The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now. — Chinese Proverb

Earth Day is celebrated in April with political fanfare and media attention, while Arbor Day, its older, less popular sister holiday slips quietly by for many people each spring.  (Every state celebrates Arbor Day on individual dates – find your state here.)

Arbor Day was started in Nebraska in 1872 by state secretary J. Sterling Morton, a Michigan transplant who missed his trees and wanted to bring some more green (and shade!) to the vast midwest prairie.  That April, an estimated 1 million trees were planted in our fair state.  There is no place like Nebraska, after all.

Trees help conserve soil, energy, water, and help protect wildlife and the atmosphere.  Strategically planted trees are an integral part of production agriculture as they improve crop yields and preserve topsoil for future abundant harvests. Planted along streams and wetlands, they prevent erosion and clean the water. Planting trees in marginal areas of agricultural land attracts wildlife, sequesters carbon, and helps with flood control.*  In the winter, a living snow fence of trees may be a healthy alternative to other snow control options.

For more information about how trees can have a positive impact on agriculture, check out the Arbor Day Foundation’s Conservation Trees program.

He who plants a tree, plants hope. – Lucy Larcom

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*Source: 1 |  photo