We Need Trees

Arbor Day More Vital Now than Ever




Jacob_09/Shutterstock.com

The 147th annual Arbor Day on April 27 encourages tree planting worldwide to replenish lost tree cover including trees wiped out in the recent fires in California and hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) is committed to providing 5 million trees in these areas alone. More than 3,400 U.S. communities will participate as an ADF Tree City. Visit Tinyurl.com/USATreeCityDirectory for a current list and criteria for new communities to apply.

The ADF Alliance for Community Trees supports tree-growing programs for 200 nonprofit member groups nationwide via funding, information sharing and forging helpful connections. Trees are much more than aesthetics, says Program Manager Dana Karcher, who most recently welcomed Community Greening, in Delray Beach, Florida, and Outdoor Circle, in Hawaii, into the fold. “Trees clean the air, are a habitat for animals, retain storm water and more.” An affiliated nonprofit program online at NeighborWoodsMonth.org encourages tree planting each October.

Billings, Montana, earned the latest Arbor Day Celebration Award after 12 elementary schools there engaged in environmental education stations and 180 volunteers planted and pruned trees. Other recent biannual award winners included California’s ReLeaf program and the Atlanta Beltline Arboretum.

The need was great even before the world’s forests lost 73.4 million acres of tree cover in 2016, a 51 percent increase over 2015, due to poor forest management, climate change-driven drought and fires, says Global Forest Watch.

Hopeful global signs: The largest-ever tropical reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon aims to plant 73 million trees in the next six years on 70,000 acres. A New Zealand participation goal for the Billion Trees Planting Programme targets planting 100 million trees annually for a decade. In July 2017, volunteers in Madhya Pradesh, India, planted 66,750,000 tree saplings in 12 hours, exceeding the previous record by Uttar Pradesh of 50 million in 24 hours, as part of India’s reforestation pledge of 2 billion new trees by 2030.

A $10 annual ADF membership fee includes 10, six-inch-tall seedlings to plant or to donate to a national forest. Karcher’s paramount planting tip: “Dig the hole twice as wide and the same depth of the root ball. If it’s too deep, it’ll suffocate. Give roots space to grow.”


This article appears in the April 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Sway Congress

The Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget again calls on Congress to lift long-standing prohibitions on the destruction and slaughter of wild horses and burros.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Online Classes at Portland Community College

Online classes to obtain accreditation in nutritional therapy and herbalism are being offered at the Portland Community College Institute for Health Professionals.

Plan Ahead to $ave on Next Winter’s Energy Bill

There are ways we can prepare our home for next winter now, as well as improve its overall performance and comfort throughout the year.

Brushing Like You Really Mean It

Chances are that we were never told exactly how to brush our teeth, for how long and most importantly, what we are accomplishing by doing it.

Deborah King to Teach How to Infuse Life with Light

Experience the radiant light of healing with spiritual teacher, master healer and New York Times bestselling author Deborah King.

Let's All Lower Our Carbon Footprint

Brenda Ekwurzel, co-author of Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, presents carbon reduction strategies to help readers save money and live healthier lives.

Free Stress Workshop at Lakeview Integrative Medicine

Lakeview Integrative Medicine will present a free Biofeedback and Stress Recovery workshop.