Above: Heart shapped tree photo courtesy of Marina Cast
Arbor Day was first held in 1872 as part of the effort to get people to plant trees on the plains of Nebraska. The original effort is credited to journalist, J. Sterling Morton.
Morton’s effort was focused on using trees for shade, windbreaks, and to keep the soil from blowing away. Additional benefits were that trees also supplied fuel and building materials.
The official Arbor Day in Nebraska was eventually designated to take place on Morton’s birthday (April 22nd) but today the event is held at different times through the year and you can find out when your state celebrates Arbor Day here.
This can get confusing because traditionally National Arbor Day is held on the last Friday in April (April 24, 2009). This tradition began after Arbor Day became a nationwide celebration began in 1882.
Trees have vital roles in the environment. In addition to providing habitat for wildlife they provide food, shade, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
But few people really know how to care for trees and I recently visited a neighborhood that topped some trees down to stubs.
Simply put–trees are our friends so treat them well.
Some people might disagree and that is the problem because trees really benefit everyone.
Not too long ago a large group of trees were slaughtered in one of our downtown regions in order to build a parking lot.
This was not approved by the city and it created an outcry from the community–but there were still those who don’t get the connection and who wanted to know what the big deal was.
Some people just don’t get the connection between our well-being and nature.
I’ve been to some places where the only trees seem to be in small community parks–very little green is found throughout the urban landscape.
Beyond the urban jungle of concrete, deforestation has its complications and taking care of the environment can help combat global warming.
According to the USDA:
“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.”
“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.“
So what can you do this Arbor Day?
You can plant trees if you want but if you join the Arbor Day Foundation you can have 10 trees planted in your name in national forest land and get the benefits of membership too!
I’ll be traveling tomorrow but wanted to wish you an early Happy Arbor Day–if you have any favorite tips leave them below.