Arbor Day

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For other uses, see Arbor Day (disambiguation).
Arbor Day
ArborDay2009treeplanters.JPG
Volunteers planting a tree for Arbor Day (Rochester, Minnesota, 2009)
Observed by Multiple countries
Type Cultural
Significance A holiday celebrating trees.
Celebrations Planting and caring for trees, educating about the importance of trees.
Date Final Friday in April (US), various other days (other countries).
Frequency annual
Related to Greenery Day (Japan)

Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Today, many countries observe this holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.

Origins[edit]

The naturalist Miguel Herrero Uceda at the monument to the first Arbor Day in the world, Villanueva de la Sierra (Spain) 1805.

First Arbor Day in the world[edit]

The small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra is the town where was held the first Arbor Day around the world, an initiative launched in 1805 by the local priest with the enthusiastic support of the entire population.[1]

While Napoleon was ravaging Europe with his ambition in this village in the Sierra de Gata lived a priest, don Ramón Vacas Roxo, which, according to the chronicles, "convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs, decides to plant trees and give a festive air. The festival began on Carnival Tuesday with the ringing of two bells of the church, and the Middle and the Big. After the Mass, and even coated with church ornaments, don Ramón, accompanied by clergies, teachers and a large number of neighbours, planted the first tree, a poplar, in the place known as Valley of the Ejido. Tree plantations continued by Arroyada and Fuente de la Mora. Afterwards, there was a feast, and did not miss the dance. The party and plantations lasted three days. He drafted a manifesto in defence of the trees that was sent to surrounding towns to spread the love and respect for nature, and also he advised to make tree plantations in their localities.

—Miguel Herrero Uceda, Arbor Day

First American Arbor Day[edit]

The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.[2]

Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe.[3]

McCreight and Roosevelt[edit]

Beginning in 1906, Pennsylvania conservationist Major Israel McCreight of DuBois, Pennsylvania, argued that President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation speeches were limited to businessmen in the lumber industry and recommended a campaign of youth education and a national policy on conservation education.[4] McCreight urged President Roosevelt to make a public statement to school children about trees and the destruction of American forests. Conservationist Gifford Pinchot, Chief of the United States Forest Service, embraced McCreight’s recommendations and asked the President to speak to the public school children of the United States about conservation. On April 15, 1907, Roosevelt issued an "Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States"[5] about the importance of trees and that forestry deserves to be taught in U.S. schools. Pinchot wrote McCreight, “we shall all be indebted to you for having made the suggestion.”[6]

Places it is celebrated in[edit]

Arbor Day in Algeria

Australia[edit]

National Schools Tree Day is held on the last Friday of July for schools and National Tree Day the last Sunday in July throughout Australia. Many states have Arbor Day although only Victoria has Arbor Week, which was suggested by Premier Dick Hamer in the 1980s. Arbor Day has been observed in Australia since 20 June 1889.

Belgium[edit]

International Day of Treeplanting is celebrated in Flanders on or around 21 March as a theme-day/educational-day/observance, not as public holidays. Tree planting is sometimes combined with awareness campaigns of the fight against cancer: Kom Op Tegen Kanker.

Brazil[edit]

The Arbor Day (Dia da Árvore) is celebrated on September 21. It's not a national holiday. However, schools nationwide celebrate this day with environment-related activities, namely tree planting.

British Virgin Islands[edit]

Arbour Day is celebrated on November 22. It is sponsored by the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands. Activities include an annual national Arbour Day Poetry Competition and tree planting ceremonies throughout the territory.

Cambodia[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on June 1. Cambodia celebrates an arbor day on 9 July.

Canada[edit]

Founded by Don Clark of Schomberg, Ontario for his wife Margret Clark in 1906. In Canada, Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday in September during National Forest Week. Ontario celebrates Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May. Nova Scotia celebrates Arbor Day on the Thursday during National Forest Week, which is the first full week in May. Prince Edward Island celebrates Arbor Day on the 3rd Friday in May during Arbor Week.[7]

Central African Republic[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on July 20.

Czech Republic[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on October 20. The tree of year is voted.

China[edit]

In 1981, the fourth session of the Fifth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China adopted the Resolution on the Unfolding of a Nationwide Voluntary Tree-planting Campaign. This resolution established the Arbor Day (Chinese: 植树节) and stipulated that every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 11 and 60 should plant three to five trees per year or do the equivalent amount of work in seedling, cultivation, tree tending or other services. Supporting documentation instructs all units to report population statistics to the local afforestation committees as the basis for workload allocation. Moreover, those failing to do their duty are expected to make up planting requirements, provide funds equivalent to the value of labor required or pay heavy fines. Therefore, the tree-planting campaign is actually compulsory,[citation needed] or at least obligatory (that is, an obligation to the community). The "voluntary" in the title referred to the fact that the tree-planters would "volunteer" their labour. The People's Republic of China celebrates Arbor Day on March 12, a day founded by Lin Daoyang, continue to use following the date of Arbor Day of Republic of China.

Costa Rica[edit]

"Día del Árbol" is on June 15.

Egypt[edit]

Arbor Day is on January 15.[citation needed]

Germany[edit]

Arbor Day ("Tag des Baumes") is on April 25. First celebration was in 1952.

India[edit]

Van Mahotsav is an annual pan-Indian tree planting festival, occupying a week in the month of July. During this event millions of trees are planted. It was initiated in 1950 by K. M. Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create an enthusiasm in the mind of the populace for the conservation of forests and planting of trees.

The name Van Mahotsava (the festival of trees) originated in July 1947 after a successful tree-planting drive was undertaken in Delhi, in which national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad and Abdul Kalam Azad participated. Paryawaran Sachetak Samiti, a leading environmental organization conducts mass events & concrete activities on this special day celebration each year. The week was simultaneously celebrated in a number of states in the country.

Iran[edit]

In Iran it is known as National Tree Planting Day. By Solar Hijri calendar, it is on the 15th day of month Esfand which usually corresponds with March 5.
This day is the first day of the Natural Recyclable Resources week (March 5 to 12).
This is the time in which the saplings of the all kinds in terms of different climates of different parts of Iran would be shared among the people. They also are going to be taught the ways of planting trees.[8]

Israel[edit]

Tu Bishvat, Israel

The Jewish holiday Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees, is on the 15th day of the month of Shvat, which usually falls in January or February. Originally based on the date used to calculate the age of fruit trees for tithing as mandated in Leviticus 19:23–25, the holiday now is most often observed by planting trees, or raising money to plant trees.[9] Tu Bishvat is a semi official holiday in Israel, schools are open but Hebrew speaking schools will often go on tree planting excursions.

Japan[edit]

Japan celebrates a similarly themed Greenery Day, held on May 4. Although it has a similar theme to Arbor Day, its roots lay in celebration of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito.

Kenya[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on April 21. Often people plant palm trees and coconut trees along the Indian Ocean that borders the East coast of Kenya.

Lesotho[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on March 21.

Luxembourg[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is in November since 1991. It is organized by natur&ëmwelt.

Republic of Macedonia[edit]

Having in mind the bad condition of the forest fund, and in particular the catastrophic wildfires which occurred in the summer of 2007, a citizen's initiative for afforestation was started in the Republic of Macedonia. The campaign by the name 'Tree Day-Plant Your Future' was first organized on 12 March 2008, when an official non-working day was declared and more than 150,000 Macedonians planted 2 million trees in one day (symbolically, one for each citizen). Six million more were planted in November the same year, and another 12,5 million trees in 2009.

Malawi[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on the 2nd Monday of December.

Mexico[edit]

National Tree Day is on the 2nd Thursday of July.[citation needed]

Namibia[edit]

Its first Arbor Day was celebrated on 2004-10-08.[10]

Netherlands[edit]

Since conference and of the Food and Agriculture Organization's publication World Festival of Trees, and a resolution of the United Nations in 1954: "The Conference, recognising the need of arousing mass consciousness of the aesthetic, physical and economic value of trees, recommends a World Festival of Trees to be celebrated annually in each member country on a date suited to local conditions"; it has been adopted by the Netherlands. In 1957, the National Committee Day of Planting Trees/Foundation of National Festival of Trees (Nationale Boomplantdag/Nationale Boomfeestdag) was created.

On the third Wednesday in March each year (near the spring equinox), three quarters of Dutch schoolchildren aged 10/11 and Dutch celebrities plant trees. Stichting Nationale Boomfeestdag organizes all the activities in the Netherlands for this day. Some municipalities however plant the trees around 21 September because of the planting season.[11]

In 2007, the 50th anniversary was celebrated with special golden jubilee-activities.

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand's first Arbor Day planting was in Greytown in the Wairarapa on 3 July 1890. The first official celebration will take place in Wellington in August 2012, with the planting of pohutukawa and Norfolk pines along Thorndon Esplanade.[citation needed]

Born in 1855, Dr Leonard Cockayne (generally recognised as the greatest botanist who has lived, worked, and died in New Zealand) worked extensively on native plants throughout New Zealand and wrote many notable botanical texts. Even as early as the 1920s he held a vision for school students of New Zealand to be involved in planting native trees and plants in their school grounds. This vision bore fruit and schools in New Zealand have long planted native trees on Arbor Day.

Since 1977, New Zealand has celebrated Arbor Day on June 5, which is also World Environment Day, prior to then Arbor Day, in New Zealand, was celebrated on August 4 – which is rather late in the year for tree planting in New Zealand hence the date change.

What the Department of Conservation (DOC) does for Arbor Day: Many of DOC's Arbor Day activities focus on ecological restoration projects using native plants to restore habitats that have been damaged or destroyed by humans or invasive pests and weeds. There are great restoration projects underway around New Zealand and many organisations including community groups, landowners, conservation organisations, iwi, volunteers, schools, local businesses, nurseries and councils are involved in them. These projects are part of a vision to protect and restore the indigenous biodiversity.

Niger[edit]

Since 1975, Niger has celebrated Arbor Day as part of its Independence Day: 3 August. On this day, aiding the fight against desertification, each Nigerien plants a tree.

Pakistan[edit]

National tree plantation day of Pakistan ( قومی شجر کاری دن ) is celebrated on 18 August.[12]

Philippines[edit]

Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25 throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities. The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and regreening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396 of June 2, 2003. Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the "active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity and declaring June 25, 2003 as Philippines Arbor Day."

Poland[edit]

In Poland, Arbor Day is celebrated on October 10.

Portugal[edit]

Arbor Day is celebrated on March 21. It's not a national holiday but instead schools nationwide celebrate this day with environment-related activities, namely tree planting.

South Africa[edit]

Arbor Day was celebrated from 1945 until 2000 in South Africa, when the national government extended it to National Arbor Week, which lasts from 1–7 September. Two trees, one common and one rare, are highlighted to increase public awareness of indigenous trees, while various "greening" activities are undertaken by schools, businesses and other organizations.

South Korea[edit]

Main article: Sikmogil

Arbor Day (Sikmogil, 식목일) was a public holiday in South Korea on April 5 until 2005. The day is still celebrated, though. On non-leap years, the day coincides with Hansik.

Spain[edit]

Planting holm oaks in Pescueza

In Spain is usually held on the International Forest Day on 21 March, but following the 1915 decree spirit that forced to celebrate the Arbor Day throughout Spain, each municipality or collective decides the date for its Arbor Day, usually between February and May. In Villanueva de la Sierra (Extremadura), where the first Arbor Day in the world was held in 1805, it is celebrated, as on that occasion, on Tuesday Carnaval. It is a great day in the local festive calendar.[13]

As an example of commitment to nature, the small town of Pescueza, with only 180 inhabitants, organizes every spring a large plantation of holm oaks, which is called the “Festivalino” promoted by city council, several foundations and citizen participation where several thousand people together repopulates naked lands and regaining life. All wrapped up in a fun party atmosphere, joy, music and renew.[14]

Sri Lanka[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on November 15.

Taiwan[edit]

Arbor Day (植樹節) has been a traditional holiday in the Republic of China since 1927. In 1914, the founder of the agricultural college at Nanking University suggested to the now-defunct Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that China should imitate the practice in the United States of Arbor Day. The holiday would be held the same day as the Qingming Festival. However, for unknown reasons, the suggestion was not made through the formal process, so nothing came from this original request. After the successful conclusion of the Northern Expedition, the now-defunct Ministry of Agriculture and Minerals formally petitioned the Executive Yuan to establish Arbor Day to commemorate the passing of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Father of Modern China. He had been a major advocate of afforestation in his life, because it would increase people's livelihoods. The Executive Yuan approved Arbor Day in the spirit of Dr. Sun that year and has since been celebrated on March 12 for this purpose.

Tanzania[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on January 1

Uganda[edit]

National Tree Planting Day is on March 24.

United Kingdom[edit]

First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is a celebration of the start of the winter tree planting season. Around a million trees are planted each year by schools, community organizations and local authorities.

United States[edit]

Arbor Day community festival in Rochester, Minnesota.

Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by Julius Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. By the 1920s, each state in the United States 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; in Nebraska, it is a civic holiday. Each state celebrates its own state holiday. The customary observance is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.[2]

Venezuela[edit]

Venezuela recognizes "Día del Arbol" on the last Sunday of May.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herrero Uceda, Miguel. Arbor Day (in Spanish). Quercus, nature review. March 2011
  2. ^ a b "The History of Arbor Day," Arborday.org. Accessed: April 26, 2013.
  3. ^ Birdsey Grant Northrop, retrieved 2009-04-25 
  4. ^ M.I. McCreight, Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation Why: A Thirty-Four Year Moratorium on Unpublished Records (1940), Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, at p.12, Hereinafter cited “Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation Why”.
  5. ^ Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States
  6. ^ “Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation Why”
  7. ^ "Arbor Day Around The World". The Arbor Day Foundation. 20 July 2010
  8. ^ "Tree Planting Day". tebyan.net. Tebyan Cultural and Information Center. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Judaism 101: Tu B'Shevat. Accessed August 20, 2007.
  10. ^ "Arbor Day Around The World". Arbor day foundation. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  11. ^ Boomfeestdag http://www.boomfeestdag.nl/ the organisations address is Spoorlaan 444 5038 CH TILBURG
  12. ^ 18 August declared as NTPD
  13. ^ The oldest environmentalist festival in the world was celebrated in Villanueva. Sierra de Gata News. February 26, 2014
  14. ^ Herrero Uceda, Miguel y Elisa: Mi Extremadura. 2011, pages 147-148

External links[edit]