Tree Goddess: California Celebrates 140 years of Arbor Day

It’s Arbor Week in California and there are many communities all over the state celebrating trees and giving awards to those cities that have practiced conservation and urban forestry expansion. The 2012 Arbor Week celebrates the 140th anniversary of Arbor Day. There are two men that come to my mind when I think of Arbor Day and I would like to share a bit of their legacy with you.

Dr. Alex Shigo was a tree enthusiast and trained tree pathologist. He spent most of his adult life studying, dissecting and writing about trees. He was the first to cut trees longitudinally, therefore seeing more part of the trees story. Through this method he discovered how trees react to disease and injury. This discovery gave him the proof he needed to show people that certain practices, such as topping, were causing great harm to trees. Although considered the “father of modern arboriculture”, he was not popular with many in the tree industry. Regardless, Dr. Shigo paved the way for arboriculture as it is today.

On April 10, 1872, J. Sterling Morton held America’s very first Arbor Day. An estimated 1 million trees were planted that day. J. Sterling Morton held a great love for trees and knew how important they are to the quality of human life. Through his efforts, the National Arbor Day Foundation was born and continues to inspire and educate people to plant trees and how to care for urban forests in their communities.

To celebrate in our own community, the City of Redding and Turtle Bay have combined efforts and will have many activities for all ages on two consecutive days. On March 9th, from 7:30 to 3:00, the City will be giving away 800 tree and shrub seedlings at the Teen Center in Caldwell Park. That same day at noon, the City will have its award ceremony at the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Garden Quarry Plaza on the north side of the Sundial Bridge. For the last 31 years, the City of Redding has received The Tree City USA award and has received the Tree Line USA Utility Award for the last 18 years. These awards are in recognition of Redding’s conservation measures. Glenn Flamik, Cal Fire Regional Urban Forester, will present Mayor Dick Dickerson with the Tree City USA Award.

There is also a poster contest and the Society of American Foresters, Wyntoon Chapter, will judge posters submitted by Shasta County school students who participated.

The following day, March 10th, from 10:30 to 3:30, Turtle Bay will have tree related activities and a tree climbing and pruning demonstration as part of their Family Second Saturday in the Paul Bunyan Forest Camp. They will also be giving away tree and shrub seedlings left over from the previous day.

For information regarding the utility award, please call Jim Calhoun of the City of Redding Electric Utility Department at 224-4356. For further information about the City of Redding’s Arbor Day celebration, please call Paul Anderson at 224-6105 or LeEtta Schneck at 224-6100. For more information about Turtle Bay’s activities, please contact Amber Davis at 242-3151.

marieMarie 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 mstadther@turtlebay.org.

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'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 mstadther@turtlebay.org.
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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Kelly says:

    This story is a bit late. The activities mentioned were last month!

  2. Avatar AJ says:

    Red is such a lovely color, especially when displayed on the face. . . I wear it often.

  3. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Met Marie many months ago when she was kind enough to look at one of our trees. So, far the Silver maple is getting bigger and bigger, but seems to be healthy. Meanwhile, my husband has planted a couple of (more) fruit trees. Can't say we don't have enough trees! If the all come to "fruition" we will have enough for the neighborhood. Good information on Arbor Day; it's OK, we will save it for next year.

  4. Avatar Gail Stream says:

    You're not really late in talking about Arbor Day. Redding Wonderland Garden Club celebrated Arbor Day a few days ago….April 23, with Mrs. Osborne's kindergarten class at Bonnyview School. All the young gardeners and their principal, Dr. Alexander, shoveled dirt into a huge hole around a new raywood ash tree donated by RWGC, and then sang about trees. What an enthusiastic group of kids who love trees!

    NATIONAL Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of APRIL, while California Arbor Day is recognized in MARCH.

    After the tree planting Gail Buick, the vivacious afterschool coordinator, gave the women a tour of the brand new Bonnyview School garden which is thriving. Many thanks to volunteer extraordinaire, Rob Abernathy and some Eagle Scouts too, for many hours of work to get the large garden site and raised beds ready for planting. It's great to see children excited and involved in garden projects, especially when they can taste the results …fresh strawberries and lots of veggies too. That's hands on science learning!

    Hooray for Bonnyview School!

    Go plant a tree!

    • Avatar Tree Goddess says:

      That's great! I planted a small veggie garden at Martin Luther King Park several years ago while still in college. It was wonderful to hae all the kids (and a Redding police officer!) help plant. I hope many more people help put projects like this together to help our youth understand the importance of gardening and healty living. Kudos!