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A Brief History of Arbor Day

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.  Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist and politician, felt that Nebraska’s landscape and economy would benefit from the wide-scale planting of trees. He set an example by planting orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm and wanted his neighbors to do the same.  As a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture, Morton decided that a special day should be dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees.  Nebraska’s first Arbor Day was born, with more than one million trees being planted.  In 1884, the second Arbor Day took place, and in 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday.  National Arbor Day is celebrated in the United States every year on the last Friday in April.

It has been over 135 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day, and his unique idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever.

Why plant trees?

  • Trees are like the lungs of the planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. They filter pollution from the air.  Without trees, there would be no life on this planet.  A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in one season as 10 people inhale in a year.
  • Trees clean our air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone, and filtering particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. Forests are like giant filters that clean the air we breathe.
  • Global warming is the result of excess greenhouse gases, created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth, is trapped in this layer of gases, causing global temperatures to rise. Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Trees trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make carbohydrates that are used for plant growth. They give us oxygen in return. In one year, an acre of mature trees can absorb the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees provide food and habitat for birds and wildlife.Gardener Planting in Vegetable Garden
  • Shade from trees saves water by slowing the water evaporation from thirsty lawns.
  • Trees help prevent water pollution and reduce runoff by breaking rainfall and allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents storm water from carrying pollutants to the ocean.  On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.
  • Trees mask unsightly views, like parking lots or walls.  Trees also absorb sound and reduce noise pollution, which is extremely beneficial for people living near major highways.  Trees can add so much beauty to the landscaping of your home.
  • Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.  They give shelter from wind and rain.
  • Trees provide shade which helps cut UV-B exposure in half.
  • Trees conserve energy. During windy and cold seasons, trees can act as windbreaks for your home which will help you save on heating costs.  Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer.
  • Trees mark the beginning of each season.  At times, trees can become a soothing, fun, or learning environment.

How You Can Do Your Part

Arbor Day is the perfect day to care of your existing trees and think about plant new ones.  Inspect your trees.  Look for any infestation.  Prepare the soil for new growth.  Compost old leaves and broken tree branches.

Educate your children on the importance of trees by enjoying a nature walk outdoors or going to the library and reading a book about trees, volunteer at your local nursery or an organization that plants trees, or attend a free class on caring for your trees.

Maid Brigade Is Committed to Being Green Every Day

Dwyer_404x213px_earth dayThe service that Maid Brigade provides to the community is Green Clean Certified. The green cleaning products they use are free of toxins and carcinogens. Using microfiber cloths, mops and HEPA Filtered vacuums helps improve indoor air quality which contributes to a safer indoor environment.  Cleaning with microfiber cloths instead of paper towels helps reduce waste.

Celebrate Arbor Day and do your part to make our planet greener by planting a tree!