A time to hug a tree

February 18, 2014

A time to hug a treeTrees do so much to make our lives and our communities better. To honor their gifts, The Morton Arboretum celebrates Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, as its signature holiday.

Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, the father of Arboretum founder Joy Morton, to encourage the planting and protection of trees.

Each year, The Morton Arboretum uses Arbor Day as a way to help people see the value of trees and the impact trees have on their daily lives. This year, the Arboretum is focusing on how trees do more for us than surround us in beauty. They make us healthier, help clean the air, and quiet busy city streets.

Large, mature trees do us the most service, so we are wise to care for our trees so they live long lives. But we also need to plant trees so that tomorrow’s cities, suburbs, and forests can be healthy and green. That’s perhaps the most important message of Arbor Day.

“Other holidays repose upon the past,” Joy Morton told an Arbor Day audience in 1932. “Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

During the weeks leading up to Arbor Day, the Arboretum is alive with events that salute trees. Our Community Trees Program helps set up tree plantings and distribute educational tree tagging kits. Beginning April 18, 2014,  tags featuring the benefits of trees will flutter from branches on the streets in Chicago and its suburbs. On April 25, Arbor Day itself, Curious George will visit the Arboretum to help plant a tree. There are special activities for families in the Children’s Garden. And gardeners will flock to the Arbor Day Plant Sale April 25–27.

Trees give us so much. So this Arbor Day, Go Ahead. Hug a Tree.