Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska. By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws where a certain day would be designated Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance. The national holiday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April. The usual celebration includes planting a tree or seedling. On the first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872, approximately one million trees were planted.
This worldwide tree-planting holiday has been celebrated in Wisconsin since 1883. Although the holiday is observed on different dates according to planting conditions and local custom, Wisconsin’s official Arbor Day is the last Friday in April. This year Arbor Day falls on April 25 making it the 132nd year it has been celebrated in Wisconsin.
According to the State of Wisconsin Arbor Day Proclamation, trees are among Wisconsin’s most beautiful natural resources; offer recreational opportunities; provide aesthetic improvement of our communities and homes; and are indispensable to our ecology for wildlife habitat, erosion control, air filters, and noise reduction. Did you know that the DNR offers free tree seedlings to elementary schools in Wisconsin? Annually, the state nursery program provides 75,000 free tree seedlings to Wisconsin fourth grade students for this celebration.
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources brochure on things to consider before planting a tree including power lines, hardiness zones, and space. Once you are ready to plant, also see tips on hole size, pruning, mulching, and more. In addition to the brochure, WDNR also provides step-by-step illustrations for children to follow on planting tree seedlings. If you are interested in a song to help celebrate your tree planting, click here for the “Why Plant Trees?” song. For additional Wisconsin Arbor Day information, contact the WDNR Forestry Program at (608) 267-7494 or your local county UW-Extension office.
As the Arbor Day Foundation states, “…plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.” Trees make a world of difference. Together, people can green up communities, replant forests across the country, save the rain forest, and make an impact on our planet. Check out all the ways you can be involved by visiting their website.
Celebrate Arbor Day and Wisconsin’s beautiful communities and countryside!