×

National Arbor Day History

8th October 2008



Arbor Day originated in 1872 in the United States territory of Nebraska. Mr. J. Sterling Morton, a newcomer to the treeless plains of Nebraska, was a keen proponent of the beauty and benefit of trees. He persuaded the local agricultural board to set aside a day for planting trees and through his position as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper, encouraged participation in the event by publishing articles on the value of trees for soil protection, fruit, shade and building. Mr. Morton’s home, known as Arbor Lodge, was a testament to his love for trees and so inspired the name of the holiday; Arbor Day.

In South Africa Arbor Day or ‘tree planting day’ aims to create an awareness of the importance of trees  to our environment.  Although Arbor Day has been in existence for more than 35 years in the United States, it was first introduced in this country in 1982, by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Stodels Nurseries was at the forefront of creating national awareness and the celebration of this important day.  It is the day when we try to plant a tree and pay special attention to our environment and the role trees play in it.

Trees are not only there to be aesthetically pleasing but play an important role in reducing the levels of carbon dioxide and providing life-giving oxygen. As human populations grow, the cities expand and the veld is fast becoming a concrete jungle.  Nick Stodels, MD of Stodels Nurseries says, “I feel that children should not just be taught about the environment, but given a small piece of ground and told to plant…..no number of lectures will have the same effect as watching your own trees or plants grow.  By sponsoring trees and encouraging underprivileged children to plant trees we will be investing in an ecologically sound future.

Cecil John Rhodes said, “Whoever has the foresight to plant trees is creating a monument for himself and providing capital for his successors, while the gain for posterity and the youth is incalculable. “Arbor Day or ‘tree planting day’ aims to create an awareness of the importance of trees  to our environment.  Although Arbor Day has been in existence for many years in the United States, it was first introduced in t¬his country in 1982, by the Minister of Environmental Affairs.  It is the day when we try to plant a tree and pay special attention to our environment and the role trees play in it. Trees are not only there because they are aesthetically pleasing but play an important role in reducing the levels of carbon dioxide and providing life-giving oxygen. As human populations grow, the cities expand and the veld is fast becoming a concrete jungle.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE: