What is National Arbor Day? Arbor Day, from the Latin arbor meaning tree, is a national holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees on the last Friday of April.
“Trees are simply amazing. They clean air and water, slow climate change, ease poverty and hunger, prevent species loss, and feed the human soul. All we need to do is plant and care for them. Let’s work together to make it happen around the world.” Arbor Day Foundation
The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, 147 years ago, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Sterling and his wife, Caroline, lived in Nebraska City on a 72-acre estate now known as Arbor Lodge State Historical Park.
The Arbor Day Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization was not founded until 1972 in Nebraska. The stated corporate mission is “to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.”
7 Reasons to Plant Trees
- The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture
- 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. – U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent. – Management Information Services/CMA
- Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating. – USDA Forest Service
- The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams. – USDA Forest Service
- In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” – Dr. Roger S. Ulrich, Texas A&M University
- On December 15, 2004, the oak became America’s national tree.
Tree Planting Tips & Techniques
The Arbor Day Foundation has a list of tree care tips and techniques that takes you step by step from selecting and planting the right tree to the care and upkeep of a mature tree on their website here.
How to Celebrate Arbor Day
Join us at our Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration on the quad on April 22 , 2019 where we will be celebrating Earth Day and Arbor Day. The University of Arkansas is applying for a Tree Campus USA certification for 2019 to show our commitment to promoting healthy trees and student involvement. Read more about Tree Campus USA here.
- Plant a tree. Find helpful information here from the Arbor Foundation.
- Volunteer to clean up a public park or downtown area.
- Attend a class on tree planting and maintenance.
- Organize a tree identification hike utilizing books from your local library.
- Consider changing to e-bills instead of paper bills.
“Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.” J. Sterling Morton
By Jan Partain, Biodiversity Coordinator.