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What is Arbor Day about? National Arbor Day is an annual tree-planting day observed in every U.S. state. “Arbor” is the Latin name for “tree” and Arbor Day is all about tree-planting and conservation.

Some form of tree-planting holiday is observed in dozens of countries world-wide. The official date of Arbor Day is the last Sunday in April; however, some states celebrateas early as January or as late as May, depending on the ideal tree-planting season.

Brief history of Arbor Day

According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska first proposed the observance of Arbor Day on January 4, 1872; a million trees were duly planted on April 10 the same year.

In 1885, Nebraska named Arbor Day a state holiday with April 22, Morton’s birthday, as its date. The official date has subsequently moved to the last Sunday in April. Other states set their own tree days and special tree programs. (Story continues below.)

The Arbor Day Foundation disputed the use of “Arbor Day” as a magazine title for Kentucky-based Ecology Crossroads in 1997. “The Seattle Times” reported on it but the matter ended up being settled in court and the term Arbor Day remains in the public domain, where it belongs.

Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a Nebraska nonprofit founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day. Itsprograms cover guidance for running community forests, growing trees, planting trees, and conserving tree habitats both at home and overseas.

The Arbor Day Foundation also runs an annual award for “tree heroes.” The Arbor Day Foundation also is involved in replanting forests after devastating wildfires. Its motto is:

“We inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.”

How to celebrate Arbor Day

The best way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant a tree. This is not a commercial holiday, but a celebration of trees and conservation. Communities around the country are organizing volunteer days, while individual people will pop a new tree into their yard.

National Arbor Day is a time to remember how well trees suck up pollution, provide shade, and look attractive.

Linda Gentile is the National Seasonal Trends Examiner. She covers the circle of the year from the standpoint of its holidays, seasons and “times,” including Arbor Day. To get the latest updates, subscribe to this column here, or view it in your feed reader. Scroll down for more articles and to comment.

Originally published: http://www.examiner.com/article/what-arbor-day-is-about-arbor-day-foundation-background-history-of-arbor-day