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March 6, 2007 > Celebrating Arbor Day

Celebrating Arbor Day

California will celebrate Arbor Day 2007 during the week of March 7 - 14. While National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, many states, including California, celebrate the tree planters' holiday at times best suited to their own growing seasons.

The California Redwood includes the Coast Redwood, Sequoia semprivans, and the Sierra Big Tree, Sequoia gigantea. Both trees were adopted in 1937 as the state tree of California since both fit the category of a California Redwood. The tallest tree can be found in Humboldt County where a 364-foot coast redwood stands, earning its name as the Founders Tree. The largest sierra, the General Sherman Tree, is found in the Sierra National Park having a circumference of 102.6 feet; this tree is also thought to be around 3,000 - 4,000 years old. Once populating the entire North American continent, environmental changes have limited the Redwoods to the Pacific Coast region.

The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, thanks to a resolution proposed by Nebraska City, Nebraska resident J. Sterling Morton. Morton, a civic leader agriculturist, and a former newspaper editor, urged Nebraskans to "set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit." The tree-planting holiday was so popular that by 1920 more than 45 states and U.S. territories annually celebrated Arbor Day. Today it is observed in all 50 states and in many countries around the world.

The national Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit environmental education organization, was established in 1972 and continues to work to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. For more information on Arbor Day, the Arbor Day Foundation, or ways to celebrate the tree planters' holiday, visit arborday.org or call (402) 474-5655.

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