Trees afford us many pleasures. In the spring, their buds let us know warmer weather is on the way. Their summer leaves provide ample shade on a hot day. Have you ever joyfully jumped into a pile of crisp colorful leaves in the fall? And in the winter, tree branches offer shelter to wildlife for our viewing pleasure. Each year in April, National Arbor Day encourages us to celebrate and plant trees. The observance takes place each year on the last Friday in April.
Trees are more than signals of the changing season. They provide vital protection for the Earth’s topsoil from erosion, oxygen, and homes for wildlife. Trees also are a renewable resource that provides a variety of materials for building, fuel, and office supplies. When we plant trees in our yard, we improve our enjoyment of our outdoor living spaces and our overall quality of life.
National Arbor Day celebrates all these things and aims for American generations to enjoy all the benefits trees have to offer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalArborDay
- Celebrate the day by planting a tree today.
- Join a tree-planting event near you or organize one in your community.
- Consider the trees you plant, too. While you may look for fast-growing trees so that you may enjoy the tree during your lifetime, planting a slower-growing tree is an investment in the future. Generations to come will enjoy the shade and beauty of the tree long after we’re gone. And leaving something as precious as a tree behind is quite an investment.
- Download and print the color page for the day. Share them with us when complete!
- Share your celebration experiences using #NationalArborDay on Social Media.
NATIONAL ARBOR DAY HISTORY
On April 10, 1872, journalist and newspaper editor J.Sterling Morton established Arbor Day in the state of Nebraska with hopes that it would spread across the country. This first celebration challenged the people of Nebraska to plant as many trees as they possibly could. Since the pioneers missed the trees and forests of the east, they answer the challenge by planting more than 1 million trees that very first year.
To learn more about the history of National Arbor Day, visit the website at www.nationalarbordayfoundation.com.
Arbor Day FAQ
Q. What’s the difference between deciduous trees and coniferous trees?
A. The trees with broad leaves that change color with the seasons are deciduous trees. Coniferous trees have needs, not leaves and stay green all year long.
Q. Should I plant a fruit tree or a shade tree?
A. Choosing the right tree for your space is important. Will you benefit from the shade? Will you enjoy the fruit or the wildlife that eats it? Cost and hardiness also are a factor. Visit Arborday.org for a guide to choosing the right tree for you.