April is truly a month for nature lovers. In the wake of a mild winter and early arrival of warm weather this year, flowers have already been blooming and trees have begun to explode with a new wash of greenery. People begin to spend much more time outdoors, and we already have and will again, soon, at least once the last gasp of cold weather finally gets behind us.
Earth Day was celebrated Sunday, and this week, we observe another holiday for those who love nature and the environment.
Today, we observe Arbor Day. Although it's not a very high-profile holiday compared to others, it is a popular one that was launched in America and has since grown roots around the world.
The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska in 1872. Today, each state in the U.S. celebrates its own state Arbor Day observance. Arbor Day is traditionally held on the last Friday in April, and it is customary to plant a tree on Arbor Day. On the first Arbor Day observance in April 1872, around 1 million trees were planted.
Similar celebrations take place in countries around the world, although they take different names and are held on different dates throughout the year. Obviously climates differ greatly across the globe on any given date on the calendar, and conditions for planting fluctuate likewise. Like Arbor Day in the United States, many nations around the world observe a National Tree Planting Day.
According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, there are several benefits to planting trees on your property. Trees provide shade, can block wind when arranged in dense groupings, can serve as boundaries along property lines, and provide a natural habitat for birds, squirrels and other backyard creatures.
Most of all, trees add to the aesthetic appeal of the land. Trees typically outlive people and can be enjoyed by many generations, especially if some simple foresight is given to planting as part of a land management plan.
We applaud those who plan to plant a tree on Arbor Day. For helpful tips, visit www.arborday.org. or ask for advice at a local nursery.