Nebraska is rich in tree and forest resources. The approximately 1.57 million acres of forest land area contains nearly 394 million trees.
When is Arbor Day?
How long until Arbor Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 95 Days.|
|The first American Arbor Day took place in Nebraska City on 10 April 1872|
Arbor Day is a state holiday observed in Nebraska, USA.
This holiday is celebrated on the last Friday in April.
An Arbor Day may be observed in other states, but not as a state-wide holiday and may be observed on a different date to Arbor Day in Nebraska.
History of Arbor Day
The natural habitat of most of Nebraska is a treeless prairie. When the first pioneers arrived in the middle of the nineteenth century, the lack of trees was an issue as they create windbreaks, help keep soil in place and of course are invaluable for fuel and building materials.
J. Sterling Morton was a pioneer who had arrived with his wife from Detroit to create a new life for themselves in Nebraska in 1854. As keen gardeners, they started planting their new home with trees, shrubs and flowers.
Morton was a journalist and became the editor of a newspaper in Nebraska, The Nebraska City News. He used his newspaper to inform and educate the readership on agricultural matters.
Morton told his readers about the benefits of tree planting in his articles and editorials, and encouraged civic organizations and groups to join in. He became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, which give him more opportunity to push his desire to increase the number of trees in Nebraska.
In 1872, Morton proposed the idea of a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for 10 April 1872. To encourage participation, prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees on that day. The first Arbor Day was a roaring success and it is estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day.
Did you know?
Arbor Day was almost called "Sylvan Day," which means wooded and refers to forest trees. "Arbor" was chosen instead as it is more general and includes forest trees and fruit trees.
Inspired by Nebraska's success with Arbor Day, it wasn't long before other states passed legislation to observe Arbor Day, and the tradition began in schools nation-wide in 1882.
In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska and 22 April, Morton’s birthday, was selected as its date.
Morton went on to become governor of Nebraska and eventually U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Did you know?
America’s national tree is the oak. The National Arbor Day Foundation put it to a vote in 2004, and Congress made it official. The redwood was a top contender and came in second place.
Arbor Day has been declared a national holiday by several U.S. presidents, usually choosing the last Friday in April as the official date. The date of its observance can vary from state to state depending on the best tree-planting weather. For instance, the southern state of Louisiana celebrates it in January, while a more northern state like Maine has its Arbor Day in May.