
Many groups and universities have volunteered to help in the huge replanting project, but you can still get involved.
To find out what you can do to help the Lost Pines Restoration Project, visit the ArborDay.org/Texas.