Arbor Day

Arbor Day is celebrated nationally in the USA on the last Friday in April, although some states have their own dates to better coincide with their local climate and the optimal time to plant trees.

Quick Facts about Arbor Day

  • Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating and caring for trees.

  • On Arbor Day people are encouraged to plant and care for trees.

  • Arbor in Latin means tree.

  • Arbor Day was created by Julius Sterling Morton.

  • Julius Sterling Morton was a journalist and politician.

  • He was acting governor of the Nebraska Territory from 1858-1861.

  • Julius Sterling Morton believed that Nebraska’s landscape which lacked trees would benefit from having a lot of trees.

  • The first Arbor Day was on April 10th 1872 in the US State of Nebraska.

  • On the first Arbor Day one million trees were planted.

  • Planting tree is not the only way to celebrate the day. Donations can be made to save rainforests and you can participate in a recycling program as well.

The origin of Arbor Day

The holiday began with journalist Julius Sterling Morton, who moved from Detroit to Nebraska in 1854. At the time, the wide open spaces of the west weren’t working out too well for pioneers — the shadeless prairie was hot in the summer, with few windbreaks to keep tilled soil from blowing away. The solution? Plant a tree.

Morton rose to become the state secretary of Nebraska, and helped establish the first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872. More than 1 million trees were planted across the state that day.

Arbor Day grabbed the national spotlight 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation to school children about forestry and the importance of trees.

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park

This beautiful estate in Nebraska City was the original home of J. Sterling Morton, who founded Arbor Day — the tree planter’s holiday — in 1872. From its beginning in 1855 as a four-room frame house, the magnificent mansion grew to 52 rooms through several renovations. Authentic furnishings and historical artifacts grace the rooms, and displays capture the life and times of this exceptional man.

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum encompass more than 65 acres of hilly, wooded land at the edge of Nebraska City, just a few miles west of the Missouri River. The grounds and the Morton mansion were donated to the State of Nebraska in 1923 by Joy, (Morton’s oldest son), to be preserved as a monument to his father.

The park was officially designated as an arboretum on Arbor Day, April 22, 1976, by the then-newly chartered Nebraska State Arboretum. Arbor Lodge has 10 trees that the Statewide Arboretum recognizes as state champions because of their size and age. The collection of trees and shrubs consists of more than 260 species, including many native plants and some that are uncommon in the region.

Some of the oldest and finest specimens in the arboretum were planted by Morton and the Morton family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many specimens are labeled with both their common and scientific names. Interpretive signs along the Tree Trail enhance visitors’ experiences.

The mansion is open weekends for self-guided tours and offers several special events throughout the year for visitors.

 America’s national tree is …

America has a national tree, and it’s all thanks to Arbor Day. In 2004, the Arbor Day Foundation hosted a vote for a national tree. The winner was…the oak tree!  The oak tree receive 101,000 votes and the redwood came in second with 81,000 votes. Dogwood, maple and pine rounded out the top five contenders.

In December 2004, Congress passed legislation officially designating the oak tree as America’s national tree.



  1. Bekreniova 27.04.2018 at 22:45 - Reply

    It’s a wonderful tradition to have a special day to plant trees. My favourite tree is a birch tree and Sergei loves pine trees.

  2. Bekreniova 28.04.2018 at 13:32 - Reply

    Jo Ann Pfeil Zerfoss

    The oak tree (the National tree) is so beautiful and strong. Gary & I have big Douglas firs in our yard. We have an arborist who maintains them every couple of years. We have a few other types of trees as well.

  3. Maxim 30.04.2018 at 11:37 - Reply

    In our school we plant trees

  4. Ksenia 01.05.2018 at 08:51 - Reply

    In my opinion, the Arbor Day is a good action tree protection. You can’t imagine that one million trees were planted on Arbor day. Also donations can be made to save rainforests. It’s a good idea as tropical forests are on the brink of extinction. I would like to visit the national park and look at the collection of 260 species of trees and shrubs, including many common plants and some unusual for the region.

  5. Ania 01.05.2018 at 10:48 - Reply

    It’s very bad that people so ruthlessly cut down trees, but I hope that everything will get better in the future.

  6. Maxim 03.05.2018 at 16:53 - Reply

    I like this tradition because we plant trees and trees are the lungs of our Earth. I think oak would be the best national tree of Ukraine because it is strong, high and beautiful like Ukrainian people who have pride and dignity as a nation.

  7. Ira 04.05.2018 at 14:49 - Reply

    In my opinion it is a very good day because we can save nature. My favorite tree is a birch tree. I think it’s beautiful!

  8. Ania 06.05.2018 at 12:27 - Reply

    I like this tradition. I would suggest a guelderose because it is a very beautiful tree.

  9. Bogdan 19.05.2018 at 12:09 - Reply

    This is a very nice day. I was surprised that there are 3 trillion trees on Earth. But every day this number is getting less and less. We must take care of our nature, especially of the trees. They give us oxygen to breathe. It’s very bad that people cut down trees so thoughtlessly .

  10. Ania 20.05.2018 at 11:48 - Reply

    I like the tradition of planting trees, because the more trees will be on earth, the healthier humans will be. Trees give oxygen that we breathe. I was struck by the number of trees that are cut down, it’s just an incredible number. My mom was took part in the campaign “Plant a tree for your town”. She and her colleagues planted trees in our park near the Dnipro River.

  11. Ira 21.05.2018 at 09:55 - Reply

    It’s very good that in the USA people have a special day to plant trees. People in Ukraine also plant trees in spring but we haven’t got a special day for it. I was surprised that Arbor means tree. It was interesting for me to read about Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. There is a famous aboretum in Cherkaska area which is worth seeing. I suggest poplar tree to be the national tree of Ukraine because it is high and slim. There are many songs and poems in which poplar trees are mentioned.

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