Observe, appreciate and plant trees today!

National Arbor Day, also known as Plant a Tree Day, is celebrated in the United States on the last Friday in April, on the 26th this year.

Arbor Day is a day to observe, appreciate and plant trees, and it’s seen as a day of optimism for the planet. The Arbor Day Foundation explains, “While most holidays celebrate something that has already happened and is worth remembering, Arbor Day represents a hope for the future. The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, healthier communities, and endless natural beauty — all for a better tomorrow.”

The first Arbor Day took place in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10, 1872, started by a journalist named Julius Sterling Morton. Mr. Morton and his wife Caroline settled in what was  the Nebraska Territory in 1854 on a 160-acre property that had no trees. Morton planted more than 1,000 trees on property, including apple and plum orchards as well as shrubs. He promoted the practice of tree planting for its environmental benefits in the Nebraska City News. In 1872, he encouraged all his fellow Nebraskans to plant trees on what would become the very first Arbor Day. Morton and his followers planted 1 million trees that day, a tremendous success! In 1970, President Richard Nixon made Arbor Day a national holiday.