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National Arbor Day Is This Friday

Arbor Day is the one holiday we mark by planting trees. For decades it was…

  • April 24, 2019

Arbor Day is the one holiday we mark by planting trees. For decades it was thought of as a quaint relic of another age, but today’s concerns about climate change, habitat loss and “urbanization” have made Arbor Day relevant for a new generation.

Arbor Day was founded in the U.S. in 1872, in Nebraska. By the 1920s, each state had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance.

National Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska. Other states have selected their own dates for Arbor Day.

The customary observance is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.

Deforestation Continues

When we think of deforestation, our minds usually go to tropical areas of the world, where massive clear-cutting of trees and human development is causing a crisis in real-time.

Yet, deforestation continues to be an issue in the U.S.

Consider that around one-half of the land (or around 1,023,000,000 acres) that became the U.S. was forest prior to the arrival of European-Americans. Today, forested acreage in the U.S. is estimated at 766,000,000 acres.

The U.S. has lost most of its old-growth forest.

You Can Help Change Things

The Arbor Day Foundation sponsors programs across the country that you can take part in. These include Tree City USA, Trees for America, Replanting Our National Forests, Tree Campus and others.

Find out how you can take part at