A national holiday to commemorate trees, Arbor Day is especially significant at The Morton Arboretum. Established in 1872 by the Morton family, Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April—this year it falls on April 27. The holiday provides an opportunity to discover the important role trees play in our everyday lives, from cleaning our air and water to beautifying communities and creating a greater sense of well-being for those who spend time surrounded by trees.
The Morton Arboretum will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday and through the weekend with a series of events showcasing trees, including the opportunity to dress like a tree for free admission, fun tree-focused activities all weekend, and the popular annual Plant Sale.
Arbor Day Events: Friday, April 27
Dress Like a Tree, Get In Free!
Those who visit The Morton Arboretum on Arbor Day dressed as a tree will gain free admission all day! Outfits can range from a green or brown T-shirt and hat or participants can “branch” out and come dressed in a costume masterpiece.
Arbor Day Tree Planting with Curious George
Celebrate Arbor Day with a visit from Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat at the Arboretum.
Enjoy a group reading of “Curious George Plants a Tree,” and join in a tree planting.
Arbor Day Weekend Events: Friday, April 27-Sunday, April 29
Arbor Day Weekend Celebration in the Children’s Garden
Plant tree seeds and hunt for five unique trees throughout the Children’s Garden all weekend long.
Arbor Day Plant Sale – April 29
Shoppers will find more than 100,000 trees and plants specially chosen by Arboretum experts during the Arbor Day Plant Sale. The sale will include more than 200 species of trees, shrubs, and flowers available for purchase. Shoppers with questions about plants best suited for their landscape can consult with roaming Plant Geniuses. The sale opens to the public Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Morton Arboretum and Arbor Day
Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care—a special day set aside for planting trees. The Morton Arboretum has a unique connection to Arbor Day. Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton, father of Joy Morton, the founder of the Arboretum. J. Sterling Morton moved to Nebraska in 1854 and found the newly formed territory relatively devoid of trees. To encourage tree planting, he proposed that the state declare April 10 as Arbor Day in 1872, and his proposal was accepted. On that first Arbor Day, it is said Nebraskans planted one million trees. In 1885, Nebraska declared J. Sterling Morton's birthday, April 22, as Arbor Day and made it a legal holiday. Today, all 50 states as well as many countries around the world recognize Arbor Day.