I watched Fort Bragg personnel plant two cedar trees at the Main Post Parade Field, Friday.

It may not seem like a big deal, but I thought about how impactful those trees will be to this installation.

They will, long after any of us are gone, continue to provide oxygen for plenty of folks.

Trees, said Monica Stephenson, director, Directorate of Public Works, provide shelter. Over the years, they have been used to make furniture, as well as for aromatherapy.

The longleaf pine, North Carolina’s symbolic tree, was used by Native Americans for timber, tar and turpentine.

Additionally, trees add a certain aesthetic to surroundings. In the midst of buildings that are remarkably similar, trees vary from the pink of an Eastern redbud to the white flowers of a Southern magnolia. North Carolinians know as well as anyone that nothing bursts with color quite like the pink of a dogwood.

From the dwarfed smoketree, which grows 10 to 15 feet, to the sprawling elm, which grows more than 100 feet, there is a diverse population of trees available in the Sandhills.

Fort Bragg’s most recent cedar trees were planted in honor of Fort Bragg Arbor Day, proclaimed March 17 by Col. Brett Funck, Fort Bragg Garrison commander. The installation has received a Tree City USA designation for 12 consecutive years. Issued by the Arbor Foundation, the award is given to communities that promote the caring for and managing of public trees.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, four key standards must be met for the status to be obtained and include maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

Officially, Arbor Day will be celebrated April 28. But, each day that Fort Bragg sets aside to manage longleaf pines, maples, pecan, dogwood and other tree populations, it is upholding a year-round commitment to sustainability. It reinforces the installation’s dedication to providing livable green space for future generations.