The first Arbor Day took place in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10, 1872. It is estimated that one million trees were planted that day. The idea of a holiday celebrating trees took hold; by the 1920s, every state in the US had passed a law stipulating that Arbor Day be observed on the last Friday in April. In Nebraska, it's observed as a civic holiday. Planting a tree is the most customary way to observe Arbor Day, but there are other ways to celebrate, too.
Make it personal: Make this Arbor Day special by personalizing it to you. Enjoy the outdoors. Relax in the shade or have a picnic in your backyard. Learn about trees by taking a class or reading a book on trees and plant care. Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization. Plant a tree in your yard, or, if it's more your style, start smaller by buying plants to beautify your outdoor space.
Plant a tree: This Arbor Day, don't be afraid to take out your gardening tools and get your hands a little dirty. Trees are a gift for all ages: The tree you plant today will provide shade for generations to come. If you've never planted a tree before, remember that the most common mistake when planting a tree is digging a hole that is either too deep or too narrow. If the hole is too deep, the roots won't be able to get enough oxygen, and if the hole is too narrow, the roots won't be able to expand enough to nourish or anchor the tree. Trees should be planted in soil that is no deeper than the original soil they were grown in. Dig the hole to be at least three times the diameter of the root ball or the root spread.
Get together: One of the best things about Arbor Day is the chance to celebrate the outdoors with a group of friends and neighbors. This year, set up a beautification project in a public area with the people in your community or with a kids' club. Maybe you can get together with people in your neighborhood to organize a paper drive to recycle. Dedicate a forest in your area. The options are endless when it comes to group celebrations for Arbor Day. Even getting together and having a party and giving away tree-related gifts would be a fun and easy way to celebrate.
Remember Arbor Day year-round: Don't let Arbor Day become a once-a-year thought. Plant a garden on Arbor Day and enjoy the spoils year round. Even something as simple as getting a piece of tree-themed jewelry or art will be a lovely reminder of the spirit of Arbor Day throughout the year.