With spring in full swing many countries in the northern hemisphere have been celebrating Arbor Day or are about to. Even in southerly regions it’s still a good time to start gathering seeds and begin propagating trees for spring. It's also a time for pruning and care and maintenance of existing trees. While the Spanish village of Mondonedo is believed to have had the first Arbor Day in 1594, things really got going in 1872 when Nebraskan newspaper editor J. Sterling – Morton created a competition which gave a prize to counties which planted the most trees. Over one million trees were planted on that day in his home state alone and the idea was progressively adopted by other countries as well. Some countries celebrate whole weeks. Korea for example has “Tree Loving Week,” India has a National Festival of Tree Planting, the UK has National Tree Week from November 27 – December 5, Japan has “Greening Week” and South Africa celebrates Arbor Week from September 1 -7. This year Australia celebrates National Tree Day on the first of August and National Schools Tree Day on Friday the 30th of July. Though mass community plantings have been limited due to COVID there are still many ways to get involved. See Planet Ark's pages for example, or those for the Arbor Day Foundation.
I have very fond memories of Arbor Day in Primary School. Not only were we outside planting trees and not doing grammar or arithmetic, but we sang songs, did drawings and wrote essays and poems. I particularly remember this one written by Joyce Kilmer in 1914. After he was killed in World War 1, the US Forest Service purchased a large tract of land in his name in 1938 to prevent it being clear -felled. The poem became very popular in the 1940-50s and was also set to music.
Happy Planting and Tree Nurturing Everyone!