Did You Know — Arbor Day Edition

North American Training Solutions Blog

What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants cool shade and tender rain,
And seed and bud of days to be,
And years that fade and flush again;
He plants the glory of the plain;
He plants the forest
’s heritage;
The harvest of a coming age;
The joy that unborn eyes shall see—
These things he plants who plants a tree.

~ Excerpt from The Heart of the Tree by Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896)


We know that Arbor Day — this year, on Friday, April 28 — is all about trees, but you may be surprised by some of the facts behind the annual observation. Here, we take a look at the history of Arbor Day, how trees benefit the environment, and some ways that we can all make a difference in the world of trees.


  • The Father of Arbor Day is Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist and tree enthusiast
  • The first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in appreciation of all trees
  • Arbor Day was nearly called Sylvan Day; sylvan means wooded
  • Morton led efforts that resulted in the planting of about 1 million trees on the first Arbor Day
  • Schools across the country began participating in Arbor Day in 1882
  • Arbor Day became an official Nebraska state holiday in 1885
  • The date of April 22 was initially chosen because of ideal planting conditions, and it was Morton’s birthday
  • By 1892, every state in the U.S. participated in Arbor Day, except Delaware
  • Arbor Day went international in 1883, first in Japan, followed by Europe, Canada and Australia
  • Arbor Day became a national holiday in 1970
  • Morton’s home, Arbor Lodge, is part of the Nebraska State Park system
  • In the U.S., Arbor Day is typically celebrated the last Friday of April
  • Arbor Day may be celebrated at different times of the year that are more suitable for planting. For example, Florida celebrates in June, Alaska celebrates in May and Hawaii celebrates in November

Tree Facts

  • Global forests removed about one-third of fossil fuel emissions annually from 1990 to 2007
  • Roadside trees reduce nearby indoor air pollution by more than 50%
  • Office workers who have views of trees report significantly less stress and more satisfaction
  • One large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people
  • More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest
  • Shade provided by trees lower surface and air temperatures by as much as 20–45°F
  • In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced by a car driven 26,000 miles
  • Trees provide vital wildlife habitats

Make a Difference

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