Arbor Day: 4 Reasons You Should Plant a Tree

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arbor day forest trees
Image by University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability via Flickr Creative Commons license.

While Arbor Day is only celebrated once a year, it is this day that affords each of us a new opportunity to make a difference in the environment around us. While many people may try to incorporate daily or weekly eco-friendly actions into their lives like recycling, minimizing one- or single-use plastic items, eliminating food waste, conserving water and more, planting a tree is one of the simplest actions we can take. It is also one with some long-term benefits. Planting a tree today increases sustainability for future life.

What Is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day is a day dedicated to publicly planting trees. It is a day when individuals, groups and organizations get together and plant trees. Trees can be planted at home, in your local community, at your school, at your place of business, in and around town, through organized events, etc. You can use this map to find areas near you where Arbor Day events are being held.

The first state to officially celebrate Arbor Day was the state of Nebraska back in April 1872. According to an article in Time, more than a million trees were planted in the state during that first year. The initial purpose behind it was to turn a once relatively barren prairie into a much more beautiful, luscious, green and prosperous landscape. Orchards full of trees could be planted to bear fruit and provide food for families. Trees are also helpful in providing shade and natural habitats for animals. From the original day, Arbor Day has since grown and expanded across the U.S. and into other countries. It is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday in April, but some cities and states hold Arbor Day festivities at different times of the year. You can learn more about Arbor Day and its founder at Arborday.org.

Image by Andrew via Flickr Creative Commons license

4 Reasons You Should Plant a Tree

Planting a tree is a way for mankind to give back to nature and the planet. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor. Planting a tree is something we all can do. Trees are a gift, a gift to nature. They promote life and improve sustainability. Four very basic reasons to consider planting a tree this Arbor Day (or any day) are:

  1. Trees filter air pollution and help generate the clean air we breathe
  2. Trees create shade that can aid in reducing energy consumption
  3. Trees provide natural habitats for a variety of species
  4. Trees are one of the most basic and effective carbon storage solutions

While many other reasons exist, these four should help inspire you to go out and plant a tree!

Inspirational Quotes About Trees

Need a little more inspiration? These are some of our favorite inspirational quotes about trees:

I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree.” –  from the poem, Trees by Joyce Kilmer

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” – Martin Luther

A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity.” – Alexander Smith

The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.” – Wendell Berry

Beyond Arbor Day

In addition to celebrating Arbor Day, you can go another step further and become an Arbor Day member. Membership is a way for you to pledge your support of the environment not just now but for the long term. Memberships aren’t much and benefits include your choice of either: 10 free trees for you to plant yourself, 10 trees planted in the rain forest on your behalf or 10 trees planted in a National Forest thanks to you.

Whatever you decide to do, keep this quote in mind:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

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