Florida Arbor Day-A Great 4-H Community Service Project
National Arbor day dates back to 1872 when Julius Sterling Morton of Nebraska, serving as President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture, had the idea of encouraging tree planting and care. In 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. However, individual states conduct their own Arbor Day celebrations at various time of the year. Florida and Louisiana are the first to celebrate Arbor Day each year on the third Friday of January.
So why does our state celebrate Arbor Day in January instead of April? It has everything to do with our climate. During January many trees are dormant (not actually growing) and lose less water through transpiration (evaporation of water from the leaves) this time of year, making them easier to transplant without putting them through too much stress. By April tree growth has started and the temperatures have risen so trees lose much more water during this time.
So, do you want to make our community a better place by reducing air pollution, conserving energy, and beautifying the State of Florida? Then on January 15, 2021, celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree. Consider planting a native tree, an oak, pine, or Florida maple. Below are some tips for caring for your newly planted tree!
Tips for caring for your tree:
• Frequent watering is important, this frequent watering is more beneficial than larges volumes of water applied infrequently.
• For a tree to become fully established may take between 4 and 8 months. If watering is stopped too soon, or if water is not applied often enough, the tree may die. Follow this watering guide for establishing your new tree: daily for 2 weeks, every other day for 2 months, twice weekly for 2-3 months, then weekly until established.