from The Lorax
written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1971
We can’t hug our friends, neighbors, or even family members, but Nature is singing to me this spring. Especially this spring. It’s time to get out there and hug a tree!
I wonder about tree-related words. “Forest” and “woods” are common enough, and woods are smaller than forests, but how about the difference between an orchard and a grove. Turns out they are both groups of trees, nut or fruit trees or a combination of both. I checked Grant Barrett’s website https://www.waywordradio.org/orchard-vs-grove/ and found out that an orchard is specifically planted to raise fruits and or nuts and a grove is not necessarily planted, but is full of nut trees and / or fruit trees, anyway. Why is a group of orange trees called a grove and an apple farm called an orchard? Well, according to Grant, it just sounds better that way. So there you go!
What is an arbor, then, and why do we call the holiday Arbor Day? According to www.dictionary.com an arbor is “a leafy, shady recess formed by tree branches, shrubs, etc.”
Started as a formal holiday in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton shortly after he moved to Nebraska Territory, Morton recognized the importance of trees for holding the soil in place and for windbreaks, fuel, building materials, and shade from the hot prairie sun. Morton was a journalist and became editor of the first newspaper in Nebraska. He used his paper to write about his love of trees and encouraged many of his neighbors to plant the trees they sorely missed after moving West themselves.
Other states passed legislation to institute Arbor Days of their own, and by 1920, forty-five states and territories celebrated Arbor Day. For many years, it was celebrated on April 22, J. Sterling Morton’s birthday.
Many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year, though. They base their observance on the best tree-planting times in their area. The dates range from the third Friday in January in Florida and Louisiana to the first Friday in November in Texas and Hawaii. California celebrates for a whole week in March, but most states join the National celebration now held on the last Friday in April. Here’s a map. Just scroll over your state to find when your celebration is held. www.arborday.org/celebrate/dates.cfm
Not wanting to let anyone down, since this is also still National Poetry Month, and the last Tuesday, at that, here’s my poem for the week.
Two Trees Trapped in Concrete
Twiny twigs tremble,
resemble fingers wind-dancing
while branches touch, catch, stretch skyward,
a lacy embrace.
Canopied leaves glow green and green.
But rumbly roots dig deep,
search for earth,
downward, downward, sideward,
And finally, here is an important good-news article from the Arbor Day Foundation’s blog.
On Oct. 25, 2019, social media influencers partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to launch an initiative called #TeamTrees. Their goal was to raise $20 million for tree planting by Jan. 1, 2020. During the next two months, more than 800,000 unique donors from 200 countries and territories around the globe visited TeamTrees.org to make a donation. On Dec. 19, that goal was surpassed and the promise of more than 20 million trees became a reality.
Now the Arbor Day Foundation’s planting efforts are in full swing, as our goal is to plant all the trees funded through #TeamTrees by December of 2022. Nearly 30 projects have been selected for planting in 2020, and many more are being planned for the coming years. Following is an inside look at three of the projects benefitting from #TeamTrees this year. https://www.arborday.org/programs/replanting/teamtrees/
Lots of cities across the United States are part of the Arbor Day’s Tree City USA program. Mine is. Find out if your city has that designation here https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/directory.cfm and how to become included if it is not.
The symbols of each state include a tree. Find yours here https://statesymbolsusa.org/categories/state-tree
Thirty-three countries all over the world, including the United States, celebrate Arbor Days of their own.
The whole world celebrates trees!
-—stay curious! (and smile back at Mother Nature)