Friday, April 25, 2014

Today is National Arbor Day

There is nothing like sitting in the dappled shade of a giant Oak tree or a sprawling Maple listening to the leaves flutter overhead, tossed by a light summer breeze. Besides my family and friends, I have to admit, it is the biggest thing I miss since moving out west.  Apparently, I am not alone.
Today is national Arbor Day. The foundation of which began in the late eighteen hundreds, when J. Sterling Morton and his wife moved to Nebraska.  Being avid gardeners, they established a large garden which included a variety of trees and shrubs they missed from their gardens back east.

Soon, the idea caught on.  Others settling in the area missed the trees as well, but soon learned the more important reason for the planting them was to provide a windbreak for the fierce Nebraska winds, which had the added benefit of keeping the topsoil in place. Morton a proponent of planting trees wrote articles for the local papers and created training materials to educate the residents of Nebraska.

Later, as Secretary of the Nebraska territory, he proposed a tree-planting holiday which we now know as Arbor Day.  The holiday, normally celebrated on the fourth Friday in April for most of the nation, is sometimes observed at an earlier date in the warmer regions of the US due to the variation in planting seasons.

Did you know that as a continuation of J. Sterling Morton’s efforts, the non-profit  Arbor Day Foundation will ship you ten free trees for your annual membership of ten dollars?  A dollar a tree…not a bad bargain.
Your turn: What is your favorite tree and why?


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