Arbor Day originated from the treeless plains of Nebraska, America, in 1872. It was here that Mr J. Sterling Morton persuaded the local agricultural board to set aside a day for planting trees. Using his position as editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper, he encouraged participation in the event by publishing articles on the value of trees for soil protection, fruit, shade and building materials. Within two decades Arbor Day, named after Mr Morton’s home Arbor Lodge (also a leafy shady recess formed by trees and shrubs), was celebrated in every US State and territory.
South Africa has been a relative late comer to the Arbor Day celebrations, with its first official Arbor Day in 1983. The event captured the imagination of thousands of people who recognised the need for raising awareness of the value of trees. By 1999, collective enthusiasm for the importance of Arbor Day in South Africa inspired the national government, to extend Arbor Day to National Arbor Week and now Arbor Month.
During the first week in September schools, businesses and organisations are encouraged to participate in community “greening’ events to improve the health and beauty of their local environment.
Every year two trees (one common the other rare) are chosen as the ‘Trees
of the Year’. The aim is to encourage people to plant these across the country so that they are not lost to us and future generations.
When discussing the benefits of natural forests, commercial plantations are often ignored. Plantation forests provide many of the same environmental services as their natural counterparts and also contribute to the economy and the need for job opportunities in the rural areas.
click here to learn more about Arbor Month as a .PDF
Case study compiled 2018
Source: Forestry Explained