Here in Kentucky, where the Hobby Farms editorial office is located, we celebrate Arbor Day this weekend—the first Friday in April.
Officially, the nation observes Arbor day the last Friday in April.
Do you know when your state observes Arbor Day? The National Arbor Day Foundation says many states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.
Nebraska: Home of the First Arbor Day
J. Sterling Morton, a Detroit native who moved to the Nebraska Territory in 1854, proposed in 1872 to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees.
Heritage trees represent icons of the past. According to Hobby Farms contributing writer Rick Gush, buying offspring of famous trees – such as – is one way to help save these trees and add beauty to your home.
Locating nurseries that offer access to these trees is not always easy; one online source is run by the American Forests History Tree Nursery in Jacksonville, Fla.
Or just look on the ground around a tree that you admire. Seeds the drop to the ground provide the easiest casual collecting method. Consider the oak and its easily germinated acorn.
- Sycamore trees at George Washington’s Mount Vernon gardens
- Fruit trees from Thomas Jefferson’s gardens in Monticello
- State National Registers of Big Trees
This first Arbor Day was observed with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska. A lover of nature and journalist, Morton missed the trees from his home state, and soon filled his new home with trees, shrubs and flowers–and as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper, he began to spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees.
Want to get more involved in activities related to trees? Here are some ideas from the National Arbor Day Foundation:
- Find out when your state observes Arbor Day. More
- Volunteer: Take part in an a tree-planting event, either in your own community—or learn more about the Home Depot Foundation and the National Arbor Day Foundation’s campaign to plant 1,000 trees in 10 cities across the country. The next planting events will be held April 27 in Denver, Detroit, Chicago, Sacramento and on May 11 in Minneapolis.
- Get people into action. Ask a civic or service group to promote a paper drive to gather paper to be recycled and save a tree. Use the proceeds to buy a special tree to plant in a park or other special public place. Ask a local radio station to sponsor a tree trivia contest and give away trees to winners. Conduct a tree search. Ask people to find large, unusual or historic trees in your community. Tell people to take a hike–a tree identification hike–and have girl scouts or boy scouts act as guides. Encourage neighborhood organizations to hold block parties and get their members to adopt and care for street trees in front of their homes. Pass out buttons. Give away trees.
- Dedicate a forest, or a tree, or a flower bed in a park, and make it an occasion to talk about stewardship. Get a local nursery or garden center to hold an open house or field day. Organize an Arbor Day Fair.
- Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship. Anyone can do it. Start a tree seed in a cup, or a seedling in a pot. If you have no place to set it out later, give it to someone who does, and then watch it grow together. Find a place to plant a seedling or a sapling or the largest tree you can handle alone.