Tree care professionals have the privilege of serving as tree ambassadors to the public. From tree trimming to identifying diseases, you are the group of people homeowners, business owners and local governments turn to when they need help. That’s why on this Arbor Day, April 24, industry professionals are getting involved in their local communities to share the legacy of the holiday just for trees.
A brief history of the holiday, taken from the Tree Services archives: The first Arbor Day was April 10, 1872, in Nebraska. Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician who served as President Cleveland’s secretary of agriculture, was a proponent of the benefits of wide-scale tree planting. While serving as a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture, he proposed that a day be dedicated to planting and promoting the importance of trees. On the very first Arbor Day, more than a million trees were planted. In 1970, President Nixon made it official at the federal level by declaring the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day.
All over the country, communities are planning for Arbor Day by hosting tree plantings or events, and tree care professionals are getting involved too.
Not every arborist is lucky enough to get the recognition they deserve, but Alan Haywood of Issaquah, Washington was named a Hometown Hero by the local paper, the Issaquah Press. For over 30 years, Haywood has worked for the city, helping it achieve Tree City USA certifications since 1992 by the Arbor Day Foundation. Though his tenure with the city is ending due to budget cuts, it’s heartwarming to see a community that appreciates his good work.
The annual weeklong, 500-mile cycling event doesn’t happen until October, but cyclists are already gearing up for Stihl’s Tour Des Trees. Each participant commits to raising a minimum of $3,500 for the TREE Fund. Fundraising that much can be a challenge, so during the week of April 19-25, every donor who supports a cyclist is entered to win a piece of artisanal woodwork. And if you’re a rider and score a donation that week, you are entered to win a $100 dinner certificate.
You’ll be happy to know your gift is going to fund research on urban trees and educational programs to connect young people with the environment, as well as to engage and educate young people about why we need trees-maybe someday, they’ll have the same passion for trees you do.
Arbor Day is a great opportunity for you to not only spread the message of the importance of trees, but also your chance to share what you do with the world. Just maybe, you’ll inspire the next generation of professionals.
Lodi, California is home to Junior Arborist Victoria Angle. She has been helping plant and care for trees since she was 3 years old by helping her grandfather, the City of Lodi’s parks superintendent. At age 11, she’s already led the city’s Arbor Day celebration by giving a tour and speech.
Even though she wants to be an anthropologist when she grows up, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel, Angle and her grandfather are great examples of how arborists can be ambassadors to their communities.
If a customer asks you to plant trees on their property for Arbor Day, why not suggest a sapling with famous roots? TREE Fund Trustee Brian Sayers has grown trees from seeds grown on the properties of famous authors and public figures. Maybe a tree from Herman Melville, Helen Keller, or Robert Frost is the way to go! All proceeds benefit the TREE Fund to support tree research.