Arbor Day is the celebration and the conservation of our trees and Forests. The history of Arbor Day has its roots in the 1800’s but became of more national significance under the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.
Arbor Day is a day to plant trees. For many years the trees of The USA were used up quickly, and rightfully so, we needed them for housing and for life sustaining fire. When we first settled this country forests were deep and plentiful and lumbar easy to come by. But we began to expand and the original 13 colonies became 50 states. We went from an agricultural society to an industrial society and we forgot that once a tree is cut down a new one does not take its place. We stripped forests of trees and in so doing endangered many forms of wildlife and at the same time caused erosion and soil issues.
Theodore Roosevelt realized what was happening and began to make wildlife preserves to keep the wonders of natural America intact.
Arbor Day is a day to continue the work of conversationalists on a personal level. It is a day to plant trees where they are needed, even if it is in your back yard. It is a day to learn to learn about trees. Do you know the difference between an oak and a maple tree? Arbor Day is a chance to learn. We use oak trees in much of our good furniture and in our buildings. Maple trees make one of the most delicious and nutritious syrups on earth and yet most of us don’t know one from the other. Arbor Day is a chance to learn.
So use Arbor Day to learn more about trees or to plant some yourself. Watching a tree grow from infancy to its full grown glory will be a thrill for years to come.
Think of the literature that has a tree in one way or the other at the center of it. JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has huge forests that come to life. He even invented the Ents a race of beings that cared for trees. Winnie The Pooh lived in a tree. In Peter Pan the home underground was entered by a tree. Hansel and Gretel found the Gingerbread Cottage is a deep wood. Dorothy met The Cowardly Lion in a forest in The Wizard of Oz and every December 25th we cut down an evergreen and bring in into our homes and decorate it to honor Jesus. Trees are a part of our daily existence and yet we take little real notice of them. Arbor Day is a time to correct that.