Arbor Day is a celebration of trees
Last updated 3/26/2020 at 12:08pm
Julius Sterling Morton was a man with a mission and a vision of helping the Earth with the planting of forest and fruit trees back in 1872.
Morton proposed the nation's first tree-planting holiday in Nebraska, and a century later, the Arbor Day Foundation was founded. For more than a century, the National Arbor Day holiday continued to embody tree plantings as it was launched to bring the spirit of stewardship to the forefront. Arbor Day is celebrated March 28, with different dates in different states pending planting zones.
The foundation has grown and evolved in the past years, but the mission remains the same. The goal is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees for the Earth and humankind. And with the global issues that we face today, this work of planting trees is more critical than ever.
Policies and practices to protect our air, water and natural resources have been successful in celebrating and building upon Morton's vision. The Arbor Day Foundation has done its part through its many forms of conservation, urban forestry and citizens engagements like what has been done with the miraculous greening of our town through the aid of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and the Save Our Forest group.
With the evolution of the Earth over millions of years, our planet has supported trees and the related bio-diverse vegetation. Through the millennia, the Earth has changed climates, gone through glacial dynamics, created rainforests, desert lands and grassy savannas.
Yet, trees have evolved and changed and they have adapted over time to all the challenges that the Earth has thrown at them.
Here in California, we have some of the tallest trees in the world with the mighty coastal redwood sequoia sempervirens, to the massive by volume sequoiadendron gigantea and then over the Sierra mountains to some of the oldest living bristlecone pines pinus logavea on the globe. That's only about 200 miles how the birds fly from the coastal region to the White Mountains above Death Valley, all within California.
Just think how entire civilizations have been built with the use of trees, and empires have risen from the timber forest around the globe.
Forests around the Earth have built towns and villages, and helped in the creation of products that we use every day in our lives. The paper you read now is from trees; trees give us food of all types, like macadamia, avocados, peaches, oranges, walnuts and more. The cork on top of a wine bottle is from the bark of a cork oak tree, Quercus suber from the Mediterranean region of Spain and Portugal.
Trees have laid the wooden railroad ties below the tracks that trains steamed across in the building of our nation.
The wood from trees fueled the locomotives that crossed our country in its construction and the pioneering of the west. The telephone poles supported the transmission of messages from one side of the country to the other as the pony express came to its ending.
Trees have built our homes, and keep the hearth warm through winter.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a simple wooden log cabin out in the forests and later became the president of our country
Tree timbers have been used to span the rivers with bridges.
They have sheltered us from the elements and built the table and chairs we sit on daily. The maple syrup upon our pancakes is harvested from the sap of trees. The bark, roots and leaves of various trees have given man medicines of all types and have cured many illnesses and are still used in herbal practices today.
The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego was built entirely from redwood logs that were shipped down in wooden sailing ships from the northern California coast. An entire timber mill was built on Coronado to make all the assorted sizes of lumber used in the construction of that iconic hotel that still stands more than a century later.
Trees have formed entire woodlands around the globe. An oak forest can support over 300 different flora and fauna species living in harmony with one another, making up an entire ecosystem.
From toothpicks and cradles to coffins, trees are one of nature's most used natural commodities on the face of the Earth.
Trees shade and cool our homes, and they are a seasonal time-clock showing springtime blossoms, summer fruits and the colorful foliage of autumn. But the world's climate is changing, and trees are under pressure to try and adapt to all the unique global environmental forces that face them.
Trees are susceptible to a plethora of bugs, diseases, droughts, and men who are slash-cutting and burning the Amazon rainforests.
The entire Amazon delta and forests are the lungs of our planet and help in the air that we breathe and today are challenged by deforestation to raise crops and cattle. When these forests are lost, the entire balance of nature is changed, and ecological devastation occurs. Many species will be lost forever.
Our forests are threatened by drought and invasive bugs that come into the picture. When these giant forests fail and die, they become enormous furnaces for wildfires. Just recall what happened in Australia recently.
Trees age and become old just like you and I and have various lifespans. When faced with all the external factors of the day, trees need replacing on the Earth.
The tree movements and tree restorations are happening in grand scales today around the world, to help in the healing of the Earth and climate change. You can be part of planting trees around your home, in parks, forests and community urban tree planting. We are the hope, and you can be a significant part of the solution. Let not the history books in the future say that our generation did not do its role in the healing of our home called Earth.
If you can't plant trees, look at the trees around your home and make sure they are in good health. Regular stewardship and care for trees are just as important as planting them. With all the rains we are having, the soils can become soft and massive canopy trees need to be checked for safety.
There would be no life without trees and it's OK to hug a tree and give thanks for all that they give us. Get your kids and grandkids to understand the importance of trees and the great outdoors, so they can get a dose of vitamin N for nature, according to the author Richard Louv. And we must keep in mind that there is no planet B.
He who plants trees believes in all the tomorrows to come.
Roger Boddaert is a certified I.S.A. arborist and can help your trees and landscapes in their care and stewardship, (760) 728-4297.