What the World Does on Arbor Day

We’re heading to Nebraska. Set your time machine to 1872, April 10th to be exact. We’re about to meet a fellow named J. Sterling Morton. On that particular day around 1-million trees were planted. Hope you packed a shovel.

That was the moment when Arbor Day was kind of invented in Nebraska City by J. Sterling. Since then the holiday’s actual date has changed. Why? Depends on the climate and the right time of the year when people plant stuff in the dirt.

Then in 1883, this guy named Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut took a trip to Japan, spreading the message. That began the true globalization of Arbor Day.

Let’s Go Forward to 2013.

Since the time of J. Sterling and Birdsey, we’ve decided to celebrate National Arbor Day on the last Friday in April. Some states differ, again based on the best tree planting times. It’s not just America that commemorates this holiday. Other countries do it too. Take a look at the a few of the other places that commemorate the custom in other parts of the world. We want to credit Wikipedia for this information:

  • Australia.
    National Schools Tree Day is held on the last Friday of July for schools and National Tree Day, the last Sunday in July throughout Australia. Many states have Arbor Day although only Victoria has Arbor Week, which was suggested by Premier Dick Hamer in the 1980s. Arbor Day has been observed in Australia since June 20th, 1889.
  • Cambodia.
    National Tree Planting Day is on June 1st. Cambodia celebrates an arbor day on every 9th of July.
  • Canada.
    In Canada, Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday in September during National Forest Week. The province of Ontario celebrates Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May.
  • China.
    In 1981, the fourth session of the Fifth National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China adopted the Resolution on the Unfolding of a Nationwide Voluntary Tree-planting Campaign (phew). This resolution established Arbor Day and stipulated that every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 11 and 60 should plant three to five trees per year or do the equivalent amount of work in seedling, cultivation, tree tending or other services. The People’s Republic of China celebrates Arbor Day on March 12, a day founded by Lin Daoyang, continue to use following the date of Arbor Day for the Republic of China.
  • Egypt.
    Tree planting day, Arbor Day, is on January 15th.
  • Germany.
    Arbor Day (“Tag des Baumes”) is on April 25th. The first celebration was in 1952.
  • India.
    Van Mahotsav is an annual pan-Indian tree planting festival, occupying a week in the month of July. During this event millions of trees take root. It was initiated in 1950 by K. M. Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create an enthusiasm in the mind of the populace for the conservation of forests and planting of trees.
  • Israel.
    The Jewish holiday Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees, is on the 15th day of the month of Shvat, which usually falls in January or February. Originally based on the date used to calculate the age of fruit trees for tithing as mandated in Leviticus 19:23–25.
  • Japan.
    Japan celebrates a similarly themed Greenery Day, held on May 4. Although it has a similar theme to Arbor Day, its roots lay in celebration of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito.
  • Netherlands.
    In 1957, the National Committee Day of Planting Trees/Foundation of National Festival of Trees (Nationale Boomplantdag/Nationale Boomfeestdag) was created. On the third Wednesday in March each year (near the spring equinox), three quarters of Dutch schoolchildren aged 10/11 along with Dutch celebrities plant trees. Some municipalities however plant the things around September 21st because of the planting season. In 2007, the 50th anniversary was celebrated with special golden jubilee-activities.
  • New Zealand.
    New Zealand’s first Arbor Day planting was in Greytown in the Wairarapa on 3 July 1890. The first official celebration took place last year in Wellington, August 2012, with the planting of pohutukawa and Norfolk pines along Thorndon Esplanade. Born in 1855, Dr Leonard Cockayne (generally recognized as the greatest botanist who has lived, worked, and died in New Zealand) worked extensively on native plants throughout New Zealand and wrote many notable botanical texts. Even as early as the 1920s he held a vision for school students of New Zealand to be involved in planting native trees and plants in their school grounds. This vision bore fruit and schools in New Zealand have long planted native trees on Arbor Day. Since 1977, New Zealand has celebrated Arbor Day on June 5, which is also World Environment Day.
  • South Africa.
    Arbor Day was celebrated from 1945 until 2000 in South Africa, when the national government extended it to National Arbor Week, which lasts from the 1st through the 7th of September. Two trees, one common and one rare, are highlighted to increase public awareness of indigenous trees, while various “greening” activities are undertaken by schools, businesses and other organizations.
  • Venezuela.
    Venezuela recognizes “Día del Arbol” on the last Sunday of May.

So, you see, we’re not alone in the recognition. That’s why Everlasting Hardwoods urges you to plug-in a couple of trees today. It’s good for the environment because most trees take in carbon dioxide — which is what humans exhale — and turn it into oxygen. Let’s hope that one day we’ll be able to extend Arbor Day to Mars. They could use some O2.

Original Source: http://www.everlastinghardwoods.com/blog/environmentalconcern/what-the-world-does-on-arbor-day.html

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