Arbor Day, one of our favorite holidays, is right around the corner! It’s a day to celebrate trees and the vital role they play in the world. Trees have a number of important functions beyond looking pretty.
Most of you probably know that trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but did you know that a single acre of trees can produce enough oxygen for 18 people for an entire year?
Trees are also essential to providing food and shelter for humans. We rely on their fruit and nuts, as well as lumber, pulp for paper, and more.
And trees don’t just help people. Wildlife utilizes trees for food and shelter. From the smallest beetles and colorful butterflies to majestic owls and bobcats, trees are essential to their survival.
Trees also help the environment by preventing soil erosion by holding soil in place with their roots. They also conserve water by shading the soil and reducing water evaporation.
There are also less-obvious benefits. Trees provide beauty, increase home values, and can even reduce stress! Recent studies show that being around trees can have a calming effect, relaxing brain waves and reducing our heart rates.
These amazing benefits are why we think celebrating Arbor Day is so important. Want to learn more about this awesome holiday? Check out our list!
10 Arbor Day Facts
The first US Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, after being proposed by the secretary of the Nebraska Territory, J. Sterling Morton.
1). The first US Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, after being proposed by the secretary of the Nebraska Territory, J. Sterling Morton.
2). By 1920, over 45 US states were observing Arbor Day.
3). The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the holiday. The nonprofit conservation group distributes over 10 million trees every year.
4). Arbor Day was almost called Sylvan Day, coming from the Latin word “Silva,” meaning “of the forest” or “woodland.” J. Sterling Morton decided against this name because he wanted to include all types of trees, not just forest trees.
5). It’s estimated that over 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.
6). In the US, Arbor Day is often observed on the last Friday in April, though many states celebrate on different dates to line up with the best tree-planting times. For example, some states in the deep south celebrate in February, while some states in the far north celebrate in May.
7). The first documented Arbor Day was celebrated in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo in 1594! They planted lime and horse-chestnut trees.
8). Today, at least 44 countries worldwide celebrate Arbor Day each year.
9). On April 15, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued the "Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States,” emphasizing the importance of trees and forestry.
10). The best way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree. Trees have a multitude of benefits for people, wildlife, and the environment.
How will you be celebrating Arbor Day this year? Be sure to stop by one of our Homestead Gardens locations. Whether you’re looking for a native tree to support wildlife or a shade tree to help you cut down on your air conditioning bill, we can help you select a tree appropriate for your needs.