Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Roger's Tree Pick – Arbor Day in California

National Arbor Day is celebrated in California from March 7 through 14 every year, and the movement has been growing strong since the first Arbor Day back in 1872 in the state of Nebraska. California’s state tree is the glorious redwood, one of the tallest redwoods in the world and found in northern California.

Every state in the Union, from Alabama to Wyoming, sets aside a date or a week for the planting of trees throughout their state. It begins as early as November in Hawaii, and ends in Maine in the month of May.

The beginnings of National Arbor Day began with Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), a Nebraskan journalist and politician from Michigan. In his long career, Morton strove to improve agricultural techniques in his adopted state where he served as the Secretary of Agriculture.

Morton demonstrated that planting trees was good for agriculture, growing wind-breaks and creating soil stabilization by planting orchards and shade trees in the wind-blown states of middle America. He saw the need for introducing new hardy trees for different climatic zones, and was a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture.

Morton proposed to set aside a special day dedicated to tree planting, and during Nebraska’s first Arbor Day celebration, more than one million trees were planted throughout the state. In 1885 he made Nebraska’s annual tree planting a legal holiday, selecting April 22 to coincide with his birthday. Soon other states followed and today tree plantings are celebrated with Arbor Day festivals across the nation and all over the world.

I had the great fortune to visit the home of Morton Sterling some years back. Viewing the Arbor Day farms is a wonderful experience to behold, especially for a practicing arborist. The farm’s main focus is on education and global aid for reforestation from the rainforest of the Amazon to the prairies of mid-America. There is lodging there, and many conferences are conducted at the Arbor Day Lodge throughout the year. Autumn is a fun time to visit as the apple orchards are harvested then and a festival coincides with that special seasonal time of year.

Tree plantings go on constantly across the globe with reforestation projects, urban and community tree plantings, along with home, garden and backyard plantings to enhance the home, create shade, habitats for wildlife and bring about a calm and peace to any landscape setting.

Allow this national day to inspire you to be involved in community tree plantings and support your local groups who always need a hand and a shovel. Go to, search the great information available and support their global environmental causes by becoming a member.

“He who plants a tree believes that someone someday will sit under its shade”

Roger Boddaert is a Certified ISA arborist/Consultations available at (760) 728-4297.


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