With Arbor Day close at hand, I would like to share a little history of this holiday we tree-huggers look forward to each year.
The whole thing started with a man by the name of J. Sterling Morton. Morton shared his love of nature with his wife, Caroline Joy French. While secretary of the Nebraska territory during the mid 1800s, he proposed a day to celebrate the planting of trees. On April 10, 1872, Arbor Day was born. It is reported that 1 million trees were planted that day. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska. Although originally dated for April 22, Morton’s birthday, Arbor Day is generally celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. This year Californians will celebrate Arbor Day on April 30.
Also on Arbor Day, Turtle Bay celebrates Festa Botanica, a great place to pick up locally grown vegetables and herbs, get plant advice from the experts who know the North State environments and support local artists by purchasing a portrait made of dried plant parts, a whimsical wind chime or a hand-carved wooden sculpture. Although the nursery doesn’t propagate many trees, we do have a few giant redwoods that need homes.
Friday night is members’ night (featuring live music) and Saturday the public is welcome to shop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To celebrate Arbor Day, I will plant a tree (or six), give one a hug, and sit in the shade of a mighty oak that was once an acorn. Join me.
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.
~Ogden Nash, Song of the Open Road, 1933
Marie Stadther’s life in Coachella Valley was void of trees. In 2001, she packed up and headed north. After a drive through the majestic redwoods, she arrived in Redding, where she immersed herself in horticulture as owner of her own landscaping company and as assistant to an arborist. She is now the lead gardener for Turtle Bay’s McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Her love of trees is a way of life, and she shares that passion with the community. Send the Tree Goddess your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.