Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. Morton started Arbor Day because there were not alot of trees in Nebraska and he went to the State Board of Agriculture and proposed the tree planting holiday with prizes offered to the counties and individuals that planted the most trees that day. Estimates say one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day.
The popularity of the day has grow beyond the United States and many countries celebrate it though not all on this day. Even some states offically celebrate Arbor Day on different days based on when it is best to plant trees in that climate.
The Arbor Day Foundations website (http://www.arborday.org) has lots of great ideas of ways to celebrate. They also have a great section on giving trees as gifts. People can give tree saplings out as wedding favors through their website with personalized labels on them.
Think about a place that you can plant a tree in your yard or give someone you a know a tree to plant if they have the room.
Here are some tips from the Arbor Day Foundation on how to plant the right tree in the right place:
- Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown? [sizing guide]
- Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow?
- Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? (Will it lose its leaves in the winter?)
- Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade. [shape guide]
- Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.
- Soil, sun, and moisture requirements.
- Fruit. No one wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks.
- Hardiness zone indicates the temperature extremes in which a tree can be expected to grow. For the purposes of this quiz hardiness zone considerations have been disregarded. Check with your community’s tree board or forestry department or a local county cooperative extension agent for a list of trees suitable for planting in your specific hardiness zone. (Arborday.org hardiness zones lookup.)
I think Arbor Day is a great example of how eventhough Earth Day and Environmentalism is perceived a new idea used to address global warming the reality is people have been concerned about the environment alot longer than that.