The City of Norcross will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2pm by planting a tree in Thrasher Park. The Tree Preservation Board is organizing the observance by installing a large red maple next to the playground in the park where a declining oak tree had to be removed for safety reasons. The new maple will grow to provide shade and excellent fall color for generations to come.
The story of Arbor Day reaches back to 1855 when a young man named J. Sterling Morton and his wife moved to Nebraska to settle a 160 acre tract of land. They missed the lush vegetation of the East and began planting trees on their property. They realized the need for trees to provide shade and windbreaks. They also needed the wood that trees provided for fuel and to build homes, barns and fences. Through newspaper articles, Morton encouraged other settlers to plant trees as he wrote about the many benefits they provided.
Arbor Day officially began in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton, who was a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, proposed that a day be set aside annually for tree planting. The first statewide Arbor Day was a huge success with over one million trees planted.
By 1920, more than 45 states were celebrating Arbor Day. Although National Arbor Day is in April, many states continue to celebrate the holiday at different times. Differing climates in such a large country makes planting time vary from January and February in the South to May and June in the most Northern states. States often observe Arbor Day on the last Friday of April with programs emphasizing the ideals of trees; while doing the actual planting on the state Arbor Day. The state of Georgia observes Arbor Day in the middle of February.
For more information regarding the Arbor Day Foundation, visit www.arborday.org.