Arbor Day is a national holiday that celebrates trees. Many people plant trees on Arbor Day. In most U.S. states Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in the month of April. Who invented Arbor Day, and why do we celebrate it?
Find out the answers to these questions and more with these Arbor Day facts for kids.
What is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating and caring for trees. The day also brings awareness to protecting and conserving trees around the world. On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to plant a tree.
Arbor in Latin means tree.
Who Created Arbor Day?
Julius Sterling Morton created Arbor Day. 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.
Today Julius Sterling Morton’s home, along with its 65 acres, is called Arbor Lodge and is a state park in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
The first Arbor Day was on April 10th, 1872, in the U.S. 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.
In most states, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April to accompany Julius Sterling Morton’s birthday which is on April 22nd. Due to the different planting seasons, Arbor Day may be celebrated on different days. In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May.
Arbor Day Facts for Kids
Arbor Day was almost called Sylvan Day. Sylvan comes 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, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1893.
Arbor Day spread across the country and is now celebrated in all 50 states.
On April 15, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued the “Arbor Day Proclamation” to all school children in the U.S., explaining the importance of trees and forests.
President Richard Nixon declared National Arbor Day a federal holiday in 1970.
In most states, Arbor Day is 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, Arbor Day is celebrated on in November in Hawaii, and Alaska Arbor Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in May.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a not-for-profit dedicated to planting trees. It was founded in 1972, and currently has over one million supporters. Since the foundation opened, they have planted 350 million trees.
How do we celebrate Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is celebrated in different ways around the United States and worldwide. The most popular way the holiday is celebrated is by planting trees. Some Schools have children plant trees and dedicate them to someone they love. Many people donate money to preserve the rainforests. Arbor Day is also an educational platform to teach others the importance of trees and how they help our environment.
The importance of trees
Trees are a very important part of everyday life. Could you imagine a world without trees? Here is a list of the many benefits of trees.
Trees help the air. They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen that humans and animals need to breathe.
Trees provide shade from the harsh rays of the sun. They also block the wind. Trees provide homes to many animals, including birds.
They can help heal and reduce stress. Studies have found that when sick people have a tree to look at through their window, they tend to recover faster.
Trees also produce food. Apples, peaches, figs, plums, lemons, bananas, coconuts, and cherries are some fruits that grow on trees.
Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, and pecans are some nuts that come from trees. Do you like syrup on your pancakes or waffles? Real maple syrup comes from trees.
5 Tree Facts for Kids
- Trees are the longest-living things on earth.
- They cannot die of old age.
- If you cut a tree truck in half, you will see tree rings, also called annual rings.
- Tree rings tell us how old a tree is and how the weather is each year.
- Trees that grow in the shade tend to have thinner bark. Trees that grow in the sun usually have thicker bark.
Arbor Day Around the World
Many countries around the world celebrate similar tree-planting and tree-celebrating holidays.
Some countries celebrate Tree Planting holidays.
Australia – Last Friday in July is National Schools Tree Day. The 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.
Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree!