In 1872, J. Sterling Morton, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland, founded Arbor Day in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
A national holiday of tree-planting celebrated on the last Friday in April, Arbor Day is observed in dozens of countries around the world.
On the first Arbor Day, an estimated 1 million trees were planted.
In the face of the alarming high rates of global deforestation, the annual tree-planting of Arbor Day has taken on a greater significance.
The net annual forest loss for the ten-year period following 2000 is "equivalent to an area about the size of Costa Rica," according to a recent press release issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
"World deforestation, mainly the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land, has decreased over the past ten years but continues at an alarmingly high rate in many countries."
According to EraseCarbonFootprint.com, the average person produces 26 tons of global-warming carbon dioxide every year. It would take more than 150 pine trees (each at least 25 years old) to absorb that amount.
So, cutting trees down -- to make paper, room for agriculture or Christmas trees -- isn't such a great idea. Plus, birds seem to be quite fond of them (and vice versa).
It is estimated that more than 350,000 people are born every day. We're going to need a lot more trees.
- Sign a Greenpeace letter thanking Kimberly-Clark for protecting ancient forests
- Download the Greenpeace Tissue Guide to find out which tissue brands are sustainably-sourced and which are made from clearcutting ancient forests (PDF download)
- Visit the Arbor Day Foundation get 10 free trees when you join
- Support Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization that has been helping communities around the world plant trees
- Analyze and reduce your impact on the environment with the National Grid Floe
- Read Olivia Judson's recent New York Times blog post, "Tree-mendous"
- Read about the 10 countries with the highest deforestation rates
- Read about Anne Frank's tree, which is dying
- The World's Rarest Tree (April 28, 2010)
- From Syrup to Seals in Canada (February 15, 2010)
- Magic Mushroom (January 4, 2010)
- Exit Koala (November 19, 2009)
- Nazca Redux (November 12, 2009)
- We Didn't Start the Fire (November 5, 2009)
- The Trees of the Maya (July 29, 2009)
- Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree (July 17, 2009)
- Blowing Noses Into Dead, Ancient Trees (February 25, 2009)
- Trees Are Dying Faster (January 24, 2009)
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Alfredo Quarto, Executive Director of the Mangrove Action Project (October 27, 2008)
- Saving Sumatran Forests, Keepers of Carbon (October 11, 2008)
- Ancient Forests Not Something to Sneeze At (September 18, 2008)
- Amazon Threatened By Oil and Gas Exploration (August 15, 2008)
- Kenya's Economy Tied to Forest Health (July 19, 2008)
- Global Land Grab May Decimate Forests (July 15, 2008)
- UN Urges Southeast Asia to Stop Deforestation (June 26, 2008)
- Happy Markets, Happy Forests (April 27, 2008)
- Swedish Tree May Be Oldest Living Thing (April 19, 2008)
- Canadian Logging May Explode "Carbon Bomb" (April 12, 2008)
image: Diamond Geyser