The Interesting History Behind Arbor Day

For so many of us as children, we used to measure the quality of a tree by the strength and spacing of the branches because it helped calculate the speed at which you could race up its trunk. Or maybe you measured by the distance the shade canopy that was cast in order to set up a space to host the best fairy tea party. And maybe as an adult, the distance between trees is important for the proper placement of the Sunday afternoon nap hammock.

Like so many of us, J. Sterling Morton, was also a fan of nature and specifically trees. In 1872, this newspaper editor proposed a resolution to the State Board of Agriculture in Nebraska “to set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” On the first celebration in Nebraska, prizes were issued to those that planted trees which resulted in over one million trees planted on that first observation day.

Just a few decades after the initial Arbor Day, more than 45 states joined in the recognization of the special day, increasing not only the planting of trees but also the education of the community of features and benefits of trees.

The day (or something similar) is now celebrated around the world. India celebrates the National Festival of Tree Planting. On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, Isreal celebrates Tu Bishvat or Tu B’Shevat (New Year of the Trees). Korea’s version is a week-long called Tree-Loving Week.

This weekend here in Chippewa Falls, there are several ways that you can participate in the celebration of Arbor Day to include:

  • Make a trip to Beaver Creek and take a tree identification hike
  • Strap on a good pair of walking shoes, grab a cup of coffee and head down to Main Street to help with a little Earth Day Cleanup because no one likes a dirty city and the trees will thank you.
  • Head on down to Spring Fest this weekend starting on Friday April 26, Arbor Day. Although not Arbor Day specific, after this winter celebrating all things nature and spring seems wildly appropriate.
  • And the most exciting way to celebrate…plant a tree!

We love learning, talking, planting, caring and celebrating trees and are ready to do all of that with you. Come on down this Arbor Day and let’s tell each other all the things we love about the day or let us help you pick out the best one for you to plant in celebration.

If you want to learn more about what we love the most about trees or to learn more about what is happening at our Emerald City, please sign up to join our email list.

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