In 1872, Nebraska newspaper editor and nature-lover J. Sterling Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. Morton believed that adding more trees would make the newly formed Nebraska Territory more attractive to settlers. On April 10, 1872, the first Arbor Day celebration took place, and more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska, and it only felt right that the holiday would be observed on Morton’s birthday, April 22. During the 1870s, other states passed legislation to commemorate Arbor Day, and it became a tradition for school children to plant trees on the day. Today all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day. It is primarily observed on the last Friday in April, but the date varies from state to state depending on what time of year is best to plant trees. Morton went on to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland, and several U.S. presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day during their presidencies.
This Arbor Day, get to know the trees around you and how we can keep them healthy and protected. Read up on tree species, forest ecosystems, and the life cycle of trees with these books that will have you shouting “more trees please!”
Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down details the life cycle of trees and explains how trees work as a renewable source. This beautifully illustrated book will help teach kids from a young age to respect and appreciate trees and all they do for us.
The National Individual Tree Species Atlas covers each tree species in the United States and exactly where each species is likely to grow or not grow. This work complete with illustrations will benefit silviculturists, foresters, geneticists, researchers, botanists, wildlife habitat biologists, and landscape ecologists. In other words, this atlas is excellent for anyone involved in natural resources management or monitoring impacts of climate change … or someone who just loves visiting America’s forests and landscapes!
Does your home seem to have some trees that don’t look healthy? You’re not alone. How to Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees from the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service was created to help homeowners and land managers like you recognize hazardous defects in trees. The publication suggests possible corrective actions to restore trees to good health, so the trees on your property continue to live their best lives.
Imagine trying to quantify all the benefits of trees. Doesn’t sound easy, right? Southern forests provide a variety of critical ecosystem services, from the purification of water and air to recreational opportunities for millions of people. Trees at Work is a guide from the Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service that proposes a sound approach to quantifying the services provided by these ecosystems.
On a fruitful note, Fruitful Legacy from the Department of the Interior and National Park Service provides information about the development of the most common types of orchards and fruit trees in the United States.
Whether it’s a pretty pink Japanese Cherry Blossom, a venerable Weeping Willow, or a Giant Sequoia, trees are without a doubt one of the most magnificent parts of our world. Each tree has its own unique purpose on Earth. What’s your favorite type of tree and why? Let us know in the comments below and have a wonderful Arbor Day!
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- Click here to purchase Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?
- Click here to purchase National Individual Tree Species Atlas
- Click here to purchase How To Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees
- Click here to purchase Trees at Work: Economic Accounting for Forest Ecosystem Services in the U.S. South
- Click here to purchase Fruitful Legacy: A Historic Context of Orchards in the United States, with Technical Information for Registering Orchards in the National Register of Historic Places
- Check out more resources from our Trees and Forests collection
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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.