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Sign Of Spring: Dogwood Days Return To Oakdale
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The colorful blossoms of these dogwood trees are a familiar sight in Oakdale every spring and date back to the days of the original Womens Improvement Club, which later branched off into the Oakdale Garden Club. The club is looking to plant more dogwood trees in the city to continue the rich tradition. - photo by Photo Contributed

The headline on a history column in the April 11, 2007 issue of The Leader read “Annie Gilbert, Oakdale’s Dogwood Angel” and was written by local historian Glenn Burghardt.

Well, it’s that time of year again and Annie’s ‘angels’ are coming back. Mrs. Gilbert, along with others, first founded the Women’s Improvement Club in 1907 and the Oakdale Garden Club branched off of that a short time later. Now, the Oakdale Garden Club is taking on the task of again promoting and planting Oakdale’s dogwood trees.

Mrs. Gilbert, as part of the Oakdale Garden Club, was responsible for the first plantings of dogwoods in Oakdale, which still burst forth in the spring. Most of trees are now in their 80s and 90s. Mrs. Gilbert passed away May 31, 1934 but the fruits of her labor still live on with the magnificent blossoms of her dogwood trees. The Oakdale Garden Club is bringing back the old days with a ‘Dogwood Days’ dogwood tree sale on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oakdale Tractor Supply’s annual Spring Fling event. Free popcorn, lemonade and a potting area for sunflower seed planting for kids to plant will be featured. Garden Club members will be on hand to give tree planting advice along with free maps highlighting some of Oakdale’s many dogwood trees. The Garden Club’s goal is to plant the city with dogwood trees once again, as an important symbol of the city’s past.

There will be a limited number of trees for sale this year. The club will also have special seedlings available from some of the original trees that were planted across the street from the Oakdale Post office.

Tree prices will be $9 for seedlings and $35 for five-gallon potted trees.

For more information, call Marilyn Taylor at 848-8746 or 606-2856.