Arbor Day is a holiday established for people to celebrate trees. Typically, people engage in tree planting projects on Arbor Day, and they may also care for existing trees and participate in tree-related activities, such as pruning workshops or educational programs for children. This holiday originated in the United States, and it has since spread all over the world. Arbor Day dates vary widely internationally, and many municipalities set their own date.
This holiday was founded by Julius Sterling Morton, a resident of Nebraska who was evidently very fond of trees. According to legend, he became frustrated with the lack of trees in his community, and proposed that the community join together for a day to plant trees and commit to caring for them so that future generations could enjoy them. The first Arbor Day occurred in 1872, and the holiday spread rapidly to other communities and nations.
Planting trees is the focal point of Arbor Day, as the whole point is to increase the number of trees in the world. Civic organizations often work in teams, selecting an area and establishing trees there as a group on Arbor Day, and individual citizens can meet up with these teams or go to a central point to get assignments, depending on how a city organizes its Arbor Day festivities.
In addition to planting trees, people also care for trees established on previous Arbor Days with pruning, fertilization, and so forth. Tree care is an important aspect of this holiday because it ensure that the trees will survive into the future. In some regions, gardeners may lead pruning workshops and other educational sessions to teach people about tree care and the benefits of trees, and the date is sometimes tied in with environmentally-themed events, as trees are beneficial to the environment in a number of ways.
In the United States, the holiday falls on the last Friday in April. The National Arbor Day Foundation helps to coordinate and organize activities on this holiday all over the country. Individual cities may also have their own organizers who can work alone or with the Foundation. Trying in Arbor Day with events like birdwatching, garden workshops, and so forth is common, to encourage people to participate, and in some communities, local nurseries or companies may make gifts of trees for Arbor Day, along with supplies, so that people just need to show up to get involved.