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How is Arbor Day different than Earth Day?

Arbor Day is a special day set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the substantial role that they play in our environment. People celebrate Earth Day in many ways that call attention to environmental and natural resource issues.

arbor-day-675949 Both holidays began in very different ways for causes that were important in their time, almost a century apart. Today, their origins are as crucial as ever, and both have come to emphasize the end goal of improving our planet.

Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, although many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on the best time in their area to ensure that the trees are planted in the best environment to thrive.

Julius Sterling Morton was a Nebraska pioneer, a writer, and editor for Nebraska’s first newspaper. He wrote about the value of trees and urged people to become good stewards of the land.

Morton proposed a day that would encourage all Nebraskans to plant trees in their community. He believed planting trees was a means to repay our forefathers who had cultivated trees before us and increase the beauty of the land. On April 10, 1872, Nebraskans planted about one million trees on that first Arbor Day.

A decade later, Nebraska declared Arbor Day as a legal holiday and the date was changed to Morton’s birthday, April 22. Arbor Day became a national observance. It seemed natural to schedule Arbor Day, April 22, 1970 — as the first Earth Day.

Arbor Day is an internationally recognized day for the planting of trees with the goals of conservation and forestation. While planting a tree isn’t always practical, many organizations, local groups, and schools arrange for tree planting events that people can participate in; making it accessible to everyone. It’s a chance to protect the trees we have and bring trees to places without them. As J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, wisely noted, “Other holidays repose on the past. Arbor Day proposes the future.”

Melissa Jones is an experienced mass market and e-commerce buyer with over 15 years in the floriculture industry.