Arbor Day 2013

Master Gardeners demonstrate correct tree planting techniques.
Master Gardeners demonstrate correct tree planting techniques.

Arbor Day (which literally means, “Tree Day”) was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, a naturalist and journalist in Nebraska. By 1882, it was celebrated by thousands of schoolchildren nationwide, who planted trees and took care of them with their classmates. Today, millions of communities and schools celebrate Arbor Day all over the world. Trees provide endless benefits, including shade, recreation, food and building products, wildlife habitat, oxygen production, and carbon dioxide uptake.

Arbor Day is typically celebrated in the United States on the last Friday of April, but as ideal tree-planting conditions differ by climate, each state has its own specific Arbor Day, as well. Winter is the ideal time to plant trees in Florida, because it allows roots to develop without expending energy on growing new leaves and shoots. Our state celebration this year is January 18th. Many local communities in Florida hold special events around this time, including:

Escambia County:

Extension and Water Quality divisions are partnering with the Florida Forest Service to give away 4,000 seedling trees, including Crabapple, Mayhaw, Cherrybark Oak, Wax Myrtle, Bald Cypress, and River Birch. There are two events: January 14 from 9:30-11:00 am at the Walnut Hill Ruritan (7850 Highway 97), and January 18 at Pensacola State College Warrington (198 Patton Drive) from 11:00 am- 2 pm. The Jan. 18 event will include a tree planting demo at Pensacola State College and dedication of the Southwest Greenway Trail Opening Celebration. For more information contact Beth at


Okaloosa County:

Okaloosa Extension will host a tree giveaway on Jaunary 18 from 9 am – 12 noon, in conjunction with the county and state forestry service. Trees available include Mayhaw, Red Maple, Cherrybark Oak, and Yellow Poplar. The schedule includes a dedication and installation of a Winged Elm, demonstration on correct tree planting and a guided tour of the new Extension building. Okaloosa County UF Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road, Crestview, Florida. For more information, contact Sheila at


Walton County:

An Arbor Day celebration will be held on Friday, January 25 in the DeFuniak Springs Lakeyard. Former first lady, Rosalyn Carter will be present at tree planting ceremony around lunch time. For more information, contact Mike at


Leon County:

Arborist Stan Rosenthal will host an Arbor Day tree planting on Saturday, January 26 at Lafayette Park in Tallahassee. The event starts at 9:00 am. For more details, contact Stan at

Click here to find more information about ways to celebrate Arbor Day.


Posted: January 11, 2013

Category: Horticulture
Tags: Arbor Day, Panhandle Gardening, Trees, Upcoming Events

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