Arbor Day Facts for Kids

  • Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating and caring for trees.
  • On Arbor Day people are encouraged to plant and care for trees.
  • Arbor in Latin means tree.
  • Arbor Day was created by Julius Sterling Morton.
  • Julius Sterling Morton was a journalist and politician.
  • He was acting governor of the Nebraska Territory from 1858-1861.
  • Julius Sterling Morton believed that Nebraska’s landscape which lacked trees would benefit from having a lot of trees.
  • The first Arbor Day was on April 10th 1872 in the US State of Nebraska.
  • On the first Arbor Day one million trees were planted.
  • Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska on April 22 1885.
  • Arbor Day was almost called Sylvan Day.  Sylvan coming from the Latin word Silva meaning “of the forest” or “woodland.”
  • Morton did not like the name Sylvan Day because it only referred to forest trees.  He liked the name Arbor Day because Arbor referred to all types of trees.
  • President Glover Cleveland appointed Julius Sterling Morton US Secretary of Agriculture in 1893.
  • The Arbor Day holiday spread across the country and is now celebrated in all 50 states.
  • School celebrated Arbor Day by having the children plant trees and dedicating  them to someone special.
  • President Richard Nixon declared National Arbor Day a federal holiday in 1970.
  • In most states Arbor Day is now celebrated on the last Friday in April to go along with Julius Sterling Morton’s birthday which is on April 22nd.
  • Due to different planting seasons in Hawaii Arbor Day is celebrated on the 1st Friday in November.  In Alaska Arbor Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in May.
  • Many countries around the world celebrate similar tree planting and tree celebrating holidays.
Some countries that celebrate Tree Planting holidays.
Australia – Last Friday in July is National Schools Tree Day.  Last Sunday in July is National Tree Day.
Brazil – Arbor Day is celebrated on September 21st.
Canada- Maple Leaf Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday in September.  Arbor Week is celebrated the last Friday in April thru the first Sunday in May.
Central African Republic– National Tree Planting Day is celebrated on July 20th.
Egypt- Tree Planting Day is on January 15th.
Germany- Arbor Day is celebrated on April 25th.
Mexico – National Tree Day is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday in July.
New Zealand- Arbor Day is celebrated on June 5th.
Poland- Arbor Day is celebrated on October 10th.