Arbor Day in United States

Quick Facts

Arbor Day encourages people to appreciate, plant and care for trees. In Nebraska, it falls on the last Friday of April.

Local names

NameLanguage
Arbor DayEnglish
Día del ÁrbolSpanish
חג האילנותHebrew
يوم الشجرةArabic
식목일Korean
Arbor DayGerman

Arbor Day 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Arbor Day 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015
List of dates for other years

Arbor Day is a state holiday in Nebraska on the last Friday of April.

Arbor day

Tree-planting is a popular activity on Arbor Day.

©iStockphoto.com/diane555

What do people do?

On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. A wide range of events are organized to promote Arbor Day. These include: communal tree planting ceremonies; proclamations by city governments; exhibitions and educational activities on trees and their importance to local communities and the planet as a whole; and fairs, musical performances and open days in garden centers. Schools are encouraged to plan lessons around the theme of trees. Arbor Day awards are also presented to individuals and organizations across the United States and around the world. These are awarded for outstanding service to trees, forestry or related ecological themes.

Public life

Arbor Day falls on the last Friday of April in Nebraska. It is a state holiday so schools and state offices, including many historic sites, are closed. Public transit systems offer a reduced service or may shut down completely. Other businesses and stores may be open or closed according to local custom.

Background

In 1854 J Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the area that is now the state of Nebraska. At that time there were virtually no trees in the area and he and the other pioneers desired to have them in their surroundings. They also noticed that trees were needed to act as windbreaks to stabilize the soil and to provide shade from the sun, fuel and building materials. Morton planted many trees around his own home but wanted to encourage and enable others to do the same.

At a Nebraska State Board of Agriculture meeting on January 4, 1872, he proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10, 1872. This was known as "Arbor Day" and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on the day. A total of about one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. In 1874, Governor Robert W Furnas officially proclaimed that Arbor Day would be observed on April 10, 1884. In 1885, it became a legal holiday and was moved to April 22, which was Morton's birthday. In 1989 the official state holiday was moved to the last Friday in April. In Nebraska, Arbor Day is now observed on the last Friday in April, which is also when National Arbor Day is observed. Former President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day during his presidency in 1970.

All states in the US now have an official Arbor Day, usually at a time of year that is has the correct climatological conditions for planting trees. Many observations of this day are in April, but the following states hold them at different times of the year: Florida and Louisiana (January); Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi (February);  Arkansas, Arizona, California, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee (March); Alaska, Maine, North Dakota and Vermont (May); Hawaii (November); and South Carolina (December). Similar events to encourage the planting or care of trees are arranged in many countries around the world. The dates are usually chosen to coincide with the optimal season for planting or caring for native trees.

Symbols

Arbor Day is symbolized by the trees that are planted on the day or as a result of fundraising activities. The official Arbor Day logo shows a mature deciduous tree and the words "celebrate Arbor Day". The symbol of the Arbor Day Foundation is a similar tree in a circle, symbolizing the importance of trees to the whole planet. Local initiatives may use their state tree as a symbol.

Arbor Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
FriApr 271990Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 261991Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 241992Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 301993Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 291994Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 281995Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 261996Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 251997Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 241998Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 301999Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 282000Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 272001Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 262002Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 252003Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 302004Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 292005Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 282006Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 272007Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 252008Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 242009Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 302010Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 292011Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 272012Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 262013Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 252014Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 242015Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 292016Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 282017Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 272018Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 262019Arbor DayState holidayNebraska
FriApr 242020Arbor DayState holidayNebraska

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2014 in United States

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