Arbor Day
Friday, April 29, 2011
cortneyandjon in gardening, nature

We have a new seedling today, for which I have J. Sterling Morton to thank. While Earth Day seems all the rage right now (making it more or less unforgiveable that we failed to observe it officially in our house this year), Arbor Day seems to get far less attention. Earth Day, in fact, is the newer of the two holidays, having started in the 1970s. Arbor Day began in Nebraska nearly 100 years earlier, in 1872. Maybe Earth Day is more popular than Arbor Day the way that any teeny bopper star will outweigh a centenarian in general popularity. But I love trees, and while I try to be kind to Earth every day, I plant trees far less often, and that makes Arbor Day feel like a more special pseudo-holiday for me.

As an aside, the first person who points out the seeming incongruity in my tree and book collecting hobbies gets a cookie. An organic cookie. And you can check out this video if you want, just for fun.

We celebrated Arbor Day by picking up our free douglas fir seedling from the Village of Dexter, where Calvin also helped decorate the new community bird house, and then we went to our local nursery. we are quite fond of trees, and having moved into one of those house-farm subdivisions, the kind with just one tree per yard (planted carefully in the front), we have spent the last three years improving our lot in life. Since moving in we have planted at least one tree per year, usually in the fall, but this year we are adding a river birch, which transplants best in the spring, so Calvin and I brought home a new river birch, Betula nigra, to continue our process of treeing the back yard. We are smitten with both of our new additions.

We also spent some time really looking at and sketching trees, which, contrary to preschool belief, are not green circles perched atop brown sticks. Imagine.

Article originally appeared on Cortney and Jon Ophoff's Family Site (
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