Many people may recognize Arbor Day on a National scale to be celebrated on the last Friday in April; however, that is not the case for every state.
Florida in particular celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday in January which means for the year 2022, that will fall on Friday January 21st. You may be wondering why Florida celebrates Arbor Day at a different time than other states. Tree experts and professional forestry workers have done studies and research over the years and they have found out that the best time to plant trees is when temperatures are cooler. Cooler temperatures help younger trees to become well rooted into the ground which gives them a great foundation before the hotter and warmer weather approaches. Due to Florida’s unique ecosystem and weather patterns, January is the ideal time for tree planting in Florida.
Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City by a local journalist named Julius Sterling Morton on April 10th, 1872. In total, an estimated one million trees were planted within the state of Nebraska that day. Julius combined his editorial skills with his knowledge of trees to create a message of ecological importance to his community. This message was so positively received throughout the years from both the community and the Agriculture Board of Nebraska that in April of 1885, the board agreed to instate Arbor Day as an official State holiday. As the importance of environmental protection became more and more evident throughout the years, Arbor Day became nationally recognized in the 1970s.
Arbor Day is important because it raises awareness of the essential relationship between the environment and its people. When communities build and sustain a healthy environment for trees, those trees reward us by providing many benefits including materials for building, fuel, shade, food, windbreaks, wildlife habitats and beauty just to name a few. The United States has many cities that are recognized as “Tree City’s” (city’s that focus on healthy tree growth). One of the standards to become a tree city is to promote and celebrate Arbor Day. According to 2020 statistics from the Arbor Day Foundation, the United states has over 3,500 tree cities. Florida on its own encompasses over 180 of those tree city’s.
This goes to show that Arbor Day is essential for spreading the word of the continued support of environmental health.