The History of Arbor Day

Every April, many people wonder to themselves, “Why do we need a holiday just for trees?”. With so many holidays on the calendar, Arbor Day often goes unnoticed. However, this particular holiday is growing more important each year.

The first Arbor Day was observed on April 10, 1872. Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist and politician from Nebraska, was inspired to dedicate a day to trees from his own passion for agriculture. Morton lead by example, planting numerous orchards and shade trees on his farm; and urged his neighbors to do the same. He felt that his home state would benefit both aesthetically and economically by wide scale planting.

Morton’s golden opportunity arrived when he became a member of Nebraska’s State Board of Agriculture. He then proposed that one day of the year be dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of trees and tree planting. His idea was a wild success and more than one million trees were planted that first Arbor Day. In 1885, Nebraska deemed it an annual holiday, to be celebrated on April 22 (Morton’s Birthday) Soon all 50 states followed. In 1970, President Richard Nixon dedicated the last Friday in April as Arbor Day.

Today, Variations of Arbor day are celebrated all over the world. It is “Greening Week” of Japan, “Tree Loving Week” of Korea, “The Reforestation Week” of Yugoslavia, “- and the list certainly goes on. So, this year we urge you to join us in the celebration of trees. Plant your favorite tree for yourself, a loved one, or a neighbor. Don’t make this Arbor Day, just another day on the calander!