Happy Arbor Day — a day to celebrate trees!

Imagine the feeling of finding yourself on a street with large, mature trees? Now think of how you feel in a newer neighborhood with only a few trees, or one that recently lost a significant amount of trees due to emerald ash borer or an extreme weather event.

It feels different, right? You bet it does.

Back in the 1850’s, a young man named J. Sterling Morton, looked out from the top of the ridge of his homestead in Nebraska City and said, “could not be but oppressed by the sense of treelessness…no forest visible on either side as far as the eye could reach…” (Jonnes21). A man who was most enthusiastic about trees, Morton took his passion to the streets, encouraging individuals and civic groups to plant trees. As he gained political influence, he eventually proposed the first tree planting holiday be held on April 10, 1872-it is estimated more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day (Arbor Day Foundation).

Today, Arbor Day is celebrated nationally on the last Friday in April, and in Minnesota for the entire month of May. Across the nation, states choose different dates for their own Arbor Day observances, but the message remains the same, and more important now than ever. Trees improve our environment and provide the future inhabitants of our communities greener tomorrow.

“All other anniversaries look backward; they speak of men and events past. But Arbor Day looks forward; it is devoted to the happiness and prosperity of the future.” J. Sterling Morton

In honor of Arbor Day, Tree Trust recognizes and appreciates the hard work our dedicated volunteers do at our tree planting and distribution events. Thanks to our amazing volunteers, we planted 4,100 trees in 2020, and we have a goal of 6,000 trees planted in 2021!

Trees clean the air we breathe, manage stormwater, keep us cool, reduce our stress levels, and so much more. At Tree Trust, as one of our core focus areas, our commitment to planting trees to grow a vibrant and resilient urban forest remains strong. Watch the video recap of last year’s events! 

In May and June, we host several volunteer tree planting and distribution events in the Twin Cities metro area. You can volunteer to help plant or distribute trees at one of these events. So, register online, bring your mask, and let’s make our neighborhoods greener, one tree at a time!

Learn more about these volunteer events by visiting our website: Volunteer Events

Help us plant trees for a more vibrant and resilient urban forest: Donate to Green Futures

Tree Trust continues to address the devastation of the urban tree canopy through Community Forestry to help ensure Green Futures in areas of greatest need. By inspiring people to plant trees, we increase the tree canopy, contributing to a vibrant and resilient urban forest. 

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Urban Forests A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape, Jill Jonnes, Penguin Books, 2016