Friday marks Arbor Day and the 45th year the tree holiday has been officially celebrated in the United States after President Richard Nixon made it a national holiday in 1970. Since then, it has been celebrated on the last Friday in April.
1. Julius Sterling Morton, who created the holiday on April 10, 1872, was a journalist and tree enthusiast.
2. In celebration of Arbor Day, it’s common to plant a tree.
3. Arbor Day was almost dubbed “Sylvan Day,” which means wooded and refers to forest trees. Ultimately, arbor was chosen instead since it is more general-- it includes forest trees and fruit trees.
4. Some states, like Hawaii and Alaska, celebrate Arbor Day on a different day.
5. Nebraska was the first state to recognize Arbor Day. Morton helped plant more than 1 million trees throughout the state, even though it’s naturally a treeless prairie.
6. America’s national tree is the oak. The National Arbor Day Foundation put it to a vote in 2004, and Congress made it official. The redwood was a top contender and came in second place.
7. A Connecticut clergyman named Birdsey Grant helped make Arbor Day international. In 1895, he persuaded the Japanese to recognize the day. He also tried to get trees officially honored in Australia, Canada and Europe.
8. The National Arbor Foundation, which was founded in 1972, has helped plant more than 20 million trees since 1990.
9. In Korea they call Arbor Day “Tree Loving Day” and in Japan, they celebrate "The Greening Week."
10. There are more ways to celebrate Arbor Day than just planting a tree. Participants can donate to rainforest foundations, buy plants, join recycling programs and simply go outside and enjoy the trees.
Like this article? For famous quotes about trees, click here.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella