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Branching Out – How to Celebrate Arbor Day

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Fir TreesTrees are amazing living things.

They can live for hundreds of years, they can grow under all kinds of extreme conditions and they quietly cleanse CO2 from our atmosphere and provide us with oxygen.

They sway in the breeze, freeze in the winter and offer us welcome shade on a hot summer’s day. Trees give us everything from a perch for our childhood clubhouse to the wood in our pencils to the heat in our fireplace.

We should celebrate trees every day of the year, but the official holiday to honor these leafy wonders is Arbor Day.

The name Arbor Day comes from the Latin word “arbor” which means tree.

This holiday is dedicated to the planting and care of trees and it originated in Nebraska in 1872.

The holiday is observed in the springtime and the date changes according to the suitable planting conditions. In 2012, Arbor Day will be held on April 27th.

Here are a few ideas of what you can do on Arbor Day:

  • Teach your children about trees. Take a walk in a forest and look closely at a tree with your child. Show them how the roots go into the ground to gather nutrients and the leaves capture light from the sun and convert it to food. If you find a fallen tree, teach them how to count the rings and find out how old it is.
  • If your community is having an Arbor Day celebration, join in the festivities! Many towns and cities will have music, events and more.
  • Volunteer at a local tree-planting organization and help out with a community beautification project.
  • Give someone you love a seedling as an Arbor Day gift, so they can plant it in their backyard and think of you.
  • Look for recycled paper alternatives to your paper purchases, such as notebooks, paper towels and printer paper. If you can get in the habit of using recycled paper you can save more trees!
  • If the climate in your hometown allows, plant a fruit tree in your yard such as an apple or orange tree. In a few years you will be able to eat the delicious fruit.

These are just a few ways that you can celebrate Arbor Day this spring and show your thanks for all that trees do for us.

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