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It’s Arbor Day: Plant a Tree

It’s Arbor Day: Plant a Tree

Spring brings many occasions for gardeners to celebrate their connection to the earth, including National Arbor Day. National Arbor Day, known as the tree planter’s holiday, has been celebrated in the United States since 1872.

Founded by journalist J. Sterling Morton in 1872, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. Using his forum as a journalist, he encouraged both individuals and community organizations to plant trees.

Having settled in the largely treeless state of Nebraska, Morton began the campaign as a way to increase the number of trees for windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade.

The first celebration began as a contest offering prizes to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees on that day. The contest was a huge success with over one million trees planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

Today, most states celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April and several presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day on that date. Just as it was then, each year, Arbor Day is set aside to encourage tree planting and tree care.

However, some states celebrate the day at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather including California, which usually celebrates it on March 7 the birthday of noted horticulturist, Luther Burbank.

To find out when your state observes Arbor Day, search the Arbor Day Foundation site.

A great way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree yourself as a personal way of demonstrating your commitment to stewardship of the land. You can start a tree seed in a cup or a seedling in a pot. If you have no place to plant it later, you can give it to someone else who does have the room, or donate a tree to a community organization or garden so you can watch it grow together.

You can also highlight the importance of trees in your community by conducting a tree search asking people to find large, unusual or historic trees, or lead people on a tree identification hike, or have a tree trivia contest and give away trees to the winners.

If you’d like to get more involved, volunteer with a tree-planting organization in your community.

Or, if you want to find out what activities are going on specifically for Arbor Day, check the Arbor Day Foundation site. It lists tree-planting activities by state for Arbor Day (which is April 30).

Read more: Community Service, Do Good, Family, Holidays, Life, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Other Holidays, Outdoor Activities,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
9:15AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Some day the earth will weep,
she will beg for her life, she will
cry with tears of blood.
You will make a choice,
if you will help her or let her die,
and when she dies, you will die too.

Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.......
Trees are the lungs of the earth......

8:10AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Trees have been a great love of mine my entire life. I just planted a sugar maple and a prairie fire crabapple for the benefit of birds and small animals. I have 6 more smaller trees to get planted that provide blooms and berries for birds, butterflies, etc. My weeping cherry tree and my peach tree are full of blooms now as well as butterflies and bees (no honey bees,yet :( but I am hoping there are still a few). The wildflower meadow is growing nicely. I am going to plant loads of sunflowers in the field this year. I can't wait to plant my garden-fresh veggies with no pesticides used! Yum!

8:28AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

Anything green helps.

5:25AM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

let's do it...

8:46AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

Julie.......We cut down trees because we are a greedy & selfish lot with no thought to the consequences of our words & actions.

Plant & protect trees for life...................

8:42AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

What a great idea, besides it helps asthma people out. Breath easier, why are we cutting down trees anyway?

10:28AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

If for some reason, you cannot physically plant a tree, plant something else with life-giving and sustaining properties, like love, hope, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, caring, comfort. All of these things contribute to the celebration of life and humanity. There are so many ways to "plant" that which is good in the world.

3:56AM PDT on May 24, 2010

wow jst amazing guys.........
thanks guys.

11:49PM PDT on May 21, 2010


6:15AM PDT on May 17, 2010

One can purchase genuine "tea tree" shampoo, and conditioner to help plant a tea tree. :) =)

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Good information. I go to the one in my area. Thanks

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