The last Friday in April has come to be known as Arbor Day in America. Originating in 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, J. Sterling Morton helped pave the way for an estimated million trees to be planted that year. By the 1920’s, most states recognized Arbor Day in some form or fashion and to this day the customary observance of the holiday is to plant a tree.
I have always been fascinated with trees. Whether they are growing in natural forests, along mountain streams or purposely planted in lawns and landscapes, trees are majestic to behold. Being under the canopy of trees has the ability to help bring life back into perspective when you feel overwhelmed. Research has proven that a walk in the woods can lower blood pressure and heart rates. Trees help with filtering the air of pollutants and help to prevent soil from eroding. Trees also provide homes for birds, safety for animals, and a complete ecosystem for insects.
I thought I knew a lot about trees and their benefits until one of my friends shared a book with me last fall. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. It’s not often in our blogs that I recommend a book, but this book was truly fascinating. Mr. Wohlleben pulled from his years of caring for forests in Germany to share his experiences along with research from leading experts to open our understanding of trees; how they live, how they communicate, and how they protect each other. After reading the book, I came away with an even more profound respect for trees and the value they provide to our planet. I highly recommend that you grab a copy here.
For other ways to celebrate Arbor Day, not only today but all year round, check out www.arborday.org. There you will find resources to help identify trees, determine the best types of trees to plant in your area and best practices when planting trees to make sure they live a long and productive life.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – old Chinese Proverb