April 24 – Arbor Day in the U.S.A.

Posted on April 24, 2015

Today the Arbor Day Foundation urges us to celebrate trees. 

Why trees? 

Trees combat climate change and global warming, because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In just one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced by an ordinary gas-burning car traveling 26,000 miles.

Trees also clean the air, keep cities and property shaded and cool, and protect from wind and sound pollution.

Trees save water by shading thirsty lawns and transpire moisture into the air. The prevent soil erosion and even help prevent water pollution.

Of course, trees provide habitats to many animals and even other plants, and they provide wood, nuts and seeds, and fruits that we and other animals use.

There are many other positive aspects of trees – including their beauty of course! No doubt about it, healthy, well-maintained trees provide a great diversity of benefits to the environment and to people!

A day for trees – especially for planting trees – occurs in many different nations. In the U.S., Arbor Day is held on the last Friday of April, but many states hold Arobor Days on other dates as well. I've already talked about Arbor Days in a few other nations - Israel, Honduras, and Uganda - so check out those earlier posts for more on trees.

A brief history of Arbor Day

The first known Arbor Day in the world was held in a small village in Spain, in Villanueva de la Sierra, way back in 1805. The local priest led the efforts to hold a tree-planting holiday, but the entire town joined in.

The first American Arbor Day was held in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1872. It is estimated that more than a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day!

A newspaper editor was the fellow who launched that Nebraskan Arbor Day. A couple of decades later, a conservationist from DuBois, Pennsylvania, convinced President F.D. Roosevelt to make a proclamation about the importance of trees to the children of the nation.


Also on this date:

Anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope

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