Volunteers from Tree Pittsburgh handed out 1,000 saplings to Pittsburgh-area residents for Arbor Day on Friday afternoon.
Patty Proneker, a secretary from Kennedy Township, said she and her friend picked up a pair of pawpaw trees to plant in her side yard.
“I’ve never heard about it, so I’m really interested in this," Proneker said. "(The volunteer) said that it’s like a tropical fruit, so it’s like an avocado – and I just heard that they’re very good for you – and a mango. And my mom loves mangoes, so it’s going to work perfect.”
Pawpaw and magnolia trees were the first types to go, according to Tree Pittsburgh education coordinator Joe Stavish. He said his group gave out six different types of native seedlings to improve diversity in the city.
Stavish said Arbor Day is celebrated around the world, but different countries celebrate on different dates.
“It’s celebrated at the time of year that is best to plant trees," Stavish explained. "In Pennsylvania, that is always the last Friday in April. It’s not a set date; it’s the last Friday in April.”
For those who missed out on the free Arbor Day trees, Tree Pittsburgh’s Heritage Nursery will be selling saplings at Phipps Conservatory’s annual May Market on May 6 and 7.