Arbor Day has been celebrated throughout the world since the very first tree-planting ceremony in Spain in 1594. The tradition has caught on in the US when in 1872, a newspaper editor in Nebraska proposed a holiday to celebrate and plant trees—more than one million trees were planted that first Arbor Day.
Today, volunteers join together to plant trees, clean up local parks, and even meet to sit under the oldest or grandest trees in their areas and just enjoy. Schoolchildren will plant seeds, visit arboretums, and bring home a wealth of facts you never knew about trees. Such as…
- 1.9 billion trees are planted on Earth each year (that’s 158 million every month, 5 million per day and 7,000 per minute)!
- The UN Environment Program hopes to plant a TRILLION trees by 2030.
- Trees talk to each other, shifting water to those most in need, and sending out distress signals through their roots about drought or disease in the area.
- “Psithurism” is a Greek word that means “whispering” and that describes the sound of wind rustling through the trees.
- Broadleaf trees like oak, beech, and maple are best at fighting climate change since their larger leaves generate more photosynthesis than conifers do.
- The oldest living tree in the world is a bristlecone pine in the Great White Mountains of California. Nicknamed Methuselah, this hearty tree is over 4,800 years old.
If you really want to knock this Arbor Day out of the park, consider visiting one of the great trees of the world. The ten most visited trees are chronicled here: https://10mosttoday.com/10-most-popular-trees-worldwide/ and include such wonders as the Tree of Life (often thought to reside in the actual Garden of Eden) and the Baobabs of Madagascar that look straight out of the Dr. Seuss’s land of the Lorax!
However you decide to spend this Arbor Day, enjoy some peace and fresh air under their shade and don’t be afraid to hug a tree. They’ll thank you!