Arbor Day, the traditional holiday that promotes planting trees, actually occurs on different days around the country--but, even if you've missed the official day in your state, it's never too late to plant a tree!
More benefits than just the environment
Of course, trees help the earth:
But trees help people and are good for our health, too:
3 ways to plant a tree
Think about where your life could benefit from more trees, more peace. Perhaps it's in your own yard, where trees can beautify your property and help you spend less on energy bills. Or maybe it's in your community, to reduce costs associated with storm runoff and heating and cooling city facilities-and bring a bit more of nature into an urban landscape. In the spirit of Earth Day, it could be just to help the globe overall, by adding to forests around the nation.
1. Donate to an organization. Groups like American Forests and the National Arbor Day Foundation let you pay online to sponsor a number of trees, often in the location of your choice (such as in regions hit by Hurricane Katrina). You can even plant trees to commemorate a special event or honor the death of a loved one.
2. Join a group or event. Nonprofit groups in large cities, like San Francisco's Friends of the Urban Forest, help city governments keep streets green by sponsoring neighborhood tree plantings. You can also join the Tree City USA program--it provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs all over the US. Cities also organize their own tree-planting events during this time of year, making it a great time to volunteer. If there isn't an event where you live, but you think your area is in need of trees, contact your city officials and get involved in beautification efforts-or start them!
3. Plant one yourself. It's easy to buy trees, either through organizations or nurseries. Just be sure to get information about choosing and planting in advance: for tree health, it's crucial to plant the right kind in the right location, and set it in the ground properly. If you don't feel as comfortable, here's a few ways to research which trees might be good for your location.
Tree Care is Important Too
When we plant more trees, it has an effect: An acre of tall-trunked beauties can absorb the same amount of carbon a car produces by driving nearly 9,000 miles. Unfortunately, it takes a tree about a decade to get to the place where it can take in maximum carbon, and the average city tree only lives about 8 years. So we need to worry about the health of currently growing trees in addition to planting new ones. If you suspect that a tree on your property might be unhealthy (signs of bugs, rotting on the trunk), get more information from the ISA on how to care for a tree and hire an arborist to help.