Arbor Day

arborday.jpgEach year Boise, the "City of Trees", celebrates Arbor Day by planting a tree at a Boise elementary school.  

The History of Arbor Day
The idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska.  Among pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was J. Sterling Morton from Detroit.  His fellow pioneers missed their trees. But, more importantly, trees were needed as windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials and for shade from the hot sun.

Arbor Day's Beginnings
On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called "Arbor Day" at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting properly the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

Present Day
The most common date for the state observances is the last Friday in April, and several U.S. presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day on that date. But a number of state Arbor Days are at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather, from January and February in the south to May in the far north.