University of Florida

Arbor Day

Arbor Day celebrates the importance of trees each year throughout the nation. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, after journalist Julius Sterling Morton noticed the lack of trees in his home state of Nebraska.

Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday for January 4, 1872. Three months later, it’s estimated that more than one million trees were planted in the state during the first Arbor Day celebration.

Arbor Day is now recognized nationally, but observation days differ depending on the best time of year to plant trees in each state. Florida residents celebrate Arbor Day on the third Friday in January.

Commemorate this year's Arbor Day by planting a tree of your own. While trees provide shade for leisure and help your home conserve energy, they also supply cover and food for wildlife. Additionally, trees around your home provide more privacy, reduce background noise, cut carbon emissions, and look aesthetically pleasing.

You can also celebrate Arbor Day with others by participating in community activities or organizing an event. Visit Arbor Day Foundation for more Arbor Day celebration ideas.

For more information on trees including what trees you can plant in your region, please visit Trees, Shrubs, and Vines or contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

Adapted and excerpted from:

M. Derrick, “Plant a Tree to Celebrate Arbor Day!” Gardening in the Panhandle (12/2013).

S. Dunning, “Florida Arbor Day,” UF/IFAS Extension Jefferson County (12/2013).      

The History of Arbor Day,” Arbor Day Foundation (Accessed 01/2015).

Arbor Day Trees

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