Houston-based company Minute Maid is 60 years old and General Manager Mike St. John says the first orange tree they planted is still growing in Florida.
"Oranges come from trees and we planted our first tree, orange tree 60 years ago, that's when the Minute Maid Company started too. And we placed a plaque there to recognize the birth of Minute Maid Company, we presented a plaque here today to the city to recognize the 60 trees we planted here today."
The company decided to plant trees to commemorate their anniversary. The beneficiaries of the trees are the residents of Houston's Eastwood neighborhood. Mary Margaret Hanson is the president of the Greater East End District.
"The fact that the East End was selected for Minute Maid's anniversary Arbor Day gift, it means a great deal to us. We're the oldest part of Houston, there's a lot of history here and we are in the middle of a great revitalization effort. So this is another piece of the larger puzzle, when projects like this happen it makes for a better community."
The City of Houston and a few non-profit organizations have long been working to increase green space and the number of trees in Houston. Trees for Houston is a non-profit organization that has planted more than 214,000 trees and seedlings around the city. They will be responsible for the care and watering of the Minute Maid Trees. Hanson says these 60 trees will go a long way toward beautifying the East End.
"Well what we're looking at right now is a very busy street, Lockwood, lots of truck traffic going from the Port of Houston to the freeway. And what we're looking at is an esplanade with 60 news trees that include ball cypress, loblolly pines, drum and red maples and cedar elms so it is an urban forest. They're young trees, but eventually they will look like a forest."
The tree planting coincides with Minute Maid's 60th anniversary and also with National Arbor Day. Laurie Johnson Houston Public Radio News.