This year marks the 150th anniversary of the tree planter’s holiday, and we’re excited to celebrate with you!
Arbor Day is always observed on the last Friday in April. This year, it’s Friday, April 29, 2022. Arbor Day is a national holiday created to recognize the importance of trees. The most common way people celebrate Arbor Day is to get together in groups to plant trees.
National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area.
The day was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraskan journalist who later became the U.S. Agriculture Secretary under President Grover Cleveland. Morton was an enthusiastic promoter of tree planting, had long championed the idea of a day dedicated to planting trees.
Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1874, following a proclamation by Gov. Robert W. Furnas. In less than a decade, the idea for the holiday caught on in other sates until, by 1882, its observance had become a national event. Nebraska made Arbor Day a legal holiday in 1885, moving it to April 22, Morton’s birthday. An estimated one million trees were planted during the first Arbor Day.
Many other countries around the world set aside one day each year to celebrate trees, though not all of them take place on the same day as Arbor Day. One of the oldest is Tu Bishvat, a minor Jewish holiday that usually falls in late January or early February. In ancient times, the people of Israel used this day to plant trees and celebrate their gifts by eating dried fruit and nuts, including figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds.